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3.9 out of 5 stars
Allegiant (Divergent Trilogy)
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123 of 132 people found the following review helpful
on 29 April 2014
NB: Plot and ending spoilers.

Like many other readers here, I felt compelled to write a review. This has been on my mind for days and I need to get it off my chest; I'm still having irritated outbursts whenever I think about this book.

Firstly, I really enjoyed the first two and eagerly read them having watched the first film. The story was interesting and held my attention, the characters were unique and likeable. Although there were tragedies and difficult topics, they were dealt with sensitively and with due care and consideration.

Needless to say, Allegiant was not like that. I persevered (had I known the ending, I wouldn't have), expecting that it would improve and fall into place. It didn't. I was genuinely upset at the end. I was left with the sense the whole book was a missed opportunity and the overwhelming feeling that I had been cheated of my time and money. I felt the characters had not received a just and well-thought out ending. Unsurprisingly, I have several complaints that made this book an actively negative contribution to my reading experience.

Firstly, we had Tobias' voice. This could have been brilliant. He's an engaging character; damaged, courageous, kind, fiercely loyal, all the things that make someone appealing in YA fiction. This was the first missed opportunity, the first hurdle at which our author had some inexplicable problem. Tobias was (amazingly) terribly boring. There was nothing distinctive about his voice. I kept having to check whether it was him or Tris, such was my confusion. I do not suffer from a short attention span, it was just poorly written (why? I don't know, there was nothing in the previous books that suggested this would be the case). He had a miraculous character change from an independent and headstrong man to a naive loser, who seemed suddenly incapable of independent will and ideas. Why would a character that is suspicious of authority and what other people tell him about himself (given he was horribly abused), suddenly believe some ridiculous category inflicted upon him by an obviously misguided group of people? Why would he ignore Tris, when he had already learned his lesson in the previous book? It is implausible and had no understandable mitigating circumstances which could justify it. But alas, this was the most minor of the offences that make this book utterly unsatisfying.

Secondly on characters; Evelyn and Marcus. Roth had done some great work here with deep, interesting plots - people with genuinely complex and difficult relationships. Did we get any closure here? No. Evelyn just ran away and Marcus disappeared without a event. The possibilities here were immense, why the cop out?

Then we had what was beyond the fence. This was a massive, irredeemable anti-climax and if I'd been a bit more cynical I would have given up and realised it wasn't going to improve, as this was probably the point of no return. The premise is a very boring, dressed up utopian idea about purity (in this case genetic rather than racial) that lead to exterminations and random experiments. There was the Purity War which was never properly explained as well as being a bit far-fetched. Even the characters seemed to have trouble with it. This bizarre context also randomly incorporated Big Brother (but wasn't as scary or compelling), which added nothing but further implausibility. It is perhaps unsurprising then that the characters were underdeveloped or poor imitations of previous ones, so I didn't feel anything about them, other than confused and disappointed that they weren't better.

The ending. Where to begin. The logic was odd, like everything else. The Bureau was a relatively benign dictatorship as far as they go and simply reseting the city did not seem all that bad, given it was a mess. The fact the characters wanted to leave in the first place suggests that they didn't care very much about what happened there, so why bother at all? They also had time to go and collect various people to save, so why not do that and leave everyone else? or notify Evelyn and Marcus so they could put aside their numerable differences to negotiate a truce in time for the greater good or self preservation? The possibilities were vast but once again missed.

Finally, I categorically disagree that Tris' 'sacrifice' was something to be particularly proud of. I understand the biblical no greater love than laying down your life for your friends etc. But nothing about this made any sense. Tris could have saved Chicago (albeit with above plot flaws) without being shot and killed by a supposed former friend of her mother's. This would have redeemed it in my eyes, I could have forgiven all of the above of Roth had granted us this; killing her was unnecessary and upsetting. It would have been better to have her injured (and make us wonder whether she was dead) and then have the happy ending we all wanted. I don't buy the realism line or excuse, nothing about this book was 'real', so why start now? I don't read fiction for realism, thanks very much, I have my own life for that. I read books for entertainment and this was not entertaining. Tragedy can be, but this wasn't, it felt unfair. After this sad demise, I kept expecting that she would miraculously survive somehow; she's a survivor after all and had beaten the odds every time. But the disappointment continued. Instead I had an ending full of unsatisfying grief (this wasn't enough in my view, Tobias was until the end quite dull) and a rubbish scattering of ashes scene. This was not a good ending. Where was the closure? What had Tobias learnt? Life's not fair, you'll never get what you want, those that love you always leave, tough luck? What had Tris learned? Sacrifice means dying for a good cause? It doesn't have too, as she had already understood. I think her parents would have wanted her to live and have a good life (doesn't every parent?); arguably they died so she could have that. Why kill her? I'm utterly mystified.

