Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Allegiant by Veronica Roth (Divergent #3): The (Spoiler FILLED) Review

Allegiant
by
Veronica Roth
Title: Allegiant (Divergent #3)
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Harper Collins
(Don't) Buy This Book: Amazon

Warning: This review contains spoilers, lots of them.
 For a spoiler free review go here.

Allegiant picks up where Insurgent left off. Tris and Four now know that the city is only there, they are only there because generations ago they were placed there by whatever and whoever is outside the city. Now they want to do what Edith Prior has asked of them, leave the city to help those who are outside. But with Evelyn trying to take control of the city and get rid of the factions for good, and an uprising beginning to overthrow her it may be harder then they think.

Now I have already done a spoiler free review, but this book got 0 stars and I feel I need to point out exactly why that was. So for me to do that I have to have spoilers. So this will point out everything that I found wrong with this book and made me mark it down.
So be prepared: SPOILERS NEXT!

So let's start from the beginning. Insurgent left us with Jeanine Matthews dead and Evelyn and the factionless basically taking over. Now here lies my first problem with this book, that storyline is basically just the same. We have gone from one crazy woman trying to control everyone to another one, exciting stuff! So will there be an exciting war, a battle between those who appose the factions and those who want them. Short answer, no. Instead of dealing with that whole issue/story line, instead we shall create an almost identical one outside the city.

So here we go, Tris, Four and a group of others have joined forced with the Allegiant (terrible name) who want to get rid of Evelyn and bring the factions back. Tris, Four and the group will leave the city to discover what is out there and who Edith Prior wants them to go help. But Evelyn doesn't want anyone to leave so that's going to be a problem, maybe a showdown of some kind. Well no, because to put even one little bit of real action in this book is just too much to ask for. Instead it is all too easy for them to jump on a train and make their way to the city limits. But they are followed, and they are completely aware of this but decide to do nothing. And then seem completely shocked when they are shot at, resulting in just one of many pointless character deaths. So Tori dies and I pretend like I care, I do not. Why, if you know you are being followed, do you do absolutely nothing about it?
>
Following pointless character death that could probably have been prevented if any of these people had one ounce of intelligence, they are now outside the city. Nothing stopping them, even though it is so important to Evelyn that no one leaves she hasn't actually set up a way to prevent them from leaving. During this time Four suddenly decides to tell Tris about Amar, the initiate who trained him and just so happened to give him his nickname. Even though, in book one when asked about how he got his nickname we have no mention of this Amar. Well Amar just happened to also be Divergent and although he could help Four hide his own Divergence, he couldn't hide his own. Of course not, and so he was killed. Or was he? I mean, why the sudden mention if he isn't just going to pop up and be like "Hey I'm alive, but of course you didn't see that coming!". Well we did. 

No surprise then that as they leave the city a truck pulls up with none other than Amar in it. I mean "WTF, OMG, SHOCKER!!!", it's not as if this was utterly predictable and bound to happen. This book made me long to reread Harry Potter, where something that seemed inconsequential and unimportant in book one suddenly made so much sense and was relevant to the story in book seven. I miss that kind of planning to a series. This just felt sloppy. I am so saddened that within the first 50 pages or so this book managed to ruin everything I ever loved about this series. Divergent is one of my all time favourite books, this doesn't even register in my mind any more.

Amar explains how he didn't really die, well obviously otherwise how are you standing here. Maybe you're some kind of ghost boy. He explains how Divergents have been escaping the city. Not quite sure how they so easily managed to fake that many deaths, but why does it matter when it's just a long list of things in the books that won't be properly explained to you. But at least this finally makes me understand that this book is about to get a whole lot more predictable and pretty soon we will see an appearance of Tori's dead brother George. If you did not see this coming there is something wrong with you. Here we have someone attempting to tug so hard on our heartstrings that it's really quite sad. Of course now that Tori is dead we will find out that her brother is alive and then be expected to sob at how sad it all is that they can't be reunited. Nice try but maybe try a little harder next time.

I am just so confused why the big reveal of the outside world was so anticlimactic. Insurgent left us with this big revelation of the outside world. I am sure I was not the only person who was dying to see what was outside the city and the journey they would need to take to get there. Well turns out it will take about five pages and five minutes worth of walking. Nothing exciting happens, no huge discoveries are made. They are met by a truck and just taken straight to where they need to go. Such a waste of what could have been something a lot more exciting and engaging for me as a reader. Instead at this point I am not only dozing off but upset that I just wasted £9 on this trash.

