Allegiant – Veronica Roth

So, this was my reaction upon finishing Allegiant:

No no no no no
No no no no no no no
NO NO NO NO NO

ARRRRRRRGGHHHHHH

I thought maybe a few days would go by and I wouldn’t hate it so much, but not so. I still hate the ending. I invested far too much of myself in this series for it to end the way it did.

CAUTION: This review contains both large and small spoilers. If you don’t mind minor spoilers, feel free to read everything except the blanked out part. If you don’t want to read any spoilers, finish reading Allegiant first and then come back and read this review. 🙂

I actually didn’t like much of Allegiant at all. I’m so disappointed. The plot seemed all over the place and very contrived, like Roth felt she had to make up the NEW problem of “genetically pure” vs. “genetically damaged” when I don’t really think she needed to. Introducing brand new stuff in the conclusion of a trilogy is just no. A conclusion is for concluding things, not introducing an entirely new plotline.

Also, the ridiculously sappy love-fest between Tris and Tobias was even more gag-worthy than in Divergent and Insurgent, except this time there was intrigue in the form of a pretty girl who Tris is 100% needlessly jealous of! Yay! For goodness’ sake, get over your teenage hormones, please, we’re trying to save the world here. Not only was this part of the plot just annoying, it was also ridiculously repetitive. It felt like each time there was a love scene it was just copied and pasted from a previous one. Plus, it seemed like it happened every other page. AGH.

That being said, it was interesting to see more about how Chicago came to be the post-apocalyptic wasteland that Tris has known her whole life. At the end of Insurgent, we discover that Chicago is something of an “experiment,” and that when the Divergent population has become great enough, the citizens are supposed to leave Chicago and “help” the outside world. As it turns out, the Divergent are “genetically pure,” and are supposed to leave the city so that they can continue to create genetically pure progeny with other genetically pure people, and fix the big fuck-up that happened when scientists tried to remove people’s negative traits (dishonesty, cowardice, etc.) by messing with their genes.

This, naturally, is a point of conflict because it turns out that, though Tobias can resist serums like Tris can, there are other Divergent qualities he doesn’t have. A scientist eventually discovers that Tobias isn’t actually Divergent, and is therefore genetically damaged. Thus, a large majority of the book is Tobias angsting about how he’s “damaged,” despite Tris perfectly rationally explaining that this discovery doesn’t actually change anything about him. Bah, hormonal teenagers.

DO NOT READ THE FOLLOWING SECTION IF YOU DON’T WANT SPOILERS. (If you do want spoilers, go ahead and highlight–I made the text white so you don’t have to see it if you don’t have to.)

Okay, who else is ridiculously depressed/surprised/angry that Tris DIES??? What the hell, man?? I kind of expected Tobias to die, honestly, but like–I thought killing off your hero, your protagonist, the person whose voice has told ALMOST THE ENTIRE STORY was kind of a no-no?

On the one hand, I think this is almost a recklessly brave choice on the part of the author, and I applaud her for having the cojones to do it, but COME ON. I was CONVINCED Tris was going to not be dead somehow until the two-years-later epilogue when they spread her ashes. I was and still am utterly shocked that the series ended with the death of the protagonist. I think this is the first book I’ve read that unapologetically kills off THE main character. Just…what.

I really hate to be the type of person that dislikes a book because of a death. Usually I’m not that person; I love Harry Potter despite the deaths wrought by that war. It just seems wrong to kill your number one protagonist, just as it would have been wrong to J. K. Rowling to kill Harry. The ending of Allegiant makes me feel like it was all for naught. And I don’t mean the plot of the book itself was all for naught–Tris died for the greater good, and things appear to improve after her death–but my emotional investment in and enjoyment of these books has been ruined forever. I just can’t fathom rereading this series now that I know what’s coming.

END SPOILERS

So, friends, this book was not at all what I had expected or hoped it would be. I was disappointed almost from the start, really only finishing the book because I had to know how the series would end, and was even more disappointed when I finished. I think the biggest problem is that Divergent became popular far too quickly, thus putting undue pressure on Roth to bang out the last two books of the series. Without a doubt, Divergent is the strongest of the three books and I wish it could stand alone; Insurgent wasn’t wonderful but at least it made sense. But Allegiant had far too many plot lines and was far too disorganized to give any real closure to the trilogy. She had a bunch of great ideas, but should have stuck to one or maybe two–either that, or should have fleshed out her ideas more, and perhaps extended the series to a fourth book where she explored some of the other themes that she touched on. I hate to say it, but Allegiant is a very poor ending to what I thought was a very promising series.

C

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6 thoughts on “Allegiant – Veronica Roth

  1. I read Divergent and liked it fine but not enough to continue with the series. I’d already spoiled myself to the ending of Allegiant and was wondering how readers were taking it. Thanks for helping to satisfy that curiosity. 🙂

  2. I just finished it and completely agree with you. I get what Roth was trying to do, the whole idea of sacrifice for the greater good and all that but the book is honestly ruined for me now. Even the whole GP and GD seemed kinda ridiculous to me. I would’ve preferred divergent to be a stand alone.

  3. I must say I pretty much agree with you about this book. I finished it because I feel like when I start a series you have to see it through, but it just overall wasn’t good… In fact while reading it I took about a month break because I got bored about halfway through. That being said I disagree with how you felt about the ending, in fact I would say the ending was the only saving grace in the book. It was just such a bold choice and I totally didn’t see it coming, so I really appreciated that.

    • Definitely a bold choice, and I’m coming around to it more than a year after finishing it. But one of the ways I judge books is by their reread value, and that absolutely KILLS the reread value for me. Just kills it. Dead. So, meh. At this point I kind of wish I hadn’t gotten into the series in the first place because it caused me so much angst in the end.

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