“Since I was young, I have always known this: Life damages us, every one. We can’t escape that damage.
But now, I am also learning this: We can be mended. We mend each other.”
Veronica Roth’s Allegiant is, without a doubt, one of the most anticipated releases of 2013 for many teen and adult readers. It is also the conclusion to a series that has become exceedingly popular, birthing its own base of fans that will soon be treated to a movie rendition. Along with that comes a great deal of pressure, certainly for the author but for readers as well. Will the book conclude the series satisfactorily? How will the stories end for these much-beloved characters? The questions are endless and no matter what an author does, there will be readers who love it and others who don’t. After concluding Allegiant I feel that Roth ended the Divergent series with loyalty to her vision and its characters, as well as incorporating some ground-shaking surprises that kept the book exciting right to the very end.
Tris and Four, along with their former-Dauntless companions, are facing a new world. When a video reveals they are not alone in the world, they must decide if they will seek out unknown possibilities or stay in the only place they have ever known but which is dissolving into rebellion between the factionless and the Allegiant, those who wish to see the factions returned to their previous place of importance. When they do decide to leave they are welcomed into an organization that reveals that their city has been an experiment, an attempt to repair damaged genes and DNA. This ideal of damaged and pure genes will come to consume them and will eventually cause Four, always the sturdiest of the group, to question his self worth. When the survival of their former city becomes endangered Tris and Four, along with old and new alliances, will make a final stand against enemies inside and outside of the city, one that will only come to fruition through forgiveness and sacrifice.
I was one of those readers who was unsure how it would end, but I will say that after finishing Allegiant I believe Roth has done an admirable job of bringing such a popular series to its end. I had some issues with Insurgent (specifically that I had a hard time keeping track of the characters and what their purpose was in the story line, along with finding the story somewhat fractured) but none of those were present in Allegiant. All of the characters played crucial roles in the progression of the story. Four’s struggle was one of the more interesting evolutions to read. In Insurgent we watched Tris suffer from the aftermath of her actions, but the uncertainty Four experiences is of a completely different nature. Roth has turned the former dynamic on its head; Tris is the individual who is certain and unswayable, while this time around it is Four who questions his purpose. The tension between them is different than the previous novel, but it too stems from the changes in the environment around them.
One of the discussions I had with a friend was the change in narrative. Unlike the previous two books, parts of this story are told from Four’s point of view. At first it seems a little disjointed but by the end of the novel you can understand why Roth decided to take this route. It is also interesting to take into account that Roth published a short online novella about Four during the summer of 2013 and more will be coming in the near future. This might also explain why Roth made Four’s a voice a much more central aspect for this final installment.
Of the series, Divergent is still my favorite. I loved the factions, the way in which they structured society and placed characters in defined categories according to their strengths and values. I found the characters did the most developing in that book as well. However, I do admire how Roth ended her series, taking a route that I didn’t think she would and possibly risking upsetting a few readers in doing so. For that fact alone, I will say that Allegiant is a fitting finish to the Divergent series.
The Divergent series is often compared to or recommended to those who enjoyed the Hunger Games and while they are different, they do contain some of the same themes, emotions and challenges that have made both so popular with readers of all ages. Both are social commentaries in their own right and both declare that people, however willing or unwilling they may be, can make a difference. It’s a message worth relaying to teens and even adults. Allegiant concludes a thrilling series with a memorable ending and a lingering respect for the choices Roth has her characters make.
Devon – a1000booklife
Other books by Veronica Roth: Divergent (2011) and Insurgent (2013)