Amar drives them to the Bureau of Genetic Welfare in what used to be O'hare airport. Exciting, now we shall finally get some answers and see what all the fuss is about. Sadly though, this is just another let down in what is, essentially, a book filled with them. So here at the Bureau they are told that what Edith Prior told them was only a half truth, well really a no truth. They are not needed to help the outside, there's no epic battles going on or wars being waged. It's all calm and all they are in fact is an experiment. Yawn, I am so bored right now and why am I still reading. Divergent and Insurgent, even when I was rereading them, got devoured in hours but this I actually had to struggle through, had to force myself to finish.

The city is just an experiment. The government, who knows how many years ago, decided they wanted to try and eradicate certain behaviours within peoples genes, like the 'murder gene', ooooh scary. But of course it did not go as planned and instead made everything so much worse. This led to genetically damaged people who the genetically pure people were not happy with. So what to do to change it? Separate them into different cities, let them go about their business and over hundreds of years hopefully they would breed out the genetically damaged and be left with pure people. Makes perfect sense right? No I didn't really think so either.

This was something I also had a problem with. That explanation was just so meh. At the Bureau they have genetically damaged people working there so there isn't anything too horrifically wrong with them. So why the need to leave them in the city. How does the breeding out of negative genes work? If two genetically damaged people reproduce how is it curing the damaged genes? And why take a kick ass dystopian world and make it just some crappy experiment? It was all so stupid to me and didn't match up to anything that had been revealed to them by Edith Prior. Now that's supposed to be because Edith Prior was a naughty little liar. But was I the only person who felt this book wasn't really planned out, it just sort of fumbled along. I feel like nothing that happens in book three makes any sense to what we learned in the last two books, about the world, about the characters and about being Divergent. What a let down.

This whole book to me feels rushed, whether that was to please a publisher or to please a studio who needs material to make a third film if the first one is successful, I don't know. But I can't believe that this was what Divergent was leading up to, 500+ pages of talking and boredom and a rushed 20 page ending that, by then, I didn't even care about.

So we learn that at some point a Purity war waged between genetically damaged (GDs) and genetically pure (GP) people. Much like the war between the factionless and the factions in the last book. Yawn, tired, bored. So now I'm beginning to realise that everything I was told to care about in the first two books, the city, the factions and the uprising raging at the minute is not important. We are now supposed to care about an uprising of GDs against GPs we've just met and don't really care about. So at least I've learnt how to write an ending to a book series if I am obviously having writers block - take my main storyline from book two - uprising between factionless and factions and just change the names of the fighting groups to GPs and GDs and there you go a completely (un)original and exciting(boring) storyline to satisfy(put to sleep) my loyal readers.

The Bureau reveals how the genetically damaged came forward to have their genes altered. Altered to what and if they could alter them why not try and cure it completely. With all the apparent technology they have and brain power why wasn't this something they would want to work on. Their meddling with the genes had led to ridiculously smart people of the Erudite faction, why not get them working on a cure or something. I have about 1million issues with this book it is actually unreal. But it does annoy me that the explanation to the city, the thing I have been dying to know, makes zero sense.

We learn that their city is one of many but it is the most successful because of the factions. This sounds interesting, why are the factions so important. I don't know but as you wrote the book I expect you know and will tell me. Well no, you don't, the factions just make everything better for some reason. The best way to fix damaged people is to split them into separate groups with only other people like them and then if they display signs for another faction they can leave, but it means leaving behind their whole family.

Another major issue I have is about to rear it's ugly head. the Bureau has had access to all the security cameras in the city the whole time. So essentially this means they watched on as the Erudite used the simulation to make Dauntless kill most of the Abnegation. What this tells me is that the Bureau doesn't really give a crap about the city, if they don't mind hundreds of them dying. So why then does the city even matter, why is the city even necessary? The answer: it isn't. It means absolutely nothing so I am just so confused as to why it is there. This story line and explanation for the city and it's existent and the reasoning behind the Divergent is one of the least thought out story lines I have ever seen in a book series before and hopefully will ever encounter.

