“Well this book was amazing wasn’t it? Wasn’t it?” -Every fangirl out there.
NO. NO IT WAS NOT
Allegiant: An Honest Review
The Ending is somewhat touched upon
Well, if you couldn’t tell, this review will be filled with spoilers. I’m also assuming you’ve read the book, so I won’t go over EVERY detail. Now, I didn’t hate the book. I reserve the word hate for genocide, cats, mosquitoes, murder, and swim practice- they’re things I’d rather not see in this world. I just had a strong dislike for a book. Written by a talented author, this book might be salvageable. The glaring problem is that I wasn’t engaged. No, Allegiant certainly wasn’t BORING, per se, however, it was weak writing, a weak plot, and it didn’t keep me engaged. So, here’s the order of issues: Veronica Roth/Plot, Plot, Characters/Plot. That ending? Oh, that’s coming next week, don’t fret.
My first problem is the author herself, Veronica Roth. I’m not expecting much from her. I’m not expecting a level of writing the likes of John Green, J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Suzanne Collins, or even Charles Dickens or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. But by God, this book was BAD. In my personal opinion, Roth never really had the greatest writing skills. Frankly, Divergent and Insurgent were engaging solely because of their plot, and the sheer force of Beatrice Prior. I will give her this: Tris was written beautifully. She was selfless, she was brave, and was willing to stand up for what she believed in. In Allegiant, those qualities are still there, however, they are overshadowed by one particular flaw, but I’ll get to that soon enough. Veronica Roth once stated that she really had no idea where the Divergent Trilogy was going. That is not more obvious than this third book. Edith Prior called the Divergents to action! They must build an army! They must save the outside world! How amazing would that been, having the Divergents, once looked down upon, having talents that could save the world! Perhaps they could lead the city, healing the fractured division between the Factions.
But wait- the outside world is just fine. The United States is still in power. They don’t really need help.
Ok then. That isn’t a plot twist, that’s just a disappointment. What’s outside the fence?
The United States. It isn’t deeply fractured, there isn’t a life threatening problem, no, it’s just… a country?
Well, that isn’t the complete story. Many many many years ago, the United States sought to eradicate genes that were unfavorable- you know, cowardice, selfishness, aggression, low intelligence and dishonesty(FACTIONS). So scientist removed these genes and… things went wrong. They became even worse (ya don’t SAY! If they were unfavorable, evolution would have taken care of that!) Realizing their mistake, the Government created cities, placing the Genetically Altered humans in them, isolated from the rest of civilization. Their idea was that if the GDs reproduced with the GDs, then their genes would heal.
If I have a high risk for cancer and my wife has a high risk for cancer then the risk of my child having cancer would be even HIGHER! WHAT! WHAT? But because this is a review and not a bashing time, I will say this: there were a few a Geneticallly Pure people living in the city, but still. What. A. Let. Down. Whenever the city goes wrong, the Genetic Bureau or whatever can shut it down. They can reset the minds of the cities as well, without the Executive Branch ever knowing.
So, the President knows when a city goes wrong, but not when the Genetics Bureau resets a city? PLOTHOLE!!!!!!!! However, this still doesn’t explain how no one ever left Chicago. Did the humans lose a curiosity gene? (lol)
The Genetics is wrong- when you remove a gene, it doesn’t take multiple generations to show up- it takes place in your lifetime. Why did Roth leave the whole Ideology Wars and Truth to science? Ugh.
But wait! The Bureau was working with Ms. Erudite Matthews! So… uh… que? Shouldn’t she know then the Divergents are important for the Bureau, then? Well, this entire part of the novel confused me, so I went on Amazon.com, and found an excerpt of a Penny’s review to answer my question.
“The big revelation felt very forced, like the author was saying to the reader, “Okay, this is what I came up with…” Just explanations upon explanations that somehow never really explain anything. And retcons! Oh, the shameless retcons. Remember when Edith/Amanda said she was a leader of an organization fighting for justice and peace and the Divergent were the signal for the people to come out? No, the video was a lie and they never wanted them to come out at all. Um, why would the video even exist, then? Am I not supposed to notice that Roth was just dropping this cliffhanger because she decided to switch tactics after Insurgent? The Bureau supplied Jeanine Matthews with the simulation serum to lead the attack on Abnegation so they wouldn’t reveal this video. Um, if the Divergent are so precious, wouldn’t it have made more sense to slip memory serum to the Abnegation so they wouldn’t release the video, rather than instigate the slaughter of a high proportion of genetically pure people in the faction? And the big one, Natalie Prior was working for the Bureau and was inserted into Dauntless as a spy. Um, if she knew what was really going on and that the Bureau was saving Divergents, why wouldn’t she help her own daughter escape? Why would she give her own life to save this video and reveal the “truth” if she knew it was a lie?”
Well, if that didn’t capture the complete mess of continuity issues in the ‘novel, I don’t know what will. So let’s move on to characters!
4. The first character we’ll look at is Tobias. So, the Toby we know isn’t one to trust anyone on whim. He’ll take precautions to make sure that what somebody is saying is true. That Toby died in Allegiant. I’m talking about the so called “uprising”. He blindly followed Juanita’s plan, while he completely abandoned Tris. Tobias would never have done that. You might be able to argue that the reason for this was the whole ‘I’m Genetically Damaged!, but for real, do you actually think the Tobias from Divergent would actually care?
And oh boy, Evelyn. Evelyn, Evelyn, Evelyn. She was the big bad wo(man)lf, intent on dominating the city. She was willing to kill a huge part of the population to achieve said goal. And then Toby came cwying to his mommy, and suddenwy, mommy wants to hewp her bwaby. I mean, I expected Evelyn to abandon the whole plant and come with Tobias, eventually, but what bothered me was how soon she gave in. He didn’t even have to fight. Ugh.
The last thing I wanted to mention before going into the ending was the horribly executed dual perspective. I’m an author myself, and I literally just began rewriting the entire thing because so many of the characters sounded the same. Dual perspective, when done right, can lead to great things- the Kane Chronicles, the Heroes of Olympus, just to name a few. It’s bad when the characters sound the same, and it’s worse when the narrators sound the same. They both look like 15 year old whiny white girls who didn’t get any Starbucks (No offense to the white girls out there, or on my team). But seriously, Tris, when did you become a heartless and a pompous know it all?
Oh, the ending. The ending is so complicated. But I’ll say this.
Why did Tris have to die? It makes no sense. She could survive the serum, so why did she have to die? The fact of the matter is that being killed by a gun takes away all of her heroics. And I finally realize why she wrote dual perspective! It’s because she wanted Tobias to wallow in his misery!
Work is Property of Assembled Creativity. Copyright Vyas Muralidharan/Assembled Creativity.