Friday, 10 October 2014

Brajesh's Review : Divergent Trilogy - Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant


Flowing narrative, complex yet lovable characters and a fast paced story line, this book has almost everything going for it. The story is set in a dystopian Chicago and introduces us to a society which works under strict rules of 5 factions.

Dauntless, Abnegation, Erudite, Amity & Candor each hold true to a core virtue of humanity and hence have a corresponding role in running the city.

The story starts with protagonist Tris choosing her faction in an elaborate initiation ceremony which introduces us to this fantastic world and the five factions. The story moves at a good pace and suddenly explodes like a F1 car towards the end of the book. This unexpected change of pace really keeps the reader on the edge.

I am not a fan of the fantasy genre, but this book lived up to way beyond my expectation. Divergent is part one of the trilogy and the last 50 pages move at supersonic speed where the Dauntless members are controlled by Erudite to kill a large number of Abnegation members including Triss’s mother.

The story ends with key characters leaving the Chicago city towards an Amity settlement on the outskirts. The ending leaves you on a knife’s edge and I obviously rushed to pick-up the second part.

Rating : 4 / 5

After a brilliant Part 1, this book failed to live-up to my expectations. It almost felt that the author wanted to do justice to each of the factions. While the first part covered Abnegation and Dauntless, this one takes the story into Amity, Candor and Erudite set-ups.

While I understand the need the author would have felt towards these other factions, this covering of bases makes the story meander, till we reach into the world of Factionless. Since I related most to the faction of Erudite, it was a little disappointing to see the main villain emerging from this faction. This book has a lot more violence, given that the battle lines are now clearly drawn and the author has no need to explain the philosophy and details which were well covered in part 1.

The story ends with a small group ready to explore the world beyond the factions and city limits. But it was only the magic of part 1 which forced me go for part 3 and not this one

Rating : 2.5 / 5


By the start of part 3, I had settled into the world of dystopian Chicago with a nice rhythm of faction-led conflicts, characters makings unusual, bold and difficult choices, moral dilemmas and Tris emerging the hero at the end of each incident.

Book 3 completely blows away all these assumptions. To begin with the story is no longer told from Tris’s point of view, but alternates between her and Tobias’s voice. Most interestingly the book leaves the Chicago stage behind and goes across America into unusual places both geographically and narratively.

After reading the first two parts, I thought I was prepared for any plot twist , but Allegiant shocked me by turning all notions on their head. It would be impossible to write about this story without spoiler alerts so I will leave the story behind and mention only the brilliance of narrative thought, character complexities and a brilliant ending.

It isn’t easy to neatly tie-up all the threads in a trilogy without trivializing the reader, story or characters and Allegiant does it in style.

The only critique I can have on the trilogy is the meandering of narrative in parts of book 2, else it’s a recommended read across age groups and interests. Immediately after finishing the trilogy I watched the movie “Divergent” and must say that the movie has done well in bringing alive this wonderful world an characters. But like any adaptation, the movie leaves out more than it reveals, and should only be seen after you are through with the books.

I also figured out that Veronica has also come-out with a few back-stories of the plot in a new novel titled “Four” needless to say it has been purchased and is waiting on my "read immediately" shelf.

Rating : 2.5 / 5

Also Read : Kim's Review of the Trilogy

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