on 2 May 2012
This was one of the most anticipated books of the year and I know why. I LOVED Divergent as you can read from my review. I was late to the Divergent series party, but on the plus side I only had to wait a few months to get my hand on the sequel and boy was that a long few months. I don't know if I can wait a whole year for the third book in the series.
There are some spoilers in this review if you haven't read Divergent so be warned.
We have already been introduced to the dystopian society that Tris lives in and the five factions within it, but we learn so much more about them in Insurgent and more about the fantastic characters that make this series. Insurgent carries on right where Divergent left off. Tris made it into her chosen faction of Dauntless but now the factions are at war. Her and Four are still together and they meet up with a few surviving members of Abnegation, Erudite and Dauntless and try to find a safe haven. Amity refuse to take sides
Tris and Four learn a lot about each other through this book, there are a lot of rough patches that they go through and I wasn't sure they'd survive it. Their character grow and so does their love, but they still have trust issues, they are both stubborn and strong, not always a good combination. There are some sweet and swoon worthy romantic scenes, I would love to see more of these in the next book. Tris matures a lot throughout this book and you forget she's only a sixteen year old girl. She makes some stupid decisions I feel in this book, but always has her wits about her and always gives herself a fighting chance.
I really enjoyed learning more about how the Divergent are different to others in the factions in this book, even into the broken down elements of their brain, it was a really interesting read. I also loved reading more about the factions especially Amity we didn't hear much about in the Divergent.
Divergent is one of my favourite books and was unsure Insurgent could live up to it, but I was wrong, it was as awesome as Divergent was. The ending was brilliant, it came together answering so many questions, but left us hanging with an almighty cliffhanger. I was so tense through out reading this that I didn't relax until the end. Even then it was all I could think about. What's going to happen now?
This is one of the most action packed books I have read. Something happens on every page, bullets, punches and threats fly from all angles. Nothing in this book is black and white, good or evil, everyone has a reason for what they do whether it is right or not in the eyes of others. I can guarantee you will not be able to put this down, you won't eat, sleep or shower until you have gotten to the end of this book, it truly is amazing and Veronica Roth has totally blown me away.
on 3 May 2012
I can't see why the Divergent series isn't as amazingly popular in stores as it is online - it's brilliant, mature fantasy for those looking for something a little different. The first book was easily one of the best books I read in 2011 and Insurgent may just reach the same distinction for 2012. I wouldn't say it's as good as Divergent, but I imagine the second book of a trilogy is always the hardest to write.
Insurgent started out a little confusing for me - I hadn't read Divergent since September last year and the sequel jumps straight into the plot without really explaining or reminding you of a great deal. That said, apparently Veronica Roth purposely chose to do this and posted an explanation and a small reminder of what happened in the first book on her blog.
'I made an "artistic decision" in Insurgent not to do a lot of recapping (that device used in sequels to remind readers of what happened in the first book). Recapping is not a bad thing-- it is very useful, and often necessary--but I felt that it would bog down Tris's narrative and would sound unnatural in her voice.'
I can see her point, it would have sounded unnatural. However, I didn't know about the recap guide at the time and nor will a lot of the non-bloggers who pick up Insurgent from a bookstore. It's a great idea to post such a guide, but it didn't help me. Result - I spent the first quarter of the book more than a little confused and it did detract from my enjoyment a little.
Part of the appeal of this series, for me at least, is the complexity. It's not some simple little YA story that holds your hand and uses literative sock puppets to explain the plot. It's quite a political story and keeping straight the different factions and their relationships in your head isn't difficult, but it does take a little getting used to.
What impressed me the most about Insurgent is that it's the second book in a series that does not lose the feel of the first one. Middle books are difficult because they have to somehow keep a balance between the slow introduction of the first book and the climatic build-up of the third, and they often end up completely losing what made the first book so special. It happens all the time - dystopian society books sometimes distance themselves from the very society that was the point of the first. Not here though. It's absolutely wonderful - the city and the factions have changed since Divergent, but not unrecognisably. It's obviously still the same place, the same people and the same tone. Argh. This is what made this book for me.