So in short: I'd avoid the series altogether or at the very least avoid this book. I wish I had. If you feel like you want to finish it, prepare to be unsatisfied and disappointed. All I got out of it was feeling thoroughly depressed and now irritated. I'm also 20 pounds poorer.

As someone else has already said, you might as well make up your own ending after Insurgent, it will be much better than Roth's strange and inexplicable attempt.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 2014
****SPOILERS*******

I loved Divergent. I thought the idea and the futuristic 'what if' the future world becomes like this was fantastic. I could not put it down. Then I read Insurgent and although it wasn't as good as the first - a lot of times the second books aren't as good because typically you fall in love with the first book of a series and that's why you read the second. I did love Insurgent too though, the ideas were still clever and exciting and you couldn't see where it would go. You fall more in love with Tobias/Four and you feel for Tris and how tortured she is over having to kill one of her best friends. The ending to Insurgent has me gasping! I knew something was outside of the fence, the fence was obviously there for a reason. But I thought it was to protect the people of some great terrifying evil. However, as you find in Allegiant that is not the case.

Allegiant -

I was excited to read this book, I thought it would round off a brilliant series perfectly. I was so wrong. When they get outside of the fence they find that they were in some sort of big brother experiment because their ancestors genes were mutated and 'wrong' and genetically damaged 'GD' and somehow a Purity War broke out (although not explained in full detail). And the only way to fix this wrong gene was to put them all into these 'experiments' and watch them until the divergent 'genetically pure' people with perfectly normal genes start to emerge.

However, I find this idea ridiculous! If you put all the GD people into one location and then they have babies they are all going to be GD's too...their genes will not magically change because they will have the same genes passed from their parents onto them. Which is genetically DAMAGED in the eyes of the people outside of the fence. Please correct me if I am wrong on this because I honestly do not think that it is possible for a persons genes to magically change inside the experiment. I also think if they are at fault for messing with those genes and creating the GD's then why did they not reverse the damage they had caused? Because it's too complicated to mess with genes like they did in the first place to cause it? The logic here had me completely lost. If a better reasoning and explanation had been used then I wouldn't be so confused by this whole concept. To me this was one of the worst parts of the book.

I understand or think that Roth was trying to challenge the concept maybe of discrimination against people who are 'different'. Those people in this case would be the divergent (when inside the experiment) and the genetically damaged (outside of the experiment). And I myself love when an idea of people is challenged. However, I do not believe this was dealt with properly in this book. Tobias who is so sure and confident of his choices and is fearless (almost four almost) becomes this wreck of a person. I believe he was showing this BEFORE he found out he was genetically 'damaged'. His narrative throughout was not the four of the first two books. (I will write more on this). But then he questions everything and is so convinced he makes bad choices because he is not worthy and he is damaged like they say he is. Which is just utter nonsense because as a psych undergrad I have learned that your genes only make part of you. Yes they may determine what hair colour you have, what eye colour you have, your skin colour...etc...they do not make you as a person. They do contribute to who you are but they are not the whole of you. Influences from the environment and the people around you will also make you the person you are. So blaming everything on these peoples genes is (i'm trying to think of a nice word) crazy. I can't believe nobody in the book made a stronger point for this, I know they love Tobias for whoever he is but nobody takes a great stand for the GD's. I feel Roth tried to without ever fully explaining it as she flipped between Tris and Tobias' narratives both sides of the story.

As an alternative I would have been thinking that the fence was built to protect them of something from the outside world. And all the civil wars and fighting on the inside could have stopped when a threat from the outside world came. Maybe showing that they had to pull together to save themselves. Or even if they were an experiment then for a better reason than damaged genes.

The switching narrative was also a bad feature of the book. I wish Roth had just stuck to having Tris' point of view like in the first two books. It is what made them so enjoyable and successful. I liked that we didn't always know what Tobias was thinking and it created more suspense and mystery to him. In Allegiant he becomes so whiney, so not fun, so boring and annoying to read. His viewpoints made me wanna come into the book and give him a good shake and tell him to snap out of it! He also sounded very much like Tris and most of the time I forgot which character it was that was narrating. This two person narrative could be justified by the ending of the book although I knew something must happen to one of the main two to have this sort of narrative style. I think if we do stick with the ending then a better way to do this would have been to have Tris narrate everything up until her death and then at this point switch to Tobias and have him narrate the final part of the book and bring it all together.

There is probably a lot more to say about this book but these are what stood out for me more than Tris' death which I do think was not needed and did not actually make me sad but made me mad that I had been through this journey with Tris just for her to not survive. The girl who never gave up who fought for everything...just gone. For what? Impact? Shock value?

Uriah who? Not needed in this third book at all. His death was dragged out for no reason. We have already lost so many people at this point that it's just like 'oh another character has died, meh'.

