Series: Divergent #3
Published by: Katherine Tegen Books on October 22, 2013
Genre: Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic, Science Fiction
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What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?
The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth's #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.
Before I begin, I think it’s important that I kind of let you know where I stand with the Divergent series up to this point. I LOVED Divergent so much. It pulled me out of a massive reading rut and made me fall in love with YA again. Then I read Insurgent and was not wowed. Honestly, I think I should have given the book more like 2.5 or 3 stars (I gave it 4.. no idea why, especially after re-reading my review).
I was excited about Allegiant because of the big bang ending that was in Insurgent, but honestly my hopes weren’t that high. I wasn’t convinced that Allegiant was going to wow me, and I was right.
I’m going to break up this review into clear sections of what I didn’t like.
I don’t like how Tris and Tobias pushed aside their problems by making out
Tris and Tobias’s relationship still isn’t perfect in Allegiant. They have things they need to talk about and discuss. But ANY time this situation comes up, they bury it by making out. It’s literally like:
“We need to ta—”
Suddenly I felt his mouth on mine. [Cue make out scene.]
Paraphrasing, but that’s the gist of it. SO.MANY.TIMES. It’s almost like they thought they had to make up for their fighting/distance in Insurgent, but this was not the right way to do it! You can’t just hope your problems will go away by cutting them off with a kiss. It doesn’t work like that.
I kind of wish Tris and Tobias just didn’t have a relationship at all
I grew to hate Tris and Tobias’s relationship. Adding onto the previous point, I just felt like their relationship was so half ass. Except when they were making out, they didn’t act like a couple. They didn’t treat each other like equals. There were still plenty of times when they didn’t clue each other in on their thoughts/plans. They just didn’t feel TOGETHER.
Maybe this is extremely stereotypical of me, but there were so many moments when I felt that Tris and Tobias should have reacted in a certain way as a couple (like comforted the other person, or sought comfort from them), but they reacted so indifferently instead.
I could stay and try to comfort him, but I need answers about my mother, and I’m not going to wait any longer.
Except when their lips were glued together, I just didn’t look at them and think, “You guys are dating. You love each other.” Instead I saw.. colleagues? Maybe friends?
I felt like labeling what they had as a relationship just brought the story down. I honestly would have preferred if their relationship was just cut from the book because it kept disappointing me.
“But no more lies. Not ever”
I feel stiff and squeezed, like my body was just forced into something too small for it.
Because being completely open and honest with Tobias makes her feel restricted and contained? *eye roll*
Tobias and Tris sounded the same
In Allegiant, the chapters switch between Tris and Tobias’s points of view, but I couldn’t tell them apart. I often had to double check the chapter heading because I couldn’t tell whose point of view I was reading from.
I think if you’re going to have alternating points of view, you have to have two very distinct voices. Tris and Tobias didn’t sound or feel particularly different.
I didn’t love any of the characters
Overall, the character development and relationships were poor. I already talked about Tris and Tobias, but I couldn’t connect to ANY of the characters really. I just felt so little for them.
Tobias on his own was weak. I remember loving him in Divergent because he was such a hardened badass. In Allegiant he’s constantly doubting himself, wallowing in grief, blaming himself for everything… it got to be a bit pathetic and I just wanted to yell at him and tell him to quit with the self pity.
I loved Christina in Divergent, but I was indifferent towards her in Allegiant.
There were a bunch of other characters but they all felt so fleeting. They dodged in and out of the book and I never got a sense of who they were and never formed any attachments to them.
I hated how we had two separate societies and two separate rebellions
It made it hard for me to figure out where I should concentrate. On the one hand we had the rebellion within the Chicago city. The factionless rebelled and are trying to take over and convert the whole city into a factionless society.
Then on the other hand, we have the whole of the United States. With this society we have a whole other rebellion. Once this one started up, I felt like I was being pulled in two different directions. I didn’t know if the rebellion in Chicago was still important, and I didn’t know what to even focus on! I hated how we were introduced into one conflict, and then suddenly jerked into a different one.
