Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Allegiant is the final book in the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth. It is a 526 page dystopian YA novel published in October of 2013. If you don’t care about reading the first two, continue on, otherwise you may want to read with caution as *HERE BE SPOILERS* for books 1 and 2.

Allegiant continues the plot from Divergent and Insurgent, which feature a dystopian Chicago where factions used to exist to coordinate society based on positive traits people had the most affinity for. Unfortunately, the faction system has broken and the factionless are vying for control. Tris and Tobias venture outside the bounds of the city to figure out a better solution than endless warring between factioned and factionless.

The story is told in a back and forth diary-esque style between Tris and Tobias. While I became confused many times as to which character I was reading at the time,  it was nice to get a different perspective from Tris’s annoying teenage angst in Insurgent. It was also refreshing to see Tobias go from the strong silent type on the outside to the doubting and introspective son of an abusive father and absent mother. This added some real depth to what previously seemed a pretty stereotypical character.

Along with a new POV, it was refreshing to get out of the city and into a new part of land and story. However, it seems a little unrealistic that so much existed outside of Chicago and no one ever left the city and returned to tell what they found. There were a lot of inquiries I would need to make about the structure of the current government and landscape of the world to accept that this society could have existed, but unfortunately the book only answered a few of my questions.

Past the plausibility of the setting and such, the characters were at least more complex in this novel. Tobias’s growth through his sections, especially in the end of the novel, was a nice respite from Tris. Their sections supplemented each other pretty well.

I don’t really want to spoil the ending of the novel, but honestly it was one of the most pivotal endings I’ve ever read and I congratulate Roth for doing something I never expected. Shaking up the foundations of the story is what saved the book for me in the end. The first 3/4 of the book felt sort of meh in comparison to the implosive ending. It seems like many are upset with what happens, but I think it couldn’t have ended any other way. This probably sounds really cryptic if you haven’t read the novel. If you’re dying to know what happens but don’t plan to read the book, or don’t care if it’s spoiled, I would love to spoil it for you.

After an underwhelming feeling from reading Tris’s perspective, Tobias was a nice addition. It still did little for the plot of the novel though, which I felt was lacking some substance and emotion (even though people die?! Maybe I’m just heartless). However, the strong ending–before the epilogue–made me reconsider the novel and what Roth did with the entire series, which, although it is not the best YA trilogy I’ve read, it’s also definitely not the worst. The epilogue felt unnecessary, but at least put my mind at ease.

Overall it was relatively quick read. It didn’t elicit too much emotion until the end, which rocked me. I can’t say I would recommend the book unless you’ve read the first two. Even then, I would hesitantly recommend it if only for what Roth does at the end. Regardless, I am probably going to see Divergent, and am interested to see where they go with the films.

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