My last blog post was a review of Divergent; the first of the trilogy which I absolutely loved. It was with this same enthusiasm that I started Insurgent, the film adaptation of which has been recently released in the cinema.
The last book ended with Tris and Four escaping to the Amity farms just past the wall after their victory over Jeanine and her plan with both the Dauntless and Erudite factions. Insurgent begins where Divergent leaves off, on their arrival at the Amity farms and the establishment of the faction headquarters as a peaceful refuge for all. On the arrival of Dauntless traitors and Erudite members acting on the orders of Jeanine, Tris, Four and Caleb all escape and find themselves in the clutches of the Factionless-a group of those who failed the initiations of their chosen factions. It is through this chance encounter that we learn the true fate of Four’s mother Evelyn.
This novel is completely different to that of Divergent. The action takes a much darker tone and there is plenty of betrayal and plotting by every character to keep you thoroughly interested. Roth has deeply explored the boundaries of the relationship between Four and Tris, showing that a life on the run from a faction seeking their demise is no condition for the successful maintenance of a relationship.
Tris obviously struggles with the death of both of her parents; regularly throwing herself in the way of danger in an attempt to reconcile her guilt. Towards the end of the novel, there is a dramatic plot twist which you in no way expect leading up to it [there’s no spoilers here, go and read the book!] that leaves you questioning the loyalties of everyone, a fantastic technique to perk up the storyline late into the book. Roth ends Insurgent on a serious cliffhanger, with the reveal of a long kept secret that will affect the way of life of everyone.
Insurgent seems to focus around the relationships of individual characters, rather than a focus on the plot and the makeup of the factions as read in Divergent. Roth explores the relationship of Christina and Tris in the wake of Will’s death at Tris’s hand while he was under the simulation of Erudite, Four and his reintroduction to Evelyn and the inner relationships of the Dauntless faction.
For me personally I preferred Divergent. While it is nice to see a greater focus on the characters and their personal backstories and relationships, for me personally this then becomes too much of a focus and Tris begins to come across slightly “whiny” and self destructive. Similarly, Four has been transformed from the strong willed and focused initiation instructor to a needy boyfriend. Despite this minor flaw the plot is still fantastic and has far more unexpected twists than Divergent making it overall a great book.
I can’t wait to see what is in store in Allegiant.
Book review contributed by Girl Loves Reading. With the intent of friendly book reviews, this blog is ripe with conversations centered around what is a good read.