Tris learns that her mother was from the outside and agreed to be sent in as she had some remarkably pure genes and they wanted her to go forth and multiply. But this raises a whole other set of issues. If she was sent in to the city, where everyone seems to know everyone how did no one notice? Oh of course, memory serum. The go to answer for anything in the book that doesn't add up right or make sense. But their reasoning is that they only had to use memory serum on a couple of people, a couple, really? What about a whole faction? The school she's supposed to have gone to? I don't get how erasing the memory of "a couple" of people made it possible to just add a random girl into a faction and no one notices. I don't get it because it doesn't make sense. But now at least we can learn her mothers sob story, because every single secondary character that we are introduced to in this book will have a stupid sob story that we don't care about. I'm not exaggerating, you will see. So her mother watched her own mother stab her father and then ran away from home and somewhere along the way killed someone herself. Oh dear, I'm choking up right now as it's all just so sad.

Next we will meet a character called Matthew, don't learn anything about him but don't worry he has a sob story too(YAY!) but we don't hear about it till later. Do we care? We don't care. I might care about the other secondary characters from books one and two that I came to love. Where's Uriah or Christina? Well those characters, the ones with actual personalities, disappear and we are left with Four and Tris arguing constantly and a long list of new, undeveloped secondary characters being introduced. I am literally dying of boredom by this point and have probably set my kindle down a hundred times.

So Matthew wants to test their genes because of this next shocker. Just because you seem Divergent and show signs of being Divergent it doesn't mean you're Divergent. It's just your genes being sneaky of course. Again, makes no sense but I am not even going to get into it because what's the point. If I went in to detail about every little thing in this book that makes no sense and is never truly explained then I would be hear all day and already this is ridiculously long! With this revelation comes the quite obvious realisation that good old Four is still genetically damaged. Oh well, who cares? Well apparently we do, or at least we are supposed to. This gives Four something to be broody, moody and generally act like a child about and also something to cause one more in a long line of pointless fights between him and Tris. Their romance was something I really loved in book one, it came across as real and quite mature. In this book it kind of feels like watching two ten year olds playing make believe.

By this point I am only 44% in but according to my notes I already feel like killing myself. Seriously, my notes say: "44% in + I want to kill myself". That just about sums up how mind numbingly dull but unbelievably frustrating I was finding this book. I'm almost halfway and nothing has really happened except for pages and pages and pages and pages of talking.

So now we are on to the part where Four meets up with Nita. Nita is some lab tech who doesn't really matter, she's just a silly plot device allowing Four to act like an idiot and Tris to get jealous. So Nita explains she is part of a GD uprising, the outside the city version of the Allegiant. She reveals how the Bureau treats GDs as second class citizens and how the GDs are not happy with it. So on she talks about everything that the Bureau did and this and that and blah, blah, blah. Stop talking now please, can something happen - anything! PLEASE!

But alas, just more talking. Nita wants Four to join the uprising and help them break in to the Weapons Lab to steal memory serum before the Bureau uses it to reset the memories of every one of the experiments. But he can't tell Tris. Why would he anyway as they seemingly never talk anymore, just argue sometimes and then randomly make out for no reason when five seconds ago they were having some silly petty fight about something that doesn't matter. In half a book Allegiant has managed to destroy everything that I actually loved about this series. Basic point of meeting is Bureau have used Nazi style propaganda to convince everyone that GDs are the bane of the earths existence and need to be cured. They are obviously the cause of all war and everything wrong with the world.

Four tells Tris, they meet Nita and some other secondary character that won't be developed and we won't care about. They show proof that simulation serum was given to Jeanine Matthews by the Bureau. Tris doesn't trust Nita and refuses to help and tells Four he shouldn't either. But Four goes behind Tris' back and does it anyway - otherwise what would they have to fight about next? So now I'm expecting something big to happen, they have to get in the lab and steal it, could get quite exciting. Nope. It takes all of about five pages to resolve itself.

Four goes along with it.
Matthew reveals they wants death serum not memory serum.
They blow hole in wall right next to Uriah who suddenly reappears again so that he can add to the list of pointless character deaths and reasons Tris & Four have to fight.
She prevents them getting serum.
The End.
(Sadly not the end of the book though!)
 
