Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

"I fell in love with him. But I don't just stay with him by default as if there's no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me."

I had high hopes for the final book of the Divergent series. I loved Divergent, enjoyed Insurgent, but Allegiant was only good, not great.

Normally, the history of the characters/ the world occurs early in the series, but we get most of it in Allegiant. As I waited three books for the dramatic conclusion to the series, the informational part of the narrative bored me to the point of annoyance.

With a pub. date in 2013, Roth cannot claim The Hunger Games had no influence whatsoever in Allegiant. I found this book to be very similar to Mockingjay in both the state of the heroine and in the rebellion against the corrupted government (with the opposing power not looking so competent either). If you want an exciting, fast-paced, flowing narrative, read Mockingjay instead. Essentially, Allegiant could have used an editor with a stronger hand. I would made many cuts to the editorial to make this book more concise. The tendency toward unnecessary detail in the mundane affected the book's overall impact.

Then again, Allegiant does go to darker places than Mockingjay. There is more vivid detail in the horror and there's more BANG in the violence. There's more death and far more tragedy. This book has no short of injections, guns, explosions, betrayals, suspense, and tragedy.

My biggest complaint is the fact that there were too many enemies! I was getting whiplash as Roth makes you hate and distrust one person after another. It made the narrative seem a little aimless and not as effective as it could have been. For example, the ending sees a reunion between Four and his mother--after we're made to dislike her for a book and a half. Let's pick a villain and build on him or her. The multiple villains makes for too many flat characters.

I won't spoil the ending. Allegiant might have bored me for most of the book, but around page 280, shit really hits the fan. Excuse the language (but there's no other way to describe it). More than the heart-pounding conclusion, Roth makes a very bold choice in her story arc that I did not see coming. When Roth is writing action, she's a powerhouse author. Bold, breathless, and brilliant.

Regardless of the fact that Allegiant was a little dry to start, it is the final book in a popular series. You, like me, NEED to finish the series. It might not be AS good as the first two books, but it's still definitely worth your time! Allegiant is dark and violent. It's filled with twists and turns, and the ending will leave you with a hole in your chest--and not just because the series is over.

Fortunately, the movie is coming... and with the competition of Catching Fire (click to see the trailer!), I think there is a VERY good chance that Divergent (the movie) will not let fans down.

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