You know what else? I actually liked the romance aspects, and I hardly ever do that. Tris and Four's relationship is wonderfully realistic - they love each other, but they don't always like each other, just like in the real world. They argue, but without feeling the need to make the reader drown in their angst. Four gets angry at Tris when she doesn't take care of herself properly - an argument I have honest-to-God had with my own boyfriend. Their romance doesn't take over the story, but it's a nice sub-plot that fits well. And trust me, I never say this.
Speaking of Tris... she's not amazing in this book. While not unbearable, she's a little more annoying than I remember her being in Divergent. She's definitely a strong female role model, but she tends to make stupid decisions that she promised not to make because somebody already told her exactly how stupid it really is.
A large part of the book revolves around some big secret that certain faction leaders know but won't share. Tris doesn't know what this is and KNOWS she doesn't know what this is, yet still makes a drastic decision about that secret without knowing anything about it. She seems to have lost the ability to actually think decisions through instead of making snap judgements based on her grief.
Actually, the grand revelation of that secret is what would have prevented me from giving this book five stars. You know, if I actually did ratings. It just wasn't... well, grand enough. I was expecting something a little more unique and shocking, and it fell a little flat. For me it didn't seem to fit with the tone of the book and didn't really deserve the way in which it was so fiercely protected by the faction leaders.
It was unfortunate that Insurgent ended on kind of a low point for me, because I really did love the rest of the book. It's fast-paced, continues the story brilliantly from Divergent and I can't wait for the next book. Like I said, I'm more than a little impressed how it managed to keep exactly the same tone and atmosphere from the previous. If only more YA novels could follow the precedent set by Veronica Roth!
Second books in trilogies are often the poor relations caught between the excitement of the beginning and the big climax - but Roth proves this rule wrong. Like Divergent, this feels fresh, gritty and compelling with a fierce heroine in Tris and a nicely complex hero in Tobias. Most of all, though, this book adds so much to the story that was started in Divergent, building on the world and plot-lines that were started there.
Some readers found it hard to buy into the set-up of Roth's world, and this book starts to unravel some of the foundations upon which it is built. Questions about the city and the fence, what might be `outside', (and I've always wondered about those mysterious trains...) start to intrude, and no-one is quite what we might previously have thought them to be.
So Divergent was a great start but this book raises the emotional stakes higher. Roth has combined great characters (though the minor characters still feel like little more than names), with a gripping plot and perfect pacing. I finished this in the early hours of the morning - and am biting my nails to read the next instalment.
on 12 April 2013
I've just finished Insurgent and 'Hmmmm...' is the overwhelming thought in my head. There is something with this series I just don't feel, and I think it's because I find Tris difficult. There's also the 'faction thing' for the people within the system: I find it hard to believe that they do not question a system that would seem to want you to be a particular way, but then encourages divergence by allowing the movement of people between the factions (nature / nurture...If they want pure, faction-matched people, why would the system allow movement...?) The conclusion of the book did go some way towards alleviating my issues there, in that it gives you an answer to the 'why'; but it doesn't explain why people inside the system should not see it as a flaw in their faction system to allow movement from one to another.
I'm not a Tris fan - I find her reactions to things too variable; she veers from being ultra-logical and self-aware to being obtuse and reactionary. Even with her 'divergent' brain I find it difficult to believe in someone so wildly erratic. It's almost as though she switches from one faction stereotype to another, without a natural blending of the various faction natures coming together. Maybe I'm wrong and she's like this exactly because of how she's been raised and so she cannot blend the various elements together, just use one at a time...if that's the case, there's some logic to that, but I find it difficult to believe as a true reflection of human nature.
There are characters I like in this series: I like the Dauntless banter and passion (with people like Uriah) and I'm OK with Four; Christina I also like, just as I did in Divergent. And the books are well-written, so that you get a feel for the environment...but I find I'm just mildly ambivalent with the book as a whole.
