Monday, November 4, 2013

Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth [NO SPOILERS]

Allegiant (Divergent #3)
Author: Veronica Roth (website | twitter)
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books/Harper Collins 
Source: Pre-ordered from Chapters/Indigo
Format: Hardcover, 526 pages
Publication date: October 22, 2013
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
One choice will define you.

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 faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

Review

Yes, I am going to attempt a non-spoilery review. No, it will not be full of plot. And no, I will not even attempt to summarize anything, because that will ruin everything.

Instead, I will give you my reading experience. No spoilers, just feelings about the writing and the general tone of the book.

First, I liked Allegiant a lot. I know I'm in the minority. But I really enjoyed it - I thought it was extremely clever with the mythology, very adept at character development, and gave a conclusion that really made sense. That said, Allegiant wasn't as compelling to me as the first two books...maybe because I read both of them in a blitz of about a week, but also because, of all the books, Allegiant is the most thoughtful and the least action-packed.

Part of this is simply the nature of the plot, most of which takes place in a much less adventurous setting than Divergent and Insurgent. But part of it, admittedly, was the fact that there might have been 50-100 pages of very slow, not-so-useful plot that really made the book wander. In fact, I put Allegiant down for a few days because I found that the middle of the book was just a little too draggy.

Luckily, the beginning and much of the ending were pretty brilliant. There was a moment for me where it was like Roth had flipped the switch. The pacing and speed of the story got turned up and I could NOT. STOP. READING. That's what I was waiting for. And man, was it good when it got there. I can honestly say that I was completely floored and satisfied by the ending.

And that's all I'll say about the ending.

The other thing that I wanted to mention in this review is my only other problem with the book, which was the alternating voices/chapters of Tobias and Tris. There's a reason that Roth had the alternating voices, and I think it made sense for the book. The problem for me was that the voices were indistinguishable from one another. In fact, at the beginning of the book, I had to keep looking back at the chapter heading to remind myself who the narrator was. That was HIGHLY annoying, and I feel like Roth could have done a much better job developing the voices of the characters. It got easier to figure them out as they went on, but WOW. Tris and Tobias felt like the same person at times.

That said, Roth makes some fascinating observations about life, choices, and how to live and be in relationships that really hit the nail on the head for me. Remember how I said Allegiant is the most thoughtful of the books? That's what saved the book for me - the delving deep into ideas, Tris' constant questioning of the truth, and the choices that she and Tobias make based on what they learn and believe.

For me, Allegiant was a much more intellectual book than Divergent and Insurgent, and because of that, I think readers looking for the action of the previous books might be surprised and a little disappointed. It doesn't move super quickly, but there are beautiful gems in the writing, and if you focus on the characters, I really believe that you will be blown away by how skillfully Roth articulates their emotions and development.

Bonuses:

I don't want to give anything away, so I'll leave you with only one bonus.


Heart-Squeezing Moments: Speaking of emotions and development...yes, there is steamy kissing. You will not want for making out, I promise.






The Final Word

Allegiant was really the culmination of all of the ideas and themes that Roth has been writing since the very first page of Divergent, so for me, it was a success, but readers looking for tons of action may be a little disappointed. It wasn't written completely to my liking, plot-wise and character-wise, it's a more than satisfying conclusion to the Divergent series, and one that die-hard fans will no doubt be talking about for a long, long time.

Have you read ALLEGIANT yet? If you have, how do you feel about the ending and the alternating voices? If you haven't, do you plan to read? What do you expect out of this, the ending of a blockbuster series? Hit the comments and let me know!

9 comments:

  1. Great job doing a no-spoilery review! The dual narration being indistinguishable was definitely one of my main complaints with the book; I kept confusing which character was narrating and having to look back as well!

    I do agree; Allegiant is more thoughtful and less action-packed, particularly than Insurgent, which for me, felt like it had a bit too much action.

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  2. I've noticed that the overall reception of this book has been markedly cooler than the first two.

    I'm okay with less action. Lots of dystopian books go too heavy on the violence I think, although it's too bad it gets so slow in the middle. I'm not a fan of alternating points of view either, so that's kind of a bummer. I'm still going to read this, and I plan on enjoying it. Thanks for the review!

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  3. Gosh....I am still waiting for my copy which I ordered through TBD. I have read the first two and am quite surprised that this one has the least action, would have thought with the ending of book two that it would be bang bang boom boom.

    About the alternating voices, maybe that's why Tris and Tobias get each other? Because they are so similar?

    But I really am looking forward to the deep ideas and thoughts and the right versus wrong thing to do. That's what I liked about the series to begin with. That there was substance to the story and not just one that was skating by on a simple idea without a proper basis.

    Thanks for the non-spoilery review! This is how I write my reviews too. Too many spoilers=might as well not read the book. So THANKS!

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  4. okaaay! i cant wait to read this book!(though I've only read Divergent). Thank you for not having any spoiler in your review. Im looking forward to that "Heart-Squeezing Moments"!! Thank you for sharing!! ^_^

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  5. Nice review. Forwarding to read this book after I finish reading Divergent. First chapters were good!

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  6. I became a little bit bored with Insurgent because it seemed to be more of the same story. I agree that Allegiant was something different and better.

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  7. Well, I still can see my comment up there! It was from last year. Right now, I continued reading Divergent and I'm looking forward in finishing it already. I'm so excited for Insurgent and Allegiant.

    P.S I do agree THG and Divergent are similar.

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  8. Great review! Most people either didn't like the ending or loved it. I loved it! <3

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  9. I thought it was pretty good as well. I hated the ending, but felt it was a totally believable way to end the series. I actually enjoyed this better than Insurgent, but Divergent was better than both for me. Great job of doing a review without spoilers!

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