Reading Level: Young Adult
Size: 544 pages
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: October 22, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: 3rd book in the Divergent series
Rating: 3/5 stars
This was the third (and final) book in the Divergent series by Roth. It was well written and I still enjoy Roth’s writing style, however the story itself was a disappointment.
The story switches between Tris’s and Tobias’s point of view. Tris is languishing in lockdown after releasing information that Tobias’s mother (and leader of the Factionless) didn’t want released. Tobias is walking a fine line; he doesn’t really support what his mother is doing but wants to be in the know and wants her to trust him. Tobias also wants Tris released. Then both characters learn about a faction called Allegiant which is against what the Factionless are doing. When Tris and Tobias get involved with the Allegiant they are asked to travel beyond the fence and see what’s out there. Both of them hope that beyond the fence will be a better place where they can start anew.
It honestly took me a while to figure out what I thought about this book. There are certain things that happen at the end that will piss off the reader big time. So I had to take some time and think the book through in order not to just have the “Oh, my God I hate this book” reaction. In the end I realized that there were a lot of things…not just the ending…that I was disappointed about.
I think a lot of these dystopian trilogies suffer from poor endings. I mean really, the first book is the big reveal of a cool new world and neat ideas. The second book is further development of those ideas. The third book has to resolve stuff, and that’s tough when honestly the resolution is usually a bit convoluted and boring. I mean ultimately you are looking at replacing a corrupt system with a better one…and that’s not all that exciting or easy to do in an entertaining way. I can’t think of one dystopian series I have read where the final book in the series is better than the earlier books.
I did like that Tris and Tobias actually tried to work through their relationship problems. However, even this got a bit old…they have the same problems over and over again. The chemistry between these two seems to have cooled off some in this book.
The book is very readable and well written, I am not sure I liked how convoluted the story got. I was a kind of disappointed when Tris and Tobias get out of the city and find very similar problems to what they faced in the city. There are multiple factions outside the city and people are not being treated fairly. The outside was just an echo of the inside of the city (or visa versa). The addition of more and more different factions just got old…and to be honest boring. No surprises, nothing all that interesting or groundshaking. I was having trouble staying awake as I read this book.
This is a long book…I feel like a lot of what is in here was unnecessary and just added complication. The whole thing ends up being a war between Tobias’s dad and Tobias’s mom…which is kind of dumb and disappointing. Not to mention the vast number of coincidences that happen in this story to lead the reader to that point. It just came of as convoluted and contrived.
Also, while I understand the ending of the book and why it was possibly the most realistic path forward, I also think it wouldn’t have killed Roth to write an ending that was just a little bit more happy. It would have been nice to give the reader a bit more hope that things in this world were going to go the right way in the end. As mentioned above this is part of why I am getting sick of dystopia…they never end all that happy.
Overall definitely the weakest book of the trilogy. I still enjoy Roth’s writing style but I thought that what Tobias and Tris found Outside was disappointing, boring, and just added complication that didn’t need to be there. I didn’t enjoy the addition of yet more groups and factions and the fact that the whole thing ended up being more of a war between Tobias’s parents than anything else. I also didn’t like the ending, although I understand how it fit the story well. I really wasn’t a fan of this book, it felt more like a necessary evil I had to read to finish this series than anything else.
All that being said, the first two books in this series were absolutely excellent. So I still recommend the series as a whole; it is really really well done. Unfortunately this final book was probably my biggest disappointment of 2013.