Friday, 18 April 2014

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

The Divergent Trilogy Reviews
Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant
The Divergent Film Review 
Published: October 22, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Series: #3 of the Divergent Trilogy 
Website: Author’s Blog

The last installment in the Divergent series revolves around the consequences of the bombshell reveal that ended the last book. The city has learned the truth and the Divergent have been called to leave the city, to meet whoever created their city. However, the Factionless have declared that leaving the city is forbidden. First, they must escape the city. Then they have to survive and comprehend the new world.

Tobias and Tris
            Again, I was rolling my eyes at the arguments erupting between Tris and Four. As the pages were turned and terrible things happened, I was like, Whoa, what is this? Actual conflict? Turmoil that could easily tear two people apart? And it makes more sense than Katnis and Gale in Mockingjay?
            I was thrilled that they had stopped fighting. After all, when two people break up, they find new partners, and the world goes on after heartbreak. I wanted them to make up or break up. I was tired of the constant fighting.
            Then Tobias participates in a plan that Tris doesn’t trust. It goes terribly wrong. The conflict that arose was realistic, and I had fireworks inside because finally, their relationship wasn’t going through artificial turmoil.

From this point forward, there will be spoilers!

            The story of Allegiant, at its simplest core, is about genetics. The people of the past discovered the genes that made people “bad” and they sought to fix it through genetic modification. Turns out, it made people worse, and they sought to fix it again. They classified the people as Genetically Pure (GPs, or the Divergent) or Genetically Damaged (GDs).    
However, I can’t help but feel that the premise is flawed. If you wanted Genetically Pure people, why didn’t they make a breeding program? How about taking genetic material from two GPs, or the best you got, and make “test tube babies”? Or using the genetic modification methods they already have and try again? Creating walled cities so the genetic damage will “heal” itself through the generations is not the best way to achieve their goals. Also, the science behind this theory doesn’t exist. You pass the genes you have to your children. Let’s put it this way: if cancer runs in your family, the genes will (probably) be passed to your children. It doesn’t just “dilute” in your children. We can’t heal ourselves. It would be nice if it did work this way, but it doesn’t.   
I feel that The Chemical Garden trilogy did genetics better. Not that the CGT should be a comparison, but at least I wasn’t rolling my eyes at the genetic talk.   

Length of the Book
            This book was too long. Not that I have anything against books that are 500 pages. The conflict with the Factionless and the faction loyalists was interesting, but ultimately it bogged the book down. Insurgent was guilty of the same thing, and it lowers my opinion of the book.   

The Theme of Self-sacrifice and Interesting Discussion
            An interesting point of discussion is Caleb’s choice to sacrifice himself. The tagline of Allegiant is “One choice will define you”, and this happened to Caleb’s when he betrayed Tris by working with Jeanine. So, is it “right” of Caleb to go on the vital suicide mission? Who else would do it? Would you have let him?
            On the other hand, should Caleb have let Tris go? The theme of the selfless act is glorified at the climax of the book.
            Caleb was looking for redemption, and he loved Tris as his sister. Was it right of Tris to take that away from him?

The End
            The Dauntless are all about being brave. I think it was brave of Roth to end the book as she did. The climax reminds me of the film Kickass – the good guys don’t always win. They put themselves in highly dangerous situations and risk their lives for what they believe in, and they don’t always walk away with minor wounds.
            Yet now that she is dead, I don’t think I want to read the books again. I’m like, That was stupid.
            I hope the spirit/hallucination of her mother after the hug was like, What the heck, Beatrix?! Caleb is supposed to be here. We made him a cake with his name on it and everything. Caleb defined himself, and what has he got going for himself? He needs his own redemption, and you took it from him!
            It was stupid of Tris to go. I can’t stress this enough. Just because it was bittersweet doesn’t mean I have to like it. Like other parts of this book, the logic is flawed. Of course, it was Tris’s decision. Fine. People make stupid decisions. But from a story writing perspective, it overshadowed the resolution of the book. In the epilogue, I wanted to know how the world/society/the genetic healing was going. You only get a brief taste of it because the book shifts its focus to grief. Funny thing is, tons of people died in this series. We are supposed to care, but Roth introduced too many characters without developing them, so when they died, I didn’t care. Plus, what did she actually die for? If she failed in her mission, then the people of the Bureau would still have their memories and other random people in the city, who were not related to the main characters, would have forgotten everything. She didn’t die to save lives. She died to…make it “fair”. Except the book got extremely preachy on the morally grey areas, like if it is right to take away their memories because they were going to take away the memories of the people in the city.    

Final Verdict
            It was a fun experience, until I realized how convoluted the plot was. And how the genetic healing stuff was illogical. And how long it the book was. And the end killed it for me. I think Roth had a good idea for the first book, was roped into make a trilogy, and had to grasp for something in the third book. If you have read the first two books, of course you’ll read it. However, if you didn’t even like the first two, I’d recommend you go read something else.