Four is hated by everyone and so just sits and watches the city on the surveillance screens. Now we get to see what is happening in the city, the place where it probably would have been better to stay as this Bureau is boring as hell. Marcus and Johanna basically just want the factions back and need to overthrow Evelyn. I knew this already, so why waste my time with it. But this does lead us to a ridiculous moment of Four trying to be all brooding and thought provoking and me wanting to vomit.

I need to share a quote that I wrote in my notes next to many large HAHAHAs. Which is this: "The Allegiant are the enemies of the new enemies, the factionless.". This made me laugh so much as it sums up the utter ridiculousness of this book.

At a council meeting we find out that Evelyn has got her hands on tons of death serum. Thank god, maybe she will kill everyone and the book will end and I will be saved from this mind numbing boredom I find myself in whenever I read it. We also find out that Chicago was once reset completely because of a factionless uprising. Tris would rather reset Bureau but Weapons Lab is set up with aerosol death serum that will kill anyone who gets in without pass code. Now at this point I didn't know how the book ended but I could guess. Tris would go after that serum even if it meant dying because she's that much of an idiot.

At this point my notes quite rightly say this:
80% in and NOTHING has happened!!! YAWN!!!

Now we get Matthews pointless sob story. He was in love with someone genetically damaged but she was beat up by the GP and died a year later during surgery. Oh no, I am crying. NOT. Why do I care? Why do I need to hear about all these pointless sob stories by pointless characters I do not know or care about? Why have all the secondary characters from the last two books who actually have personalities disappeared?

Now we get to hear their brilliant(boring) plan. Four and the others, except for Tris and Caleb, will head back to the city to give a select few people an antidote to the memory serum if Caleb and Tris fail. Four also decides to erase the memory of one of his parents as it will solve all conflict in the factions. I'll go along with it at this point because I don't really care about anything in this book anymore.

Caleb by this point has an actual redeeming moment. He offers to be the one to go in the Weapons Lab, to die to save everyone else. Yes, now this I can get behind. The whole reasoning behind why he betrayed Tris in the first place never made sense and you end up just thinking he's a bit of a *insert whichever insult/swear word you like here*. But now he might just be able to redeem himself in my eyes, might be able to show he isn't a total *again insert word of your choice*. But on the way to the lab Tris decides it would be better if she does it because she just might live but really the girl has some senseless need to always be the martyr and I'm bored of it.

But low and behold she is immune to the evil death serum, rejoice! However, David pops up and shoots and kills her. Sad times all. Not for me. At this point this book has ruined everything I love about this book and series that I'm singing: CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES, COME ON!!! Finally it is over, I don't have to listen to her whine or fight with Four. And FINALLY something has actually happened in this book. As she dies she sees her mum and is happy to go to her. What have you accomplished, not much and you will leave people devastated. Her big sacrifice would have been okay if it made sense. To be honest, the ending didn't bother me because at that point I didn't care. Books don't need happy ever afters all the time, but don't just do something for shock value. That's all this was, a way to try and make the series unique to all others. A big 'Look at me, I'm so edgy and different because I killed off my main character'.

But the most laughable moment of the whole book goes to: Evelyn. When Four goes to see his mother she has a random personality switch. Suddenly she decides nothing but Four matters. Where this sudden maternal instinct comes from, we shall never know. This is the same mother who left her son with a man who beat him. Great parenting right there.

Then the worst bit is having to deal with Four being all melodramatic for a couple of chapters and then it ends.

FINALLY

I am 100% disappointed with this book. I can think of no good part in it other than when it ended. This felt like some badly written fan fiction. It didn't add up with the other two books and just left me utterly perplexed. Surely this is just some draft copy that has accidentally been published by mistake. Surely the last book in the epic Divergent trilogy wouldn't be so unbelievably boring and lacking in any action.

The main issues I have with it are simple: The dual narratives were the exact same. The only way to distinguish between the two was by the name at the top of the chapter. Such a let down, should have just stuck to Tris' whiny rambling the whole time because giving me two identical narratives from two separate characters was utterly infuriating. The story line was flat and boring and most the time didn't make sense or wasn't believable. The characters had no depth to them and all  the amazing things we loved about them in the first two books seemed to disappear.

I know everyone goes on and on about the ending. But I feel they are just letting it distract them from just how awful the rest of the book was. This book put me to sleep and it was nothing compared to it's predecessors. Completely disappointing in every way.

