Allegiant is written by Veronica Roth. It was published in 2013 by Katherine Tegen. It is the third and final book in the Divergent trilogy. Roth’s blog can be found here.
Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult
“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.”
“We work for the same organization that founded your city,” Zoe says as she glares at Amar. “The same organization Edith Prior came from. And…”
She reaches into her pocket and takes out a partially rumpled photograph. She holds it out, and then her eyes find mine in the crowd of people and guns.
“I think you should look at this, Tris,” she says. “I’ll step forward and leave it on the ground, then back up. All right?”
She knows my name. My throat tightens with fear. How does she know my name? And not just my name—my nickname, the name I chose when I joined Dauntless?
“The Bureau talks about this golden age of humanity before the genetic manipulations in which everyone was genetically pure and everything was peaceful,” Nita says. “But Rafi showed me old photographs of war.”
I wait a beat. “So?”
“So?” Nita demands, incredulous. “If genetically pure people caused war and total devastation in the past at the same magnitude that genetically damaged people supposedly do now, then what’s the basis for thinking that we need to spend so many resources and so much time working to correct genetic damage? What’s the use of the experiments at all, except to convince the right people that the government is doing something to make all our lives better, even though it’s not?”
Warnings: Violence, death, swearing, (implied) sex.
Recommended Age Range: 16+
What I Liked:
Ok, so I have to admit I was disappointed in this book. But more on that in the next section. Here’s what I liked:
–the implication that eugenics (“the study of or belief in the possibility of improving the qualities of the human species or a human population, especially by such means as discouraging reproduction by persons having genetic defects or presumed to have inheritable undesirable traits (negative eugenics) or encouraging reproduction by persons presumed to have inheritable desirable traits (positive eugenics),” from dictionary.com) is ultimately wrong/destructive
–the implication that humans make their own choices and their actions are not completely determined by their genetic makeup
–that there is an explanation given for how Tris’s society came to exist
–that Roth was not afraid to give Tris the ending she did (I was actually spoiled on this, so it didn’t have as much impact as it would have done if I didn’t know, but I love the fact that she did that to her first-person narrator)
–that sacrifice and love were continually emphasized and treated as correct/good
–Tris’s character development
The introduction of the new material was interesting, and I liked the small ethical dilemmas that Tris and Tobias faced. I liked the fact that their relationship wasn’t perfect and I (mostly) loved the ending (fourth point above).
What I Didn’t Like:
The new material was a little blindsiding, because it seemed to come out of nowhere. Genetics? Experiments? That definitely should have come up sooner. I dislike the fact that most trilogy authors cram everything into the last book. It feels a little like a slap in the face when they do that. For example, since George was mentioned way back in the first book, Amar definitely should have been. It also would have been easy enough to have Tris’s mom say some cryptic things that would indicate her past as revealed in this book.
I also don’t like the fact that because of the genetic plot that was in this book, everything in the first two books was essentially thrown away and is meaningless. Roth had some good things going about traits in regards to the factions, but she threw it all under the bus by making it not matter in the end. This is where a previous reference to genetics would have been handy, because it would have made the switch-over much more smooth; as it is, pretty much everything the characters learned about the overemphasis of certain traits is reversed or meaningless. She also seemed to imply that it’s still a fine thing if you are brutally honest with no respect or love, since the “genetically damaged” aren’t damaged at all.
I completely agreed with Tobias; the memory serum was such a bad idea. He nailed it on the head when he countered Tris about it. Messing with people’s memories like that was not a good way to resolve that conflict.
Allegiant was a bit disappointing, mostly because of the sudden influx of new information crammed into one book and because the events of the first two books became pretty much meaningless. The genetic angle was interesting, and I liked what it implied about eugenics, but I think it could have been incorporated and woven much more smoothly into the first two books.
You can buy this book here: Allegiant (Divergent Series)
Coming Up Next: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman