Release Date: October 22, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
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. (courtesy of Goodreads.)
It seems almost inevitable that the final book in a beloved series will disappoint. I was disappointed by Breaking Dawn and so disappointed by Mockingjay that it tainted my view of the whole series. I expected not to like Allegiant, especially after hordes of fans were spitting fire at Veronica Roth like deranged dragons. My opinion differs from many readers. I love, loved the ending. The journey to that point...not so much.
Allegiant was somewhat of a chore until that last 100 pages, at which point wild horses couldn't drag me away from the novel. The plot dragged along in a dozen different directions. Tris and Tobias are basically in a new world with new rules and new problems. I'm glad we got to see something new in Allegiant. The basic Faction world has been done over the past two books, but it felt like Veronica set a high bar for this new world and didn't quite reach it. There's so much information that you're liable to choke on it. There are new characters, quasi-love triangles (not really - don't worry). Too much time spent explaining and too little time making me care.
The dual points of view between Tris and Tobias are also a big bone of contention. For the most part, I liked this. I'm almost always a fan of multiple points of view because I like exploring a world through more than one set of eyes. Having Tobias's perspective in this book allowed me to see Tris and Tobias in different ways. On the other hand, it was often hard to remember which character's head I was in at any point in time. Their voices were too similar. This wasn't a big deal; you could tell who it was within a few paragraphs, but it did distract.
I didn't like the heavy make-out scenes between Tris and Tobias. It felt like they were extra pages tacked in because - "It's a YA book; we have to meet our quota of kissing scenes!" I didn't feel that way reading Divergent or even Insurgent. Here, it distracted from the greater story. Which is too bad, because I love the Tris and Tobias pairing in this novel. Through the dual perspective, you really see how good the characters are for each other. They are each well-intentioned people who have the potential to do some really bad things; the other person acts as a conscience. They make each other better. Theirs is a relationship of equal strength, equal power, and equal respect. Even the Hunger Games didn't quite achieve that in my eyes (Katniss had the upper hand always).
Now for the ending. I'm not going to say what it is. There's a big twist, obviously. I was lucky not to be spoiled. But I think it helped that I knew that something big was happening. I had prepared myself for anything. I thought the ending was great. It was different. I didn't think it was a cop-out. It was a brilliant, brave choice that felt real.
Allegiant is far from a perfect book. It's never a bad book, but doesn't match the total love I had for Divergent (definitely the best book of the three). The ending though... The ending makes up for almost all the problems and makes it a wonderful, memorable book.
Rating: 4 / 5
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