Allegiant by Veronica Roth Review 4/5

Overall Impression: A thought provoking and bittersweet end to a trilogy with interesting concepts.
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I put off reading this book for a long time. Partly because I didn’t want to pay the price of a hardcover, more so because after loving the fast paced, thrilling novel Divergent I was disappointed when the second novel Insurgent turned out to be so ‘blah’ and lackluster, but mostly because Allegiant got spoiled for me in a BIG WAY which made me feel all kinds of angry and sad. Especially as the spoiler was something I would have never expected or seen coming! Despite this, I finally gathered the courage to pick up the controversial final book in Roth’s dystopian Divergent trilogy and ultimately, I think it provides a satisfying, although flawed, ending.
(Also, this is a spoiler free review as long as you’ve read the previous books!)

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered – fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties and painful memories. But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature – and of herself – while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice and love.

Once again, Roth’s writing is both simple but effective as she weaves her tale of internal and external battles in a complicated dystopian society. Although Roth’s writing can be clunky in places, it can also be powerful and is capable of hitting you where it hurts. There’s something about her style that always manages to reel me in, and before I know it I’ve been reading for hours. In Allegiant, things are changed up a little because we get chapters from both Tris and Four’s perspectives – the reason of which becomes clear as the novel progresses. This change was something I was actually initially excited about, and it made sense as Roth originally intended Divergent to be written from Four’s point of view. Unfortunately, while I loved the deeper insight it gave me into Four’s character and there were some really beautiful passages, his inclusion didn’t work well. Mainly because Four and Tris’s voices sounded identical. The amount of times I would be reading a chapter as Tris, only to realise later when a dialogue tag came up that it was Fours was far too often. Their individual voices weren’t distinct enough to pull off the dual narration which was a shame, because there was a lot of potential!

I guess one of the reasons this book has received so much criticism, is that it could be argued the whole story is a bit of a Deus ex machina to resolve the faction conflicts. Personally, I didn’t see it that way or find it a problem but I know it has annoyed others. I had been waiting for the characters to take a trip outside the fence since book 1 and loved how it panned out. The best part about Allegiant – and the main reason it’s getting four stars from me, was the grand reveal as to why the faction systems were created. I was desperate to know why on earth people would think it was good idea or even theoretically possible to divide people by only one personality type and have it define them, and I was skeptical that Roth would be able to come up with a satisfying answer. But wow, I was completely blown away and the reasoning turned out to be ten times better and intelligent than I was expecting. Veronica Roth, I bow down to your brain, THAT WAS GENIUS!!! The reveal left me buzzing with shock and awe. The fact that she managed to think up the concept and develop it into something so amazing….and the amount of planning and time it must have taken. Whoa. Just whoa. Again, I know a lot of people have criticised this part of the plot, but having recently done a whole semester and final exam on the exact topic it covered, theoretically it is entirely plausible and wildly clever. In reality? Of course it wouldn’t work. But novels are about ideas, and Veronica Roth pitched one hell of an idea.

Unfortunately, other aspects of Allegiant weren’t so great. Although the novel started off strong it lost momentum toward the end, the storylines became rougher and the logic of them fell apart. The solution for ending the conflict was poorly planned, and the wrapping up of Tobias’s parental issues was laughable. While the ending hit me hard, making me feel hollow in that emotionally wrought way, it had less of an impact because I knew it was coming – which obviously, wasn’t the author’s fault, but it still affected my reading enjoyment.

Allegiant restored by faith in Tris as a character. After being impressed by her complexity in Divergent, I was disappointed with how whiny and frustrating she was in Insurgent, so I was glad that Roth was able to turn her character development around. I love that Tris has gone through such an identity struggle throughout this series when trying to decide who she should be, what she should stand for, when she should jump into danger and when to hold back, and I liked how this was played on in Allegiant and how the finale really cemented what she had learnt from her past experiences. I also enjoyed Four’s character arc about worrying whether he would turn into his father, and how the change in his fear landscape reflected how much he had developed as a character. The relationship between the two also felt realistic, with both having doubts and confusion over whether they could trust each other after everything they had been through. It’s a shame that the secondary characters left a lot to be desired and weren’t given much to do in this installment, but then, I’ve always felt that was one of Roth’s weaknesses.

