Sunday, April 27, 2014

Review: Allegiant

Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Divergent #3
Published October 22nd, 2013 by Katherine Tegen Books

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.
Allegiant is the conclusion to the Divergent Trilogy, a series of books that I that I was a huge fan of.  As you can imagine, I've had Allegiant on my wishlist since before it even had a cover...or a title even.  Why then, did I wait so long to finally get into it?  Well to be honest, I feel like a part of me sort of fell out of love with the series.  I'd adored Divergent when it came out and subsequently plowed through Insurgent which at the time I'd enjoyed almost as much as it's predecessor.  As the weeks passed though, I remember thinking back to certain aspects of the story (and it's characters) and becoming frustrated or annoyed.   So when Allegiant arrived late last year and I waited.  While part of me hoped the series would go out with a bang and blow me away, another part worried that this might be one of those times where a reader and a series just don't see eye to eye anymore.  In any case, I'm a huge mood reader and figured I might as well wait till the right mood strikes me...and recently, it did.  I went in with what I hoped was a clear head - I'd avoided most reviews and chit-chat about it  so I was completely unspoiled to the plot... and that ending...

Here's the scoop: Allegiant starts off right on the heels of the HUGE revelation dropped on us at the end of Insurgent.  Since my favorite part of Insurgent was indeed that killer ending, I was pumped and eager to learn more details. Tris, Four and the rest of the 'Insurgence' decide that they need to explore outside of the society they once knew so they take off at once to see what the rest of the world holds and...hopefully, start anew.  Only things outside the fence don't play out in a way that anyone expects.  Soon, they uncover more secrets, deeper manipulations and higher stakes.  As they struggle to understand the strange new world around them, war once again looms on the horizon. Our rebel group of heroes need to move fast in order to save the ones they love.

I'm sure you've all heard by now that Allegiant is told in dual perspectives, alternating between Tris and Four.  I for one welcomed the change in format because  Four or Tobias is probably my favorite character in the series and I was eager to get back inside his head. So at the start, things were looking good.  Getting both Four and Tris' POV when they left the factions were both unique and engaging.  Character-wise, I found that I enjoyed Tris more than I had in Insurgent.  I felt that she was closer to the heroine I fell in love with in Divergent.  She's grown a lot and I had a lot of respect for her newfound confidence.  Similarly, Four was less rigid and both of them together seemed less stubborn and explosive. They weren't doing their annoying dance from Insurgent either - the one where they flip-flop between being at each other's throats or making out - so I was optimistic...

The problem? What I've talked about so far covers about the first hundred pages of Allegiant, and that's about where things started to go south for me - which is unfortunate, since the book is considerably longer than it's two predecessors (500+ pages).  After the crew is out there in the world, well nothing really happens.  There's no real exploring or discovering going on.  The characters hunker down at the first place they get to.  I was expecting a wild new world to discover but instead I got experiments labs and meetings.  The big reveal from the end of Insurgent soon fizzled into nothing and after that it seemed like the plot was losing it's way, fumbling as it struggled to find some kind of direction. The pacing seemed slow and laboured - nothing at all like Divergent and Insurgent had been.

And so I started to lose interest. A lot of the little twists along the way felt pointless and could easily have been trimmed out of the story.  The challenges our MC's and their little group faced seemed underwhelming and by the time we got to that ending that got everyone so riled up, I just didn't care like I apparently should have. It's more than that though: I don't even think that ending was necessary.  Like at all.  I accept that for author Veronica Roth, this is the ending she always envisioned for her series but to me it just came off as random and pointless.  I'm not saying it shouldn't have happened, but it could have went down in a different and more significant way.

In the end, Allegiant was a letdown for despite my best efforts.  I wouldn't go so far as saying it ruined the series but for me, the trilogy went downhill with every new book and the last one worst of all.  I guess you could say that in the end, the series and I diverged from one another.  All joking aside though, Allegiant just didn't live up to either of it's predecessors and that makes me sad. This series started out with promising but in the end it simply did not live up to it's full potential.

My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

8 comments:

  1. I actually did a huge loud GASP as I peeked at the bottom for the number of stars. :D
    I also liked Tris more than before, but Four much less so. He was so whiny! And the puppy love was pissing me off!
    It was kind of passive, which surprised me, I expected more as well.
    And OMG I agree, the ending WAS pointless! I felt absolutely nothing about it. AT ALL. I was so *meh* about it...
    It was a let down after the first two, but I still gave it a 4. Maybe a 3 would be better but it still retained some of the uniqueness of the series.

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    1. haha, yeah I was majorly bummed by this one! It felt like a slap in the face considering what she'd built in Divergent...I don't know, I just couldn't get past it. Yeah Four wasn't half as engaging as he'd been previously. Everything just felt so lackluster and bleh compared to how the series started o_O I'm glad you were able to see more good in it though...I wish I could have too cause I had so much love for this series :( Like you said: I just expected (or hoped) for more.

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  2. I was really curious to read your thoughts on this. Divergent and I didn't see eye to eye and I wasn't planning on continuing the series, and now I feel confident I made the right decision. I'm sorry this was such a disappointment, especially as a series finale!

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    1. hehe yeah I remember us chatting about it when you reviewed Divergent because even then I wondered about my love for the series. If I read the books for the first time today, I'm not sure I would have fell in love with them as much...but this was a huge letdown despite my apprehension. I'd still be curious to read your thoughts on the last two books...but I think you made the right call (as much as it pains me to say)

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  3. You know what's funny? How I know the crazy ending to this one but not the fact it was told in a dual POV. Would have preferred the other way around but I guess that's not how the internet works ;) "I guess you could say that in the end, the series and I diverged from one another." xD Laughed WAY too hard at that! Too bad about this one, although it is something I have seen a lot. The pacing sounds really slow, which is sad for the length :/ Ah, well. Great review, Micheline! :)

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    1. Well that sucks :( It totally should have been the other way around! LOL Yup in the end, I totally diverged from Divergent hahaha but yeah it was kind of a bummer - I wish the series could have ended on a high note. The pacing was the weirdest thing too, considering how action packed the first two books were o.O Thanks for stopping by Alise :-)

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  4. It's interesting reading your review because it falls so much in line with my thoughts on the series, how I started off in love with the series and then slowly fell out of it. I'm still so bummed that Allegiant was such a flop. I feel like I FLEW through Divergent, whereas with Allegiant, the pacing was painfully slow (and now they're apparently planning to split the Allegiant movie into two?? Ugh, nooo). And the ending - what you said, basically. I don't have a problem that it happened, just in the way that it happened because there were MANY other plans they could have put into effect besides that one. So pointless, it was just frustrating. It sucks that the series couldn't have ended on a high note. But at least it hasn't made me change the way I feel about Divergent, which I still maintain is an excellent read. Anyways, really excellent review, Micheline!!

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    1. We usually are on the same wavelength with these kinds of things ;-) I'm seriously bummed that Allegiant was so lackluster compared to the previous two books. The pacing was killer slow and yeah I think splitting this one into two films can't be good. And YES: what you said about the ending. It's not that I'm mad it happened but it felt so completely pointless...like wtf?! Ugh, I'm wondering if the Four novellas are any good - might help soften the blog for Allegiant but I'm not sure I want to risk it at this point. Thanks hun xx

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