Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Title : Allegiant - Book 3 in the Divergent trilogy
Author : Veronica Roth
Genre : Fiction / YA / Dystopian
Publisher : Harper Collins India
Pages : 526
My Rating : 7.5/10
Reviewed For :


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.

My Review:

Allegiant by Veronica Roth is the long-awaited finale in the Divergent Trilogy and perhaps the most powerful one in the series. I’ll admit it: When I first heard about this series, I passed it off as just another trilogy fitting into the currently trending YA dystopian stereotype and never had any high hopes from it. So it was with great skepticism that I went into Allegiant expecting not to like it a lot, but then 50 pages into the book and I was hooked. Very much like the first two novels in this trilogy – Divergent & Insurgent, this book too moves at a very fast pace making it difficult to put it down.

For the uninitiated, the basic premise of this series goes like this: It’s the distant future, and the world we know has metamorphosed into a different place altogether. The novel starts in the city of Chicago where the society is divided into five factions. Each of these factions is dedicated to a human virtue, a single type of behavior—those in Amity value peace, while the Dauntless are brave warriors. Members of Abnegation are selfless, while Candor values brutal honesty and those in Erudite hold intelligence dear. Our protagonist – sixteen year old Beatrice Prior (Tris) is born into an Abnegation family, however, she never quite feels comfortable in her family faction and has a hard time fitting in. On a given day each year, all sixteen-year-olds take an aptitude test that will tell them which faction they are best suited for. Tris shows equal aptitude for three factions: Abnegation, Erudite and Dauntless which makes her a “Divergent”. Much to everyone’s surprise, Tris chooses to be a Dauntless in the Choosing Ceremony and that’s where the plot in Divergent really kicks off. Divergent moves at a pretty fast pace leaving the readers breathless and Insurgent is an equally amazing follow-up to the explosive debut by Roth. Allegiant picks up right where Insurgent left off and plunges straight into the action. There’s no recapping of the events of the first two books, which means the reader should definitely be very familiar with the basic plot and characters of Divergent & Insurgent before picking up Allegiant.

Coming to Allegiant, Tris and everyone around her is shocked after the old video of Edith Prior reveals that there exists a world beyond Chicago and that the Divergent should be allowed to explore it. Also, following the video, Evelyn becomes the self-appointed leader & is forcing everyone to live without factions. Looking at the chaos that their city has become, Tris and Tobias (Four) cannot help but think about leaving Chicago to move on into the world beyond and the endless possibilities that it can offer. Meanwhile, Cara & Johanna form a secret group called the “Allegiant” and recruit Tris, Tobias and their friends. The Allegiant make a plan to send a group of people outside Chicago’s borders to explore the world on the other side of the fence. Tris, Tobias, Christina, Cara, Uriah, Peter, and Caleb successfully leave the city. Their arrival in the world outside Chicago opens a new path for Tris & Tobias but what they discover here shocks and disturbs them in equal measures bringing home the realization that once again they must take action to preserve what they hold most dear.

First of all, right at the beginning of this series Roth did a pretty amazing job in creating and building the future world. This setting is an integral part of the story and there are a lot of questions that the readers may ask when Divergent commences – “How did the world get to this point? What drastic changes occurred that morphed the society to such an extent?” Well, here is the good news – Roth continues with the amazing job and answers all the questions in Allegiant. In fact, Roth pulls in the readers in Tris’s world and builds so much anticipation regarding the outside world, that as a reader I was on tenterhooks and was racing through the story to know what lay beyond. Secondly, the major highlight of this read is Tris, she is the backbone of these books and is what makes them worth reading. At the start of the series, she isn’t perfect – she is impulsive and short-tempered, but she grows so much over the course of the book. Though there are still some shades of the impulsiveness and angst in this volume, it just makes her more realistic. In fact, by the end of Allegiant she no longer seems like a sixteen-year old; instead she seems like an old soul, matured by her past. Through the course of the series, she has lost a lot of good friends and her family and is crippled by her own guilt and self-doubt. It's easy to empathize with such a strong character who also has her own weak moments. But she also begins to realize how many more she can loose and starts picking up the pieces to build a new world around her. She becomes strong and wise but it takes a lot for her to come to that point.

Another strong highlight of this series is - Character development. Even in Allegiant, Roth continues to develop her primary as well as secondary characters consistently as well as realistically. No character goes out of their way to throw a surprise moment, everyone acts in exactly the same way had they been people in the real world. However, that in no way makes the read a predictable one; in fact that is what makes it all the more intriguing. But the ultimate redemption of this series lies in the final twist, though it was despised by a lot of fanatics but I thought it showed a certain amount of boldness and maturity on the author’s part. Also, as I said earlier, the pace of these books is incredible; Roth does not hesitate to kill off characters or spring out a twist at every turn, thus recreating the entire storyline completely in a new way. Tris’s mother’s back story adds welcome depth to the story.

Coming to the letdowns, this book introduces Four as a parallel narrator along with Tris, which should have been exciting since it gives an interesting insight into his mind. But despite providing a fresh and alternative perspective, it fell short almost to the point of being bland. Also, the pace in this read is not balanced. The first few chapters roll along smoothly and then there is a sudden flurry of activity. Sometimes, it feels as if everything is happening in a blur, which might overwhelm the reader!!

So all in all, I thought it was a pretty decent read. It’s definitely interesting, if not what you are expecting. The choices that Tris & Tobias make have far-reaching impact in this read but they it is only by making these fateful choices they come to terms with the fact that their destiny is not something hypothetical; but it lies in the choices that they make. If you are looking for a fast paced read and haven’t picked up this series yet, you should definitely do it as soon as possible.

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