Overall, I found this book more interesting that the first - although it is reasonably long and I could walk away from reading it, so I know I wasn't gripped. Seeing more of the other factions was good - Divergent was too much Dauntless training for me, with not much of interest until the end of the book.
on 2 February 2015
I could not put this book down. I kept saying to myself one more chapter, with turned to 3. The flow of the book is amazing it is very easy to get lost in Tris' world. The story is very fast paced. Even being a slow reader, I ended up finishing the book in less than one weekend and started the next book straight away.
This deals with the fallout from the last book. Tris has to deal with the trauma of being forced to kill one of her best friends. That fact that it was self-defence does not seem to make it any easier. To this end she is incapable of carrying or firing a gun. This makes her a liability in certain life and death situations. Hiding her grief and guilt also puts a wedge between her and 4.
4 himself must make peace his former life as Tobias. A ghost of his past is resurrected with their own agenda. If you read 4 (the book) you can probably guess who that is otherwise read this one and enjoy. The factions themselves are in disarray. Half the Abnegation are dead. The Dauntless are split, by those that are pi$$ed with the Erudite and those who have decided to side with them (the latter group are branded Dauntless tractors). Both the Amity and Candor have managed to stay natural but they are reminded of their place in the pecking order by the Erudite. There are many revelations in the book (that keep coming till the last page), why the Erudite decided now was the time to attack, and what is their next move. Also Tris and Tobias may need to make deals with different devils to do what they believe is right possible at the expense of their own relationship.
This is a great book I really enjoyed it. It is not quite as action packed as the first book, but seems to move at an even faster pace. I don't mind missing some of the action in favour of character development. Once I started I had to know what happened next.
I am very late to the Divergent party and now really wish I had been punctual and read the books when they originally came out. I am absolutely hooked to the Divergent world and this second book was unbelievably even more unputdownable than Divergent. I had actually said to myself the other night that I was just going to read the first few chapters and then go to sleep but I ended up reading half of the book as I just had to know what happened to certain characters at a majorly large book plot moment. If you are a fan of YA and dystopian and are one of the rare few like me who haven't yet read the Divergent series then I highly recommend the series and urge you to read it. There are no book spoilers for Insurgent in this review but there are spoilers for the first book Divergent so don't read any further if you haven't read Divergent and don't want to know anything.
Wow what an ending to the first book! This book follows immediately on from the first with no breaks which I love when a series does this as it makes the world feel more real to me. Anyway following the attack simulation which Tris and Four managed to stop with the help of her Father, Marcus, Peter and Caleb the five remaining of them escape the madness on one of the trains headed for the Amity compound. Once there they call upon the Amity to choose a side as now all out war is threatening to take over their city with half of the Dauntless mortified of what the Erudite did to them and they have taken up with Candor and the other half more than happy to continue on with Erudite and their mad leader Jeanine. So will Amity choose a side or stay on the fence? Will Tris and Four manage to overthrow Erudite and Jeanine or has she darker plans for them and their friends? Will Christine be okay and will she forgive Tris if Tris reveals the truth about Will? And just what is the great secret if there is actually one that Abnegation didn't want to fall into Jeanine's hands?
An absolutely amazing read and I have been drawn into the world of Divergent and don't want to come back out. I absolutely love the character's Tris and Four and love the world that Veronica Roth has built. I have read some amazing books this year and this one is right up there with the best ones. I literally couldn't put the book down until after chapter 36 at one point and when you read the book you will see why. Also just when you think Veronica can't surely add any more twists to the book.....erm lets just say she does and Allegiant is set to be another amazing read. A must read book for fans of YA and Dystopian.
I absolutely loved Divergent, the first novel in Veronica Roth’s dystopian trilogy but then I also felt the same way about The Hunger Games and then became just that little bit more disappointed as the series unfolded. I truly hoped that Insurgent would grow in story and strength and drive me to the last book in the series. I was to be honest a little bit disappointed.
