16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Different twist on dystopian genre, high on action and character,
This review is from: Divergent (Divergent Trilogy, Book 1) (Paperback)
Dystopian society? Check
Female heroine? Check
Society breaking down? Check
One of the most popular genres right now, it takes a little something extra for a book to stand out from the crowded shelf. Luckily, I think Roth's series has that something. Similar to the Hunger Games and Scott Westerfeld's Uglies/Pretties/Specials trilogies, Divergent starts off another trilogy with the interesting twist: people are divided into factions based on their characters. Different. There are five factions, one for those who are selfless, one for those who crave knowledge and learning, one for those who are brave, etc. At age 16 you choose your faction for life.
Beatrice chooses to change faction from that of her family, a rarity. Has she made the right choice?
Thrilling in its violence (which is hard to bear given that Tris as she now calls herself is short and slight and faces larger opponents in hand-to-hand combat as part of her initiation), it's a visual world from the start, Tris herself likeable if a little naive at times (especially with regards to the obligatory love-interest).
The scenes that take our characters into their own psyches and fears are great - frightening, real, intense. The denouement shocking and brutal, with a wide open finish ready for part two.
Has messages at its core of acceptance and tolerance, knowing who you are, staying true to your ideals, but nothing preachy that detracts from the action. I think this has good gender-crossover potential with strong male and female characters and enough action to appeal to anyone in that frame of mind, as well as a fledgling love story.
Hope this follows Hunger Games into a film, it's ready for the plucking.