Overall, Allegiant was a book with a lot of flaws, but I was able to overlook most of them due to entertainment and being impressed with the grand reveal I had waited two books for. This series has been a bit of a rollercoaster, but ultimately, I enjoyed it, although it won’t become a favourite because of issues I had with some aspects of it. Having said that, I’m still glad I read it because Roth throws out some really interesting ideas and has definitely got guts! I’m looking forward to seeing where her career takes her next!
I would recommend this series to dystopian fans who enjoy sinking their teeth into thought provoking topics about human nature.and free will.

How did you feel about Allegiant? Were you happy with how things resolved? And if you haven’t read it yet, what would be your ideal outcome for the trilogy finale? Feel free to chat spoilers in the comments because I would to talk about some of the more controversial aspects of the book! Just make sure to note if it has spoilers in case others read it by accident. 🙂

 

Writing Style: 4/5
Originality: 3/5
Entertainment: 4/5
Character Development: 3/5
Would I recommend this book? Yes.

Overall Impression: 4/5

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Book Cover.

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34 thoughts on “Allegiant by Veronica Roth Review 4/5

  1. Allegiant blew my mind as well when Roth did the great reveal. In fact, it was such a mind bender that I really want to read it again. I just need to squeeze it in somewhere – you know, when I don’t have any other books to read. HAHA!

  2. I’m going to have to pick all three of these up from the library one day. I hate waiting around for sequels and forgetting details, and it’s been a few years. Give them to me all in a binge. 🙂

    • I held off reading this as I wasn’t really that fussed with either of the previous books… One of my major gripes was that I couldn’t believe anyone would come up with ‘factions’ as a solution to humans problems (even in a fictional future dystopian society).

      Seeing that you felt this was resolved in a really good way makes me wonder if it might work for me… I may have to give it a whirl 😀

      • I think I remember you mentioning that on a previous review I did on this series, and I can totally understand why! Even though I enjoyed aspects of this series there ARE a lot of issues and the worldbuilding does seem pretty farfetched. But I have to say (I don’t think this is giving too much away) that from a psychology student perspective, the reveal was pretty darn clever. On the other hand, I also know a lot of people thought it was utterly ridiculous so I guess it really depends on your viewpoint!

        I would say it’s worth a try – it’s a quick, easy and reasonably fast read and the reveal happens very early on in the book. So if you end up disliking the ‘big reveal’ you could always just abandon it at that point! Especially if you get it out of the library, you won’t even waste money. 🙂

    • I know what you mean, when you have to wait for sequels it ruins the flow of your enjoyment of the story, and also means you forget a lot of the little details that can make a series enjoyable.

      As these books are so popular, I’m sure they would have them for you to borrow. I hope you enjoy your binge! 🙂

  3. I was also blob away by the reason behind the factions! That was one of the driving forces for me. When I read this last year, I was hooked on it, completely. I personally loved it but I did think it was not as good as the first book. The ENDING oh gosh, it left me stunned for days. The book basically threw me in a bucket of cold water and hung me out to dry! I would have rated it the same rating as you, if I remember correctly from good reads.

    • It was amazing, wasn’t it?! I didn’t see it coming at all. I agree, I think the first book Divergent will always be my favourite because there was so much adrenaline-filled action and it was also the novel I noticed the least faults in.
      I can totally see why everyone was going crazy over the ending because it’s not what your average author does! But I’m so glad Roth had the guts to do it, and I’ve actually kind of wanted an author to do that in a long time (because I’m weirdly a fan of that kind of thing in books). 🙂 I just wish it hadn’t been spoiled for me because I would have been shocked!

  4. The problems you saw but were able to overlook were why I didn’t like this book. I didn’t like the genetics enough to look past the flaws. And as far as the ending goes, it wasn’t ruined for me but when I read the first chapter from Four’s point of view, I had a suspicion of what was going to happen. Unlike you, I felt this book made the rest of the series lackluster and I thought it was a bad conclusion to a story I had enjoyed. I really liked ‘Insurgent’ and I’ll say it was my favorite in the series.

