Friday, November 08, 2013
Allegiant brings the Divergent trilogy to a close, and it's full of promise: Tris and Tobias are headed into the outside, toward a new life that they know nothing about. There had been so much action before, culminating in Tris's almost execution; I was glued to the pages while reading the first two books, and was so looking forward to this one. Unfortunately, it's not a particularly thrilling ending to a great series.
Don't get me wrong; there are parts to Allegiant that are good, and even clever. I liked the back story given for Tris's mother; it made sense and gave new layers to what happened. There's some action, and it's generally well-written. The character development is solid, if irritating; there's way too much over-thinking and not enough just going with the flow of emotion. However, Allegiant is overly padded with loooooong segments of talking about what might be going on, what is going on, what will be going on, and almost all of it has to do with genetic damage. I have to admit that my eyes began to glaze on the topic after a while because really...who cares? I never did understand who started damaging the genes to begin with, and how the "repair" was taking place. All of it seemed so secondary to the characters and yet it was the main focus of the story. Meanwhile, things are going down back in Chicago that must be rectified immediately and yet it seems as though there's ambivalence about it.
My biggest issue with Allegiant, after the overly long segments wherein little seems to happen other than Tris and Tobias fighting and talk of genetic damage, is the dual points of view. I understand why we needed them, but I swear a chapter would change, and with it the point of view, and I would not notice. I'd actually read a few pages into the next chapter before I'd think, "Oh, this is Tris talking now". It's not good when your characters are so inter-changeable, and not in a good way. The voices were the same, and neither offered much in the way of excitement.
I know a lot of people are upset over the BIG twist, and rightfully so; I do feel let down by how Roth chose to end her story. It just seemed pointless, even if it was in character for the most part. I think I could have lived with it had I felt it was a necessary sacrifice to the overall story but it just felt wrong on so many levels. Instead of being left with a feeling of completion or understanding, I'm just left empty. Sadly, this ending has soured me for the series and definitely made me unexcited about the upcoming motion picture. I'm just left feeling...damaged.