Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Allegiant Review (without spoilers)
After loving Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth, I preordered the final edition of the trilogy, Allegiant, as soon as I found it was available (I think that was May). Then I waited.
If you've seen the reviews or heard discussions about it, you probably know a lot of people are upset. While I wasn't completely thrilled with it (as I was with the first two), I still came away liking it overall.
Here are some of my thoughts, without spoilers. (If you have read it already and don't mind discussing it, see my other review with spoilers.)
Let's start with the tough parts.
The first thing that bothered me was where the book started. Divergent (the first book) had ended with some action resolved and some still underway, and Insurgent (book 2) picked up exactly sentence-for-sentence where Divergent left off. It was a straight continuation. We dove right into the action.
Insurgent also ended with some action resolved and some still underway (and kind of "Holy crap! What is going on here?"). With Allegiant, Roth had the opportunity to again step right in at the exact moment of action which would have propelled me the reader right back into the story.
Instead, she starts off a few days or a week after where Insurgent left off, then backtracks through narration to fill us in. Instead of starting with a bang, it ho-hummed me into the story.
The second thing that bothered me (also right off the bat) was the alternating points of view. Chapters alternated between Tris narrating and Tobias narrating, and I don't feel it was effective. This is partly because Tris and Tobias are often in the same place, so it's not necessary to split perspectives to get the whole story.
More importantly, Tris's and Tobias's voices are not different enough, so I often forgot who was narrating and got confused by a "he said" or "she said" (Wait… Who said? Who else is there? Oh right, we're in so-and-so's head now.)
Another problem I had was the awkwardness of Tris and Tobias. There was drama between them that I thought had previously been resolved and everything just felt awkward- from their dialogue, to the way they acted. It felt forced.
Yet with all that, I still liked the book overall. I liked the plot all the way through, more or less (the part about society and human behavior, not the Tris and Tobias drama).
I like that Roth proposes multiple theories about how society got to where it was in the book and where it could go from there. I like that she isn't afraid to shake things up and change things (Joss Whedon is known for this, too).
"I've heard the end is bad," you say? I liked it. I think it fits with the story. I'll say nothing more. When you're finished reading, you can go discuss over at that other review with spoilers.
So yeah, I read it and I liked it. Some things could have been done differently or written a little better, but I am satisfied with it. I think it's probably worth 3.5 stars out of 5 (unlike the 5 stars I gave the earlier two books).
If you've read the first two, I think this one is worth reading. Go in with a little bit lower expectations. Keep an open mind and enjoy the ride.
Out of respect for people who haven't read Allegiant yet, please keep your comments on this post vague. If you want to discuss particular plot points or get into the nitty-gritty, hop on over to that other review with spoilers and add you comments there.