Warning: There are some spoilers in this, so proceed at your own risk!
I did it!! I finally finished Allegiant, the third and final book in Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy! I know this may not seem like a huge accomplishment, but considering the fact that I started the book months ago, I am quite proud of myself. Granted, I probably should have walked away from it when I first started having trouble making it through the chapters – and I did take a break to read Veronica Mars: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line – but I was already two books in and wanted to see the whole thing through!
And now that I have, all I can say is… good riddance! If you’ve read my reviews of Divergent and Insurgent, the first and second books in the series, you’ll know that I’ve had a love-hate relationship with these young adult novels from the get-go. It was strange because while I never really got into the series, or invested in the characters, I could never quite put it down either. At least until Allegiant.
My trouble with the book started on the very first page, when I realized it was going to be told from both Tris’s and Four’s perspectives. Though I have absolutely no problem with that kind of set-up, it seemed a little odd to me when the other two books had been strictly told from Tris’s point of view. True, Roth’s need for that particular literary construction became clear at the end when Tris died (more on that later), and I eventually got used to it, but it was a bit jarring at first.
The second issue I had with Allegiant was the whole idea of a Purity War, and the fight to repair/replace genetically damaged genes with genetically pure ones. While I certainly understand some of the concerns over genetic research, and often fall into the “just because we can, should we” camp on a whole bunch of things, this new backstory was just way too political for me. Or maybe it was too moralistic? Whatever it was, I didn’t like it and shortly after that plot line was introduced, I needed to take a break.
Once I was ready to start reading the story again, it seemed to pick up and move pretty quickly, so I may have also just been burning out on the series since I was reading the books back to back. But then, just as I got back into the book, Roth killed off Tris, her main character!
Now I’ll admit, I did a little snooping when I first started reading Allegiant and learned that she died, but as I read the book, I kept forgetting that that part would be coming. After all, Tris had survived so many other things – the death of her parents, being betrayed by her brother, being shot and tortured and then shot again – that I felt like it had to be a mistake. She just had to survive and have her happy ending with Four. Of course that was not to be, but after everything else she had been through, I thought she would go out in some spectacular fashion, not being shot (again!) by a guy in a wheelchair after surviving a genetically-engineered death serum. It just seemed so ordinary for a protagonist Roth had built up as an extraordinarily strong, fierce, and independent woman.
Overall, I guess I’m glad I read the series, and there were some good lessons about being true to yourself, loyal to your friends and family, etc. But I still think the Hunger Games trilogy was better.