I was conflicted about this book. I loved the first two and so desperately wanted to love this too. But after reading it and being angry and then much time to reflect I still feel this was a poor ending. Two stars because I loved the first two and there were elements in this book that could have made it great.

Although this has been disappointed it should not put you off reading the first two, i still love those. This book is worth a read because you may have a completely different view to the story as I have which I would love to hear.

Also if you have made it this far thank you for taking the time to read. You're probably just as angry and stunned as I am.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 14 July 2014
Miserable ending, as bewailed by countless fans. The 1st 2 books captured my imagination but sadly the last, as with many trilogies, ran out of steam. The moment there was mention of life beyond the fence, visions of M Night Shyamalan's "The Village" and countless movies and stories of a similar ilk came to mind; and true enough, the same storyline was trotted out, perhaps updated by the addition of genetic engineering. Life in the dystopian city is revealed to have been all a sham and the real world as we know it, exists outside. There's the usual banter enjoyed by teenagers (and me - not so young) and the endless introduction of characters who are happily shot/killed/maimed to the very end. It is amazing after the 1st 2 books that there are any characters (with skin, hair, limbs and their own teeth) left standing. I was lured to the trilogy by the movie, enjoyed the twists and turns of Book 2 but this? Humph.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Oh Allegiant, how you’ve frustrated me these past few days. That feeling of not knowing whether to throw you at the wall (thought I’d better not as my kindle would break) or embrace your twisted sentiment.

In advance of delving into Ali Condie’s Matched trilogy I thought I would finish the Divergent series first and was hoping it’s conclusion would be more satisfying than the conclusion of The Hunger Games which diluted it’s enjoyment book by book. I’d already become concerned when the second book in Roth’s series, Insurgent, proved less satisfying than the first. I prayed that the third would redeem itself.

We commence immediately after the conclusion of book 2 where the factionless and their leader Evelyn have taken control of the city. Suddenly the factions are in danger and it appears one dictator has been swapped for another, so a group come together and form the Allegiant, with a view to reinstating the factions.

From here I became frustrated as the book seemed to them become a never ending round of people trying to usurp one leader for another, then for another and another. We take a journey outwith the city Tris and Tobias call home and they travel to a world where it seems more of the same is on the cards.

The characters seem to stall a little in this book, their dialogue seems less mature than that of the earlier books and their relationship scenes seem childlike and immature. That said however the ending that Roth have them still had me choked with tears and I liked how she left a real message at the end of the book, concluding it really nicely with a message for life.

I’d like to say I loved this book, I didn’t, but neither could I say I entirely hated it either. It was a difficult one, I had to force my way through it at points then suddenly there would be a little spark of genius and I’d read intently for a chapter then that spark would fade. It has been a challenging read, not entirely in enjoyable but I’m glad Roth has concluded the series and won’t be trying to dredge another book from her increasingly tired story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 August 2014
I feel compelled to write this review as I, like so many others was not satisfied with the end of the divergent series. I read through Divergent and Insurgent, so stuck in the story I spent the day reading both and did not eat until I had finished the two. I then ordered Allegiant, though despite the mixed reviews, I would not have finished the series at Insurgent even if Allegiant had been given 1 star by everyone who had reviewed it.
I started the book in ectasy, delighted to find Tobias was also giving his side of the story as, having read the short stories Veronica wrote from Tobias' point of view, and thoroughly enjoying the brave, clever voice and wanting for more, you can imagine my excitement finding that he would be narrating half of the book.
Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there.
The book was boring and confusing, and so utterly unsatisfying that I ended up skipping most of the pages written by Tobias, and having reread it, realised that it didn't make much sense anyway.
The ending was extremely disappointed, and despite sobbing into my Kindle, I still felt that Roth could have created a much more imaginative end to a series of such success, rather than it having such an anti-climax.
Although the precious books were written well, this one could have been a lot more exciting and moving, without being so terribly tragic, as if Veronica had read her book so far, and, having realised it's unexciting script, decided that the only way to make up for the sheer awfulness of the story so far, was killing off the main character, therefore intriguing readers to finish off what they had started.
I love Roth and her work is amazing but this book was such a disappointment and I wish she had rewritten her story in a more compelling way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 March 2014
The first two books were incredible, I couldn't put them down (irritating when I'm supposed to be writing my dissertation) and I was so excited about this book, However, not only for the same tragic reason as everyone else, but for the fact that this book is so boring. Having a mix between both Tris and Four takes away so much excitement. The first two explore a brave heroine, and it's exciting to keep Four slightly mysterious, learning through Tris about him, being let into his emotions gradually, makes you connected to Tris, now we are just dumped with another characters feelings, a character which we don't have the same insight to his life as we do Tris. It's hard to find empathy with him after seeing him through someone else's eyes for the first two books. It also seemed a little random to me how she had suddenly introduced this new divide of chapters and I guessed the ending before it came.