    I’m glad you enjoyed the book. I wish I could have enjoyed it so much! Happy reading.

    • Ahh, that’s fair enough, I completely understand! If I hadn’t been impressed with the big reveal this book would definitely have gotten 3 stars because there were quite a lot of issues I had with it and I became less enthralled as it went on.
      Ahh, you’re so clever! I hadn’t even thought of that. Well done. I think if I hadn’t seen the spoiler I probably wouldn’t have seen it coming. I’m sorry that the ending was as satisfying as you hoped it would be! It’s sad when that happens with a series.

      Thank you. 🙂

  5. I’ve said before I couldn’t finish these books, but after reading your review I’m going to give Allegiant another try – this weekend. I’m glad to hear the big reveal as to why factions were created in the first place is satisfying.

    • Like I mentioned to someone else above, the ‘reveal’ that made the book worth it for me happens quite early on in Allegiant, so if you decide you can’t finish it or are getting annoyed with it, at least you’ll finally know what was behind the faction system and can then dnf it! Good luck, Emma, I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

  6. I was flip-flopping about whether or not to continue with the series. Over the years I’ve grown to give up on series that haven’t impressed me much — I still haven’t read Mockingjay despite reading the first 2 books back to back — but I like your enthusiasm expressed in the 4th paragraph. It makes me very curious to know the reason for separating people by personality type. While reading I was kind of hoping you would spoil it for me, kind of. Now I’m curious and am avoiding reading the other comments. lol.

    • I’ve recently made a promise to myself to give up on series I’m not enjoying anymore as well (with the one exception of the House of Night series which I feel the need to follow through to the end). There’s just not enough time in the world to continue with a series you’re not enjoying because they take up so much time! Ahh, I loved Mockingjay… but I know a lot of others that didn’t.

      Awh, thank you! 🙂

      • Yep, I’ve done the same with books I don’t enjoy, though I do feel a touch guilty when I cast such books aside. But I’m undecisive about the Divergent and Hunger Games series. I don’t hate them but I don’t love them either. That’s why I got Insurgent as an e-book. If I’m not sure if I’ll like a book, I get the e-book.

      • Me too! The guilt is a problem… *sigh.* I wish I could love ALLL THE BOOKS, but it’s just not plausible.
        I think those are always the difficult ones, the books that fall into the middle ground. They’re not awful enough for you to definitely throw them aside, but they’re also not good enough to make you feel enthusiastic about continuing.

        I think your ebook thing is a great idea!

  7. Pingback: Weekend Reads #3: I revisit Divergent with Insurgent | Zezee with Books

  8. Wow. You were so much kinder about the flaws in this book than I was! I just…was so disappointed by this book. I so won’t rant here because I already did that on my blog BUT I hated the dual perspective for the same reason! Tris and Four sounded identical! BUT I also hated it because it kinda gave away the ending…with the dual perspectives being so identical, and with the characters essentially telling the same story twice, there was always ever going to be one reason that we needed Four’s perspective…

    • Hahaa, I remember reading your review and agreeing with every single thing you said. You’re not wrong, this book has a LOT of faults and I think we picked up on many of the same ones – the perspective thing was a biggie! If I hadn’t of been so impressed with the big reveal this book would have definitely got three stars, no question. That’s a good point about it giving away the ending, I guess I didn’t think about that because the ending had already been spoiled for me! I wonder if I hadn’t been spoiled whether I would have come to the same conclusion. I’m normally pretty tuned into that kind of thing!

      • The reveal was pretty awesome. And you’re right when you say that Roth had amazing ideas, even social commentaries, I just didn’t agree with the execution. She could’ve handled the entire thing so much better!
        You probably would’ve come to that conclusion. It was so pointless to split perspectives for any other reason! 🙂

      • I think it helped that I happened to be studying individual differences at the time which is half personality psychology (I also did my dissertation on personality psychology) and we’d recently done a whole debate on how much of personality is nature or nurture. We also picked up on things like eugenics and epigenetics and Allegiant fit so much of the theory we had been covering! Even if some of those theories have been disproved by genetic research now, everything she was saying fit so well that I was REALLY impressed! Especially that she managed to create all this in her head when I, personally, was sitting in my lectures half asleep even though I was interested in the topic. I guess it made me appreciate her creativity if that makes sense?! 🙂 But yes I agree, the execution was sloppy at times.

