Book: Allegiant, Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent series #3
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date October 2nd, 2013
Rating: 2 stars
Allegiant is the finale in a trilogy that is loved by many and was highly anticipated. Unfortunately, despite the hype surrounding this book, I did not enjoy it as much as the previous two books. Just to give you an idea on how I feel about this book: it had over 500 pages and took me over a week to finish it. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, it had over 700 pages and I finished it in less than a week.
In this book, Tris, Tobias and everyone else have discovered the video by Edith Prior about how the Divergent are required to go outside the gate and help rebuild life out there. When they arrive they meet many new characters who explain to them about how they created the factions in their city and how they’re trying to fix everyone’s damaged genes so that people aren’t defined by any one characteristic, for example how the Abnegation are only known for their selflessness.
I feel there were a lot of reasons why I didn’t enjoy this book as much as it took me so long to read. First off, we meet loads of new characters (David, Matthew, Nita, Zoe) that had plenty of opportunity for character growth and development. Do we get it? No. We just get clones of Jeanine Matthews and Evelyn Johnson who just want to control everybody. While in the city, everybody was separated due to the factions, but outside, they’re separated by their genes. People like Tris, who have undamaged genes, are treated with respect and could get away with a lot of things without getting in trouble. People like Christina or Cora, who have damaged genes, are treated like experiments and don’t matter as much as the genetically pure. This was one of the main plot devices our heroes have to overcome, but I felt it was quite repetitive from the other two books and I just didn’t care enough about the side characters to feel for what they did or what happens to them in the end.
Another turn off? Tobias and Tris’s relationship. Yeah, yeah, let the hate ensue, I don’t care. I HATE this couple. When our main characters are in a relationship, they are supposed to work together to overcome any obstacle and defeat the bad guys because they love each other so much and lean on each other to overcome their demons and come out fighting in the end. Damon and Katy (Lux novels) do this. Sydney and Adrian (Bloodlines series) do this. Do Tris and Tobias do this? No. They spent the majority of this book (just like Insurgent) fighting. First they loved each other, then they hated each other, then they couldn’t live without each other. And when Tobias makes a mistake (because he’s not perfect) does Tris stand by him and forgive him? Of course not. She instead debates breaking up with him. And I absolutely despised this. Reading their constant back-and-forth bickering/portrayals of love made me want to bang my head against a wall. They had a common enemy and a common goal but because they had different points of view on how to get there, they drove each other away.
And while we’re at it, let’s look at Tris and Tobias as characters. In the first two books, we’re shown Tris’s struggles as she tries to fit into Dauntless while being Divergent. When her parents die, she struggles to find a reason to keep living so purposely throws herself in dangerous situations. She made mistakes and she’s not perfect, yet once she realises her errors, she tries to do what’s right and protect her loved ones. I liked her for this. In Allegiant, however, she doesn’t seem to have any faults. Everyone turns to her for leadership and advice, and turns her back when someone makes a decision she wouldn’t have made. And while I won’t spoil the ending, someone had already told me what it was so when it happened, I wasn’t surprised and honestly, the way her character had headed, I didn’t care anymore. She already wasn’t my favourite heroine to begin with, but this book completely ruined her chances of ever being on that shelf.
Now, Tobias. We get his point of view in this book and I don’t think it was needed. Anyone who’s read the book knows why he gets his point of view, but I much preferred Tobias from Tris’ point of view. We already knew he was emotionally scarred due to a crappy childhood, but instead of Tobias growing as a person whenever things went wrong for him, he wanted to take the coward’s way out and forget it all. Does that sound like the brave, selfless soldier we met in Divergent? He became a total sourpuss and I liked him a lot less in this book compared to Divergent and Insurgent. Two POV’s don’t always work if the author can’t handle it properly, and sadly Roth did a poor job in this book. We get the same scenes as both Tris and Tobias have reactions and it just dragged the book out and bored me.
So all in all, this book was a disappointment to end this series. I’m sure people who love this series will love some parts of it, but for me, the amount of poorly developed characters, the atrocious relationship between Tris and Tobias and the repeated plot of just trying to gain control made this book unenjoyable for me. I was already iffy about dystopian novels but this pretty much cemented those feelings for me. I’ll just stick to fantasy romance novels, thanks.