Mostly I just didn’t like how we spent two books being told what was important: Chicago, the factions, the rebellion there. Then in book three, all that changed. We’re told to just throw that out the window, ignore it, let it sort itself out. Instead, we move onto ‘bigger’ and ‘more important’ things.
The time period was weird
In Allegiant we get the sense that the story takes place at least hundreds of years in the future. We know that the experiments have been running for at least ~7 generations (about 210 years). But I don’t think that when they started was 2013 either. It was probably at least 2050 when they started (if not later), then that means Allegiant takes place around 2260.
The exact timing isn’t important, but what is important is that the Divergent series takes place hundreds of years in the future. And yet… I thought there was so little advancement. All the tech seemed like 2013 tech. It’s like advancement was stunted, but the years kept rolling by. They still use guns, normal trucks, airplane travel seems the same, etc. With all the wars and uprisings, I would have expected really advanced weaponry.
Sure they had the serums and the fear landscapes, but that’s about it…
I didn’t like how the serums felt more like magic than science
In particular, I’m talking about the death serum. View Spoiler » [Surely this serum is like a chemical weapon, right? Like I imagine it being comparable to nerve gas. Everyone who comes into contact with it dies. And yet… Tris can magically survive it through mind power It’s literally like she just willed herself not to die. I can understand overcoming fears and simulations, kind of like lucid dreaming. But I can’t imagine the death serum being anything but a biological killer.. like nerve gas. And yet Tris can overcome it with just the power of her mind? O_O This makes zero sense to me. It’s like surviving a gunshot wound to the head just because you tell yourself, “NOPE, I’M NOT READY TO DIE YET!” And this actually leads me to another point: we NEVER learn why Tris is so special. Why can she resist things that other people can’t? We never know… « Hide Spoiler]
I’m sure the memory serum lacked plausibility as well, but at least I was able to buy into that a bit more.
I did not like the ending
Maybe some people will like it for being ‘powerful’ or ‘gutsy’ or ’emotional’. I just didn’t like it.View Spoiler » [I’ll be honest, I tend to hate any ending where the main character dies. It’s just not how I like to read stories. And in Allegiant, Tris dies. Whenever this happens in books, I get left with a sense of “What’s the point?” I spend three books reading from a character’s point of view, watching them grow and change, connecting with them (hopefully), just to have them offed. Even if the conflict was resolved (in this case it was), I can’t help but feeling like it was pointless or wasted time.
But although I didn’t like the ending, it wasn’t because I loved Tris and couldn’t bear to see her die. Emotionally, I didn’t actually feel anything when she died. I wasn’t upset or teary. I was only angry because of that whole ‘pointless’ feeling. I think that just goes to show how detached I’ve become since Divergent.
Additionally, I thought the ending with Tobias and his mother was so… lame… and easy. Tobias gave his mother an ultimatum. He said: stop trying to rule the city and form a treaty with the Allegiant, or lose me as your son. And she just pulled him into her arms and tearfully said, “I choose you!” Why couldn’t he have said that to her an entire book ago?
Also I felt nothing when Uriah died. Honestly I kind of forgot who he was going into Allegiant and he was so absent through the entire story that I just didn’t care at all when he went into a coma, and I again didn’t care at all when they pulled the plug on him. « Hide Spoiler]
Allegiant was about what I expected
After Insurgent, I think Allegiant was exactly what I expected it to be. I don’t feel like Tris and Tobias’s relationship ever “healed”, and for the rest I was just mildly indifferent. Throw in a few other problems, and it’s about what I expected it to be.
I still look back on Divergent fondly, but I think overall I just don’t like where the series went. I hated how it destroyed Tris and Tobias’s relationship, I didn’t love where the plot went, and I hated the ending Roth chose.