        You’re probably right!

  9. Pfft. I recommend you do some research into genetics, or just read some of the more thoughtful and critical reviews that have long been posted about this book, if you think the big reveal was so brilliant. It was most certainly not, and that was actually the main reason why I personally despised this book. It was ludicrous, poorly thought out, very obviously poorly researched and comprised of SO. MANY. PLOT HOLES that it retroactively turned the entire series into one, big, giant plot hole of nonsense. Veronica Roth clearly has no clue how genetics or genetic engineering actually work, did not bother to look it up, did not respect her readers’ intelligence enough to look it up, and did not take any time to think through this obviously last-minute brainchild before writing the book around it because otherwise she would have noticed the encyclopedia-length list of plot holes and logical problems that the experiment and entire outside world context created for the whole story.

    • I don’t need to do research into genetics thanks, I actually thought it was very well thought out and well researched but that’s the point of a review, it’s an opinion. If you were a regular reader of this blog you would know I was a psychology student, therefore I was coming at from a psychology point of view, not a genetic one. And as far as psychology goes, theoretically everything has been well thought out particularly in relating to ongoing personality debate (I would have put this detail in but I didn’t even want to hint at spoilers). I think you should read my review a little more carefully because I said it made sense from a theoretical point of view and that in the real world it wouldn’t work, aka from the genetic point of view you’re talking about! A lot of the theories in psychology are wrong and outdated, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t do her research (and a lot of her ideas from this series came from her psychology 101 classes e.g. exposure therapy for the simulations). My point was I was impressed with the theories she worked with and she created a clever concept with it while making me believe it.

      I’ve read plenty of the other reviews you mention that criticize the plot and I respect their opinion, as I do yours, but I disagree. I’m sorry the final book was a disappointment to you and that you found it plot-holey!

      • Neither the genetics nor the psychology make sense in her explanation. The explanation for the factions in the context of this genetic experiment idea? Makes no sense. Okay, the backstory is that a bunch of scientists decided to tamper with people’s genes to remove their tendencies to undesirable traits, and years and years later they found that removing these particular tendencies only enhanced a different set of bad tendencies (removing cowardice just encourages cruelty, removing aggression just promotes passiveness, etc.). Great. Makes sense, although I have to side-eye that idea that a bunch of scientists and geneticists wouldn’t have known that that would happen because even the most boboheaded scientists of the present day already know that genes don’t work in isolation and manipulating one would just cause effects to another, but whatever. But okay, now their grand plan backfired and they want to fix it. So they put these people into factions as “behavioral modification” to help correct their “damaged” behavior and make them normal again. Except … the factions are encouraging the very same behavioral repression that facilitated the secondary traits in the first place. If they manipulated genes to repress cowardice, and that created a bad result, how are they going to reverse that bad result with a societal structure that teaches people to repress cowardice? If repressing selfishness on a genetic level made people stifled and Stiff-like, how are they going to fix that by repressing selfishness on a psychological level? The factions do not make any sense as a corrective measure. The behavioral modification is working in the exact opposite direction of what they are supposed to be donig. They aren’t fixing the bad behavior; they ARE the bad behavior. They are doing the very thing they just said was the problem. I think Veronica got so turned around in the quagmire of nonsense that is this backstory that she got mixed up and forgot which way was up.

