Sunday, 26 July 2015

Allegiant - Review

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' 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 to complexities of human nature - and of herself - while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice and love.

Oh, so much disappointment ... I can't even ...

I haven’t properly reviewed the Divergent series even though I adored Divergent and enjoyed Insurgent almost as much. However my feelings on Allegiant were so strong I felt compelled to write up my jumble of thoughts and disappointment into something resembling a constructive, coherent review. I find it hard to believe that Allegiant was written by the same author. Clumsy title aside, I can hardly believe it's from the same trilogy. Where to start? What happened to the well-written characters of Divergent and Insurgent? What happened to the tight, if slightly contrived, plotting? Just ... what happened?! (Rant over!)

After escaping the Erudite compound and leaving the confines of the city of what was once Chicago, Tris and Four join the factionless where they learn of a rebellion (the titular Allegiant) to overthrow the tyrannical leader Evelyn and reinstate the old way of life before the divergent experiments. While they both find their loyalties torn to different sides of yet another war, their relationship begins to crumble.

I've read lots of complaints about the ending of this book, which I won't spoil, but suffice to say I think it was a brave choice from the author and makes sense given what we've learned about characters and their motivations in the previous two books and I applaud Roth for not taking the easy way out. Given what we’ve learned about Tris as a character and what motivates her, it’s a fitting conclusion. Other than that though, the book was a tedious chore to get through. Not an awful lot happens for great stretches, then random action is crammed into a few pages. Much of the plot of the first two books has dropped entirely in favour of entirely new plot threads which come out of nowhere and invalidate much of what has come before. Why work so hard on the set up in Divergent and Insurgent only to start off on an almost completely new tangent in Allegiant?

Characters change on a whim and the dual pov from Tris and Four is utterly pointless (until the ending where is becomes apparent why this was done) because there's little difference in their tone or narration and barely any new information to be gleaned. I'd often forgot whose chapter I was reading until one started shouting at the other. Four has gone from a brooding badass to a whiney crybaby, his actions often petulant and childish, and in one notable instance, downright idiotic. Tris has gone from a strong, resilient character to a pale imitation and chapter upon chapter is given to their tedious and repetitive arguments. New characters and plot threads are introduced with no set up and no pay off, almost relegating Tris to a supporting character in her own story at times. It says a lot that even the title of the book no longer refers to Tris, but rather the rebellion itself.

Perhaps I would have been less critical of Allegiant if the first two books hadn’t been so good. The drop in quality here is one of the biggest I’ve ever seen in any book series. There's no tight storyline here as there was in the first two books, the plot going round and round in circles while still managing to be dull until the abrupt ending. Honestly, the single most disappointing climax to a series I have ever read.


  1. I agree with you! This ending was such a huge let down and just ugh! Great review!

    Carrie @The Book Goddess

    1. Thanks Carrie. I was so disappointed by this book, I have no idea how they're going to make it into one movie, much less a two-parter. It's so messy!

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