Aside from that even 700 pages in, there is nothing exciting happening. I know I'm reading a poor book when I start doing my work instead of reading it. I even started looking for a new book to read.

As for the ending, I understand why she did it, and I am not one for sugar coating however it just seemed totally unjustified. She wanted to live and that revelation alone to me, was the reason that she should have lived. Her speech in book two about understanding that, should have come at the end of book three, when she could have finally stopped fighting. Its hard to read a book with such a great and brave heroine to see that because of this she lost her life. Its not very inspiring.

I wouldn't have even minded so much if the book cost less. It just wasn't worth it. Such an exciting read and I am left utterly disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 22 August 2014
I must admit to have pondered over a week before finally coming to terms with what this review should say as a true reflection of my feelings about this book.
I loved the first 2 books and very much enjoyed the movie.
I loved this book and I hated it.
May be as I m getting older I m more needy of my Happy ever after, where after multiple struggles the hero or heroin earn a well deserved joyful life ...
Making me feel happy and content.
But this book is a stark reminder that a lot of Shakespeare work were tragedy and not dramas and things in life don't always work out... and while distressed by the ending of the book, a week later it still plays on my mind because it got a strong reaction from me.
Would I love for the movie to feature a different ending? Yes.
Would I love for the author to write an alternate ending - no.
V Roth has control over her story and should tell her story her way, not bow to fans. But in secret I will tell you in my heart I have recorded my own version and am happy with it, call me a romantic softy ...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 8 August 2014
Oh well, I had hoped that things might pick up a bit from the second book. Unfortunately, the third book just seemed to trundle along and never really get going. Even towards the end it didn’t manage to build up my excitement or get me intrigued as to what might happen next. I didn’t care what happened to any of the characters. I wasn’t bothered whether they ended up as victorious heroes, despised rebels or memorable martyrs. I wasn’t interested in whether bad guys turned good, good guys turned bad, or if family feuds were ended. It was all very dull.
I didn’t like the way the chapters kept switching between who was narrating their actions. Picking the story up mid chapter I often had to try to remind myself who was doing the talking. Is it Tris? Is is Tobias? Arrrgh! And speaking of Tobias, the action hard man has turned into a bit of a wuss.
This trilogy didn’t go out with a bang so much as it fizzled out with a whimper. It’s a shame really because it started out well. It just couldn’t keep the pace going. I won’t be bothering with any of the side line books. I don’t think I’ll even bother watching the first film because I now know that the series isn’t so much a roller coaster ride of excitement and is more of a Sunday drive out with elderly relatives.
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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2014
I have spent a week reading the divergent trilogy. The first two books were amazing and expected the last one to be just as good. Instead it was very difficult to read and didn't flow in the same way the last two did. It seemed the author rushed to write the final book and it dragged on. The ending was very disappointing if your after a happy ever after do not bother reading it.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 4 August 2014
**SPOILERS**

It seen to me that when the factions, in the book, were destroyed, so was the story line. Either Veronica Roth had no idea what to do for the last book or she just wasn't bothered. But I can honestly say that it has never taken me this long to finish a book before. I'll admit that I fell in love with the idea of the world split into factions in the first book Divergent. And how secrets were uncovered in Insurgent. I went around saying 'I'm an Insurgent Divergent.' Of course Allegiant revealed more secrets and gave me some answers. But not all questions were answered in this back and forth story. And I sadly say that the romance was a flop.

Let me just say this: the story was a drag. Obviously fans of this series will agree with me when I say that this story wouldn't exist without the factions. And in the end it didn't. VR just wasn't able to pull it off. It really did seem to me that when the factions were destroyed, VR really had no idea what to do next for the story and instead came up with one simple idea and used it repeatedly thought out the story. Just a lot of repeating the same thing over and over again in different wording and making it the length of a book.

I liked it when VR came up with the brilliant idea of switching view points. It was interesting in the beginning to look into the mind of Four/Tobias. But when every chapter was a different person it got very confusing and not just to me but to the author as well because it seemed as if both Tris' and Tobias' characters merged to form one as the thoughts and speech were very much alike. If you missed the chapter name in the beginning you'd be very lost. More than a few times did I have to go back to see which character I was reading. It also didn't help that both characters, although in the same time and place, had completely different stories. I mean, I'm pretty sure girlfriend and boyfriend aren't supposed to keep that much from each other.

I admit that I like it when authors kill off main characters. But when Tris dies it's 1) not clear as to whether or not she coming back and 2) not very effect because there isn't as much grieving over her as there should have been. Just to give effect. There were more memories about her than an actual funeral and grief/lost. Especially from Tobias. The romance seem to have completely dropped out.

As much as I loved the first books and the stories' idea, this book sadly didn't live up to my expectations. Disappointment isn't the word I'm looking for because it did give me answers.
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