        Yes, the genetics is very badly researched. If Roth had done any research on genetics, on how genetic engineering actually works (Where in God’s name did she get the idea that it takes “several generations” for a genetic manipulation to manifest?) or about how heredity, genetic drift or the founder effect work in the context of small, isolated populations, she clearly left those ideas on the editing floor. But the ideas she did put in the book don’t work. The explanation of the experiment does not make sense in context with what they are actually doing, as the very nature of the city and the segregated structure of the society within would inherently produce the exact opposite result of what the experiment is supposedly for. But it’s even more than the genetics. The psychology doesn’t make sense, either. The factions do not make sense in context with this explanation, either. That, too, is the exact opposite of what they are saying. The entire thing is backwards. I can only guess that Veronica was rushed to get this book done and didn’t take the time to properly think out what she came up with, to do more research on the concept she chose to center the story on, to notice the flaws and contradictions within her explanation and in its retroactive application to the world she created. It is quite plot hole-y, as you say. I actually compiled a list of all the plot holes, large and small, within the entire book, and I came up with nearly two dozen pertaining to the backstory alone. It’s not well thought out at all.

        Yeah, I know her ideas for Dauntless and the simulations came from her Psych 101 classes and lessons on exposure therapy. Those made sense. Her ideas in the first book were good, and reasonably well thought out at least within the context of what the story was doing. But it’s blatantly clear to me, after reading Allegiant, that that was the extent of the thought she put into this series. From that point on she was more or less flying by the seat of her pants and making things up on the fly, and the big answers she throws into the mix in this last book were very obviously NOT researched or well thought out because they make no sense, either in and of themselves or in the context of the rest of the story. And that is actually the fact. My actual opinion is that this fact torpedoes the story and makes it next to impossible to take any of it seriously. While you found this to be the saving grace of the story, for me it was the nonsense that ruined it all.

      • The fact of the matter is, Veronica Roth did not have this series planned out ahead of time, did not know where her initial story was going and did not have any of this reasoning in mind until she got to this book. Her interviews discussing this book and her thought process throughout the writing of the series make all of this quite clear, if the ideas in the book alone didn’t make it clear already. All of it was made up at the last minute. This so-called genius explanation was nothing but a hasty and poorly thought out retcon and none of it actually fits the story or makes any kind of sense at all, either from a practical standpoint or even a theoretical suspension-of-disbelief standpoint. It’s nonsense, plain and simple, a 500-page brain fart.

      • Look, I’ll be honest with you, I disagree with pretty much everything you’ve said here but I’m not going to take the time to type out why because you are so set on your view that you will clearly not consider an alternate opinion, so I would be wasting my ‘breath’ or rather, typing. And I have already said how I feel so I would only be repeating myself.

        As I said before, I cannot comment on the genetics side, I know nothing of genetics other than incredibly vague basics so I am not disagreeing with anything you are saying about that aspect! If fact, I’m sure you’re right and that there are many geneticists out there pulling their hair out. It’s an incredibly complex topic, and I’m sure Roth researched it to the extent she could in the time that she could with her limiting understanding. But I’ve already acknowledged that in my review and previous comment, never at any point did I say the genetics were realistic, I said the psychology theory was realistic and that in reality it wouldn’t work so you do not need to argue that point with me because I already agree.

        I also cannot speak on behalf of Veronica Roth or how much research she did, only she knows that.

        But despite you insisting it, saying something is a fact does not make it a fact. What you have said is an opinion and interpretation of a piece of literature. A fact is indisputable, and as you can see we do not agree. If it was a fact we would not be discussing it right now, and a fact also has to be backed up with evidence – citations, sources or academic journals and both sides of an argument must be weighed up and considered before coming to a conclusion.

        I am always willing to listen to other people’s opinions, and I actually especially like talking to people with alternate views because that’s often how we learn, but in order to have a discussion both people need to be open to considering and respecting the other persons point of view – which you are not doing. However, after taking an entire module on personality psychology and having written a dissertation on the subject, you are not going to change my opinion simply by saying the psychology does not make sense, and I think you would probably get much more out of talking to someone who agrees with you because you are clearly very passionate about your views.

  10. I’ll be honest, I skipped over this entire thing just in case I do decide that I want to read the books, but I’m certain that you wrote magnificently and stayed true to yourself and your thoughts on the story.

    BIG UP THE BECKSTER. Don’t let the people with differing opinions try and make you feel bad 😉

  11. Pingback: “Insurgent” by Veronica Roth | Zezee with Books

  12. Pingback: What I’ve Been Reading – How to Be A Woman and more | Emma's Ramblings on Supernatural Fiction

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