Firstly there is no gentle lead into the book, it dives straight in with no recap of the events of Book 1, which means if like me you’ve had a break between books you may need to recap on who’s who in the surrounding characters. This meant I spent the first chapter or so trying to reestablish my understanding of who did what to whom and where allegiances lay.
Secondly I really went off the Hunger Games series when it became too military in it’s nature, all guns and war and fighting and unfortunately Insurgent suffers this same fate. The book is truly just one big series of people picking sides, deciding who will fight who and then people getting shot/injured/captured, delete as appropriate. There were pages where I’d find my mind wandering as Tris suffered yet more angst about who she was shooting, how this tore her apart and what faction she was aligning herself to now. Then I’d snap back to focus and find I hadn’t missed that much.
The book had some redeeming features, it had a brilliant ending that has left me with enough curiosity to read book 3 because I do need to know more about how the series will conclude. Also some of the quieter moments of the book when we stop talking about guns, fighting and war for a few pages and focus on life inside the factions are actually quite nice. It’s a shame that more time wasn’t spent on this instead of the ongoing dramas between Tris & Tobias.
It is clear we are reading a Young Adult novel as the constant need for them to stop all action as soon as they get even remotely intimate is really annoying. It makes their relationship feel transient and less important, like they just skirt around each other and moon around in the middle of a huge war whilst failing to move their relationship beyond petty squabbles and lack of trust.
It is a 3 out of 5 book but only just, I give it this mark in hope that book 3 will make the drawn out nature of this book apparent by explaining why it had to be written the way Roth did. Too much action and not enough emotive writing means it fell short of expectation.
on 17 June 2013
Oh. My. Gosh.
This was just amazing! I didn’t think that a sequel could be better than the first in a series, but I was so wrong. There was a lot more action, but it was entertaining. I couldn’t put it down. Insurgent takes readers on a journey filled with mystery, adventure, and a search for the truth.
Insurgent was everything I loved about a book. It had that mysterious side, very intriguing, with Tris’ constant search for the truth. The characters were more developed and I really connected with them throughout the story. And there were those crazy shockers that made Insurgent such a page turner! The story line was so creative, and I never knew what was going to happen next.
Although Divergent is a favourite for me, I enjoyed Insurgent more. We learned a lot more about the society Tris lives in, and the way of the factions, which wasn’t really explained in the first book. I also thought Divergent was bit more predictable. Insurgent was totally unpredictable, especially the ending, and you’ll agree with me if you’ve read it. We got to learn a lot more about the characters in Insurgent. Tobias was a bit mysterious and we didn’t know much about him in the first book, but his character really develops in the sequel and we learn about his past.
"Fighting for survival in a shattered world… The truth is her only hope"
We were introduced to a lot of new characters in this book, as well as learning more about the main characters. I liked that we got to know more about each of the factions and their way of living. I loved the cover of the book, the symbol of Amity, and thought that it really suited the story. It definitely helped me to understand their society better.
Insurgent was definitely action-packed, but it wasn’t overloaded with it. No one likes a story where they are constantly fighting. Everything was leading up to the nail-biting action moments. So, I’m not a big fan of action novels, but if you have just the right amount along with great writing and other the other aspects of a good story, it can be brilliant.
"I have done bad things. I can’t take them back, and they are part of who I am."
There were a lot of moments I was anticipating when I started reading Insurgent. Tris having to break the news to Christina that she killed Will was a big one. I liked that Tris wasn’t made out to be this big hero that’s indestructible. She had to suffer the guilt of killing one of her best friends. Tris’ search for the truth made Insurgent a page turner for me. Veronica Roth did a great job at pulling her readers into the story.
The ending was the biggest shocker! There was a time at the end when I thought we would find out the secret that was being hidden from he rest of the society, but during the last few pages the truth was revealed. Everything was leading up to the shocker of an ending and I was certainly surprised. After I finished the book, I couldn’t believe that I had to wait so long for the third book in the series. All I can say is, well done Veronica, brilliant ending.
