Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Room for improvement, 5 Nov 2013
This review is from: Insurgent (Divergent, Book 2) (Paperback)
* * * CONTAINS SLIGHT SPOILERS * * *

Insurgent opens only moments after the end of Divergent, so there's absolutely no lapse in time. I usually hate this device but it works here, since it was left at a pretty crucial point.

The faction system is in chaos, and Tris and her friends are forced to hide out in the Amity compound. The harmony doesn't last long even amongst the peace faction- they soon end up scattered to the winds. Meanwhile, Tris is struggling with the consequences of her actions at the end of the previous book, leading her to make some questionable choices...

First for the positives. I really enjoyed being given access to the headquarters of the other factions. This concept is one of the most interesting things about the series, and seeing how Roth imagined the values that the factions represent decided to decorate their areas was interesting. I love detail in fiction- particularly something like dystopian fiction, which needs its setting to be impeccably crafted to make it believable, and this is an area in which Roth excels.

I also think one of the Divergent series' strengths is in its portrayal of Four. A scarred love interest is nothing new, but Roth never overdoes it; he's a three-dimensional, multi faceted character, utterly believable and even more loveable. This makes it even more annoying when Tris acts with complete disregard for his feelings, despite professing to love him; she spends the whole book either being cold and distant towards him, or wantonly putting herself in danger regardless of how it will affect him. I do NOT approve of female characters who need to have everything pre-approved by their boyfriend- but I do happen to believe that love means mutual respect, and mutual respect means honesty, not hot-and-cold behaviour and reckless behaviour. Understandable though it is, Tris' angst gets more than a little grating in parts. Sure, I understand that she's struggling with the consequences of a war and the brutal things that it entails; but some of it just sounded too self-indulgent for my tastes. If Roth had cut these parts in half, the book would be the richer for it. Saying that, however, they were well written and believable sections.

My main issue with this book was the constant 'and then, and then, and then' stream of events. The final showdown didn't have anything like the impact it should have done because the book was peppered with dramatic confrontations and secondary characters dropping like flies. You're not given time to really care about these things, and that's a big mistake in my opinion.

I was also extremely irked by the betrayal that occurs later on in the story. It just didn't ring quite true with me; the person who betrays Tris has no reason to do so, and the explanation given didn't seem adequate to me.

I didn't love it nearly as much as Divergent, but I'm still clamouring to get my hands on Allegiant, so it can't be all bad!
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Apr 2014 16:53:19 BDT
Timelord007 says:
I haven't read this second part so can't comment on the story.

However your review s well written & as you highlighted spoilers it warns the reader of spoilers so they can't moan you gave away the plot.

Another balanced written review by a reviewer who should be at least a top 1000 reviewer.
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