Allegiant – Veronica Roth.
I have been waiting so long for the final instalment of this series and now it’s here and I was expecting explosions and excitements because there isn’t going to be another and I just…. I’m a little disappointed. Beware, this review may fall into the category of spoilers, though I do try my hardest not to reveal anything too major. If you’ve not read any of the others, this might be a bit spoilery for those too. Just a heads up.
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.
Like Divergent, this took a really long time to actually get going, there were lots of petty moments with the factions and the factionless in the city, some of which seemed kind of pointless, (in fact, a lot of things that happened in the first two books seem kind of pointless now that the endgame is revealed) but once I got past that, I finished the whole thing in about two days, which is kind of an achievement, this thing is over 500 pages long!
There were a few things that niggled me though.The idea of the factions still makes about as much logical sense as a kettle made of ice. I didn’t really understand how the factions worked in Divergent, now, three books into the series, I still don’t really get how they worked, why anyone thought it was a good idea, or why they were never threatened by the factionless because there always seemed to be so many more of them, or why, given where the story went in this book, those that were factionless even remained in the city in the first place. But, oh well, I guess now the series is over, these things will never become clear to me. You know what else I never understood from the other books in this series, Caleb. Why did he do what he did in the first place? It’s never explained, he never explains himself, not really, not to Tris or Tobias. If I understood Caleb’s motivations, it would have made the ending so much better because then I could understand why Tris acts the way she does. But anyway, let’s move on shall we?
The whole good genes versus bad genes thing didn’t make much sense to me either, I know there is this whole debate about nature versus nurture and are people inherently evil or are they taught those behaviours. There is room for both arguments, but I kind of think that the whole idea of geneology is used in a cop out kind of a way in this book. Almost like it’s magical. Tris has magic genes and that’s what makes certain people want to kill her and other people want to keep her alive. Other people don’t have magical genes, and this is why they are forced to live in squalor and be experimented on. Even though all of these people are just people with personalities and hopes and dreams. Tris, might have perfect genes, but she isn’t a perfect person. She has a constant death wish, is stubborn to the point of stupidity sometimes and has actually murdered someone. (The complete character assasination of both Tris and Four in this book was ridiculous, Four basically lost his identity and Tris reverted back into the sacrificial idiot that she was in Insurgent.) There are many characters in this series who don’t have perfect genes that are much more adjusted and well rounded. Don’t get me wrong, the genetics experiment as a story line is an amazing idea and Veronica Roth has created a dystopian outlook that most YA books can only dream of. My problem is that the more it was explained and the more I tried to understand it, the more it became a big ball of WTF.
I have only a secondary school knowledge of genes, but even I know that the gene thing just isn’t practical. Its just never gonna work. If you have the ability to genetically modify people and give them the genes that you want, then why don’t you instead of herding people into controlled environments and waiting around for eight generations for ‘perfect people’ to appear. Also, right, genes and traits are not the same thing, which seems to be a concept that gets confused at times. Things like intelligence, honour, virtue, bravery, these are personality traits, they are not related to genes. Genes determine height and eye colour, maybe intelligence to an extent, in the sense of how quickly you learn things, but whether or not you have pure genes does not make you virtuous or brave. And right – if you have a whole group of people with imperfect genes mating, surely those genes are just going to keep being passed on, that’s sort of how genes work isn’t it? Yes, the ‘perfect’ recessive genes might build up and you’ll get one or two kids with them, but that’s not really a very good outcome for an experiment of this size.
However, it was an interesting concept and it isn’t something that I have come across before so…
The main thing that kept me going through this story though was Tris and Tobias.
Tris and Tobias, man.
Whatever flaws I found in this story, the Tris/Tobias romance kept pulling me through. Seriously, I ship them so hard. Which kind of made the ending of the trilogy, without meaning to give into spoilers, even more painful. The epilogue and the last few chapters were especially poignant.
It’s just a shame that the rest of the book was full of plot holes and character disassembling. You know how the Hunger Games series is amazing but pretty much everyone hates the ending of Mockingjay? Well, Veronica Roth, please step up and stand with Suzanne Collins because the Divergent series is good, you have an awesome set of characters and a pretty good story, but, like Mockingjay, your series ending sucks.
If you have a group of people, that are planning to do something horrible in order to prevent chaos and instil peace, but you don’t agree with them, so you intend to use their plan only against them because you owe no loyalty to them, it doesn’t make the plan any more righteous. It also, doesn’t make you right. A terrible plan is still a terrible plan whether it’s the good guys or the bad guys doing the planning. If you’ve read Mockingjay, you’lI know how painful it is when you take your protagonist and make them do the exact thing that the enemy is doing.
I don’t have a problem with certain aspects of the ending, I kind of expected something like that to happen because of the dual narration, although, maybe that was just there so we could forget that Four actually has a personality. I sound really cynical. I am sorry, but this book was so disappointing.
What I have a problem with is how badly the whole thing seemed put together. I kind of wonder if the genetic element was Veronica Roth’s endgame, because that aspect of it seemed to come from nowhere, Insurgent told us there was life outside the city, but up until that point, the whole thing revolved around factions that didn’t make sense, suddenly in this book, we had factions and genetics that didn’t make sense. Also, we find out that everything that we learned in Insurgent was a lie, so doesn’t that kind of just make that entire book a bit pointless? I won’t reveal too much more because you know, this book is still fairly new but really? Really? I think with a little more world building, it could have been pretty freaking awesome. But, as it is right now, it’s just kind of mediocre.
The ending itself, I can understand, you may have thought it would bow out with a bang, but a whimper is more accurate. The entire thing is defused by the most ridiculous set of circumstances, apparently, complete and utter destruction can be solved by one main character being a dramatic hero, FOR ABSOLUTELY NO REASON and the other deciding to just visit their parents. Because obviously, someone who has shown themselves to be a merciless dictator will suddenly change their entire outlook on life based on a hug from a family member. There was no mention of the aftermath or any real resolution, which is what makes this book so disappointing.
I hate writing reviews like this, I would rather not review something unless it really offends me, but I am in the process of doing the SVFM Six Week Challenge, in which I have to review every book that I read for the next six weeks. I promised last time that I would insert a little graphic into each post to do with the challenge, so here it is instead of the Seal of Approval which is what I actually wanted to post at the bottom of this review.
The SVFM 6 week challenge runs from 1st November to 13th December, so, I’m very sorry about all the reviews that you’re going to have to trawl through in that time.
Hopefully, they will be more positive than this one was. I’m hoping that by doing this challenge it will make me a little more selective about the books I chose to read.