Overall, I loved Insurgent and it is one of my favourite books. Veronica Roth is a brilliant writer, and great at keeping her members hooked onto the story. There isn’t really anything negative I can say about Insurgent, it’s just perfect. I can’t wait to read the third book in the Divergent series and check out any of Veronica’s future works.
on 26 August 2012
I've been putting off writing this review for too long! I needed plenty of time to digest my thoughts, but it's been long enough. Insurgent is a fabulously fast-paced and action-packed addition to the Divergent trilogy. It begins just seconds after the first book, Divergent, has ended. The blood-pumping action and vivid world building will not disappoint a single reader. There were, however, other things beyond the action and glimpses into the other factions that led me to not enjoy this book as much as the first one.
Tris is a completely different person. While I understand that the horrific and gruesome events at the end of Divergent would affect anyone, Tris has changed by the beginning of the second book. In Insurgent, she's much more impulsive and rash, and more often than not, she's lost the ability to be cool and calculated. It's her extreme death wish that causes turbulence in her relationship with Tobias (Four). He wants her to calm down and think things through and believes her insane selflessness is actually selfish. And I agree. If she had been killed, nearly all hope would be lost! But Tris doesn't think like that when she thinks everything has gone to the dogs. I am by no means implying that this character change isn't believable or written well, I just found it annoying.
The writing in this book is absolutely superb! Veronica Roth manages to weave in so much more world building than in Divergent, while upping the pace dramatically. The pacing was so quick and intense, it felt like there was a gun pointed to the reader's head. Perhaps that's also why you feel like you can't stop reading! I adored discovering new things about the other factions that we hadn't seen much of before. In Insurgent, Tris visits all of the faction compounds and the reader gets a better sense of what each one is about. Well done, there.
Overall, this book is extremely action-packed. Bullets will fly when you read this book. However, I got distracted at times by Tris not thinking like she used to and acting too impulsively. With that being said, I truly cannot wait to get my hands on the third book (whatever it may be called!). Insurgent ends with a huge bang and will leave everyone gasping for answers straight away. I recommend this book to any action junkie, especially if you like unique dystopias.
on 28 May 2012
Everybody knows that anticipation can be both wonderful and terrible. When you spend a long time wanting something, sometimes when you get it, it fails to meet all those high expectations. That was not the case with Roth's sequel.
INSURGENT LIVED UP TO MY EVERY HOPE!
The dystopia in which Tris lives becomes even more vivid in Insurgent. The politics and power-struggles are more fierce, the themes of control and rebellion are more poignant. I loved the direction that this book took.
Tris and Four's relationship hit some speed--bumps in this book, which is common in sequels. However, I'm glad that this remained a background conflict. Both Divergent and Insurgent keep the love interest as a pleasant aside, instead of making it the heart and soul of the story.
I particularly loved the exploration of each faction in this book. While we saw a lot of the Abnegation and Dauntless factions in the first book, there were more situations involving Amity, Erudite and also The Factionless in Insurgent. I also really enjoyed how much more we learned about Tobias/Four's family.
In my opinion, the book had only two teeny-tiny little drawbacks. Nothing so big that I'm going to give this any less than five stars! The first was that Tris kept shutting Tobias out. I always find it irksome in books when characters don;t just talk about things which are blatantly going to cause trouble. Still, it did up the conflict. The second thing was something which always annoys me about sequels...
You know when you watch a TV show which ends on a big cliffhanger and then you have to wait a week for the second part? Well, before part two airs there's always a catch up, right? A quick 'n' dirty thirty-second recap which just refreshes the ol' noggin. Well, the older I get and the more books I read, the more I think all series books should have a paragraph or two at the start which reminds people like me what the hell is going on! Like I said, I'm not gonna take a star off because I get confused easily! He he.
All in all, this rocked. I can't wait for book three to come out. The ending of this book promises BIG things and it's going to be an agonising wait!