Published: October 2013
Series: Divergent #3
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
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.This is a review of the third book in the Divergent series, for my review of the second book in the series, Insurgent click here. There are some spoilers in this review, just a warning!!
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 to complexities of human nature - and of herself - while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love. -Goodreads
I gave this novel 3/5 stars, I thought it was an ok novel, but if this hadn't been the final book I probably wouldn't have bothered to continue the series.
In this novel we continue following Tris' search for the truth about the world she lives in, and exactly what the factions she grew up in were for.
This novel is written in two points of view, we continue hearing Tris' voice, but we are also introduced to Tobias' voice too. I was very excited to get this insight, as he was one of my favourite characters in the previous novel, and I couldn't wait to hear more of his thoughts. Unfortunately, Tobias' voice sounded almost exactly identical to Tris' and I spent the beginning of too many chapters trying to figure out exactly whose POV I was reading. This was disappointing, Roth had made Tobias into quite a well developed character through the novel so I was expecting her to be able to carry this over to his narrative voice too.
This novel is very long, it's 500 plus pages, and it really doesn't need to be in my opinion! I feel that this novel could have been condensed into about half the pages, while still keeping all the relevant info in it. This meant that the storyline really felt like it was dragging the whole way through! There also isn't a great deal of action in this novel, for the final novel in the trilogy, I wanted an action packed and thrilling end, instead I felt this novel was a bit of a damp squib!
I also have a problem with the science in this novel. I'm no scientist, I'm doing an English Lit and Psychology degree, but I feel like I have some grasp of Biology, and I'm sure that isn't how genetics works! If you were able to manipulate people's genes in the first place, and ended up making them worse, why not just manipulate them back? Just undo any changes you made? Also wouldn't the faction system make it harder to get "genetically fixed" offspring, because if the members of the factions have faulty genes, and they are having children with people with the same faults, their offspring will surely have the same genetic flaw as genes are hereditary?
I mentioned in my review of the last book that I had a lot of unanswered questions, and sadly quite a few of these questions weren't answered in this novel either. I still know nothing about the rest of America or the rest of the world, call me self-centered, but I would have liked to know what the situation was with the UK! Also certain characters' actions were never explained; what was the point of David, or the full story with Tris' mum. Some of the questions which were answered had such ridiculous answers that I rather wish that they hadn't been answered at all. Genetic manipulations!!?! I mean, come on!!!!
I also need to draw attention to the ending of this novel. I know from reading reviews that everyone has a different opinion of the ending of this novel, but personally I thought it was very disappointing! It felt like a cheat from the author, in fact the whole resolution to the faction system felt like a cheat (it felt like the whole "and it was all a dream" cliche). Roth had spent over 1000 pages creating a complex world with complex developed characters, and she wasted them with a rubbish and limp ending.
Overall I am really disappointed with this series. I will watch the rest of the movies (no idea how many more there are!) because I am interested to see how they do it, but I'm in no hurry to pick up any more of Roth's books, and I think I'll give YA dystopian novels a break for a while!