Book Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

AllegiantTitle: Allegiant
Author: Veronica Roth
Published: 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 544
From: Barnes and Noble

What I’ve failed to give author Veronica Roth credit for in previous reviews is her ability to delve into the human mind and seek out a person’s character, then be able to show that character to her readers.

Roth succeeded in doing just that in the third installment of her Divergent trilogy, Allegiant.

Allegiant follows characters Tris and Four as they discover there is more to their perfect world than they originally thought.

Stuck in a city made of five factions based on certain human qualities, Tris and Four battled political leaders who wanted to end the factions and destroy the Divergent, people in the city who have certain genes that allow them to be aware during falsified trainings or fight off truth serum. Roth builds on the Divergent abilities until Tris, Four and other characters have reached the outside, and that’s when the truth is known.

Beyond the city is the United States, but a different, almost post-apocalyptic, one. Roth creates a world full of genetics, where in trying to make people better by changing their genetics, scientists inadvertently damage genetic material.

While Tris and Four discover how these tests are related to them, their relationship takes a toll. Roth is able to explain to young adults what a relationship is like by showing and explaining how a person’s actions affect the person, and the significant other. Tris and Four have a unique relationship, so when Roth puts them in a room together while they’re fighting, or when they’re madly in love, the reader can really see what their characters are.

As I’ve said before, Roth has a very simplistic way of writing. This can be seen as a good thing, but I lean more toward it being a bad thing. Yet again, I was able to pick out phrases throughout the whole novel that were very unnecessarily explanatory. I despise explanatory creative writing because it leaves nothing to the imagination. Roth used her signature writing style slightly less in the third novel of the trilogy, but it was still very noticeable.

The simplistic writing was also a problem as both Tris and Four narrate the prose. They both have the same writing style, same vocabulary, same everything that it can be very difficult to differentiate who is speaking if you don’t actually see the heading of every chapter.

But, I will also give Roth credit that she had a reason to doing the split narrative. Her ending seems subtle at first, but the more thinking that is done, the more explosive the ending is. Her ending fits the characters and plot in many ways. Interestingly, she looks into how a person’s mind works more so in the last 20 pages than I ever cared reading about in the first two novels. This is what I consider good writing: when you understand who you’re putting down in ink.

Roth fully succeeds in bringing her characters to life, and giving them lives, which is the most important.

The Divergent trilogy is available for purchase at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com. Films based on the novels will be released starting in 2014. Currently, Allegiant is slated for film release in 2016, so keep a look out!

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