I am also fed up of seeing so many people comment on how brave Roth was for doing what she did. How is this in any way brave? She is not the only person to ever kill off a main character at the end, in fact the only thing she's brave for is for doing it in the worst way possible. That ending was nothing more than a desperate attempt to differentiate this series from any other. But it just comes across as forced and it doesn't feel right. If she wanted to kill Tris, that's fine but make sure it makes sense when you do. Don't force it because you don't want to live up to the expectation that this will have a happily ever after.
 
0/5 Stars
 
If you haven't read it then I would actually beg you not to. All this did was ruin the whole series for me and that is disappointing. I loved Divergent and this just made me question why that was.

 I will treat Allegiant the same way I treat the last series of Dexter or the ending to Mass Effect 3 - as if it NEVER happened. Because we as readers, viewers and gamers deserved more, it's as simple as that. We deserved more than a regurgitated storyline, zero character development and one epic let down of an ending.

7 comments:

  1. I had a lot of the same reactions you did. Four's POV was such a disappointment, he was not the same character he was in the first two books. He was just so weak and it didn't make any sense. So he finds out he's not divergent? Who cares? And yes, I thought the outside was so anticlimactic, what was the point? So many plot holes. And why was the only way to get the memory serum to blow their way through and release the death serum? Why not attack when it was being transported? There were definitely other things they could have done. And why was it ok to get rid of people's memories anyway? That didn't seem to be consistent with who Tris was. Four starts to fight her on it, and then he just folds. Ok, sure, let's wipe everyone's memories in this entire compound. That's fine. What?? And then finally, the ending. Part of me understands why the author had Tris make that sacrifice. She never felt like she was good enough to be Abnegation, she wasn't selfless, she was reckless but never really sacrificed herself for the right reason, blah blah. But then she survives the death serum (which was ridiculous, all these serums, I just have to say). Why survive it only to be shot (and that happens because she left her gun)? What? It was just so stupid and pointless. She could have easily survived and shown that she was selfless. And it wasn't like she was saving lives she was saving people who were going to have their memories wiped. It wasn't like she was throwing herself in front of a bullet to save Four or something. Even though Veronica Roth claims she had this planned from the very beginning, it just didn't read that way at all. Just so pointless. This book just left me feeling angry, sad, and empty and I absolutely loved the first two books. Oh well. This is one time I actually hope Hollywood completely changes the book when it makes the movie (assuming it does). Great honest review! ~Pam

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    1. Haha, glad someone else felt the exact same way. I can't comprehend how this book is getting 5* reviews! Four irritated me to no end in this book, it's like he had a personality switch. Mainly because now he had his own chapters but they were done in Tris' style so much that they felt identical. I wanted to shake him most of the time!

      The outside world was such a big let down and the constant talk of this serum and that serum, well it drove me crazy. I found it so funny that they were so against wiping the memories of anyone in the city, as that is just despicable - but doing it to the Bureau is totally okay!

      I would have been happier with the ending if it had seemed like she was immune to the death serum and then realised she wasn't and she was dying. But the surviving only to be shot seemed ridiculous and annoyed the hell out of me.

      I completely agree with you, none of this book reads as though it had years worth of planning behind it. It all fell very flat for me. I am begging them to change the ending if they make it to a third film!

      Thanks for checking it out, glad to find someone who agrees.

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  2. Wow!! This is the longest review I've ever read and it made me laugh because I can totally see where you're coming from with a lot of your points. For some reason, I really loved this book - but I seem to be the ONLY one, so I guess I have some kind of illness. :-) Sorry you hated it, but I'm glad that you had your chance to rant!!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. Haha judging by the many 5* reviews it got, you weren't the only one. But I am really glad you were happy with it =D I love finding people who loved books I hated or vice versa, they usually help me hate the book a little less. I couldn't seem to make this shorter no matter how hard I tried, couldn't stop ranting!

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  3. I'm just waiting for someone to rewrite it. Because I'm never in a million years going to see the movie based on that book. I'm glad I borrowed it from the library instead of paying for it!

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    1. You can't believe how sad I was that I actually paid for it! Not impressed... hopefully they rewrite it for the films!

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  4. Do you know what page Tris went into the death serum?

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