I was never part of the Divergent series bandwagon. I found out about the books when the movie came out which will never make me a “true fan” of this series, even if I was one. And I’m perfectly ok with that, because after finishing Allegiant I can say that, while I as a whole found the series to be decent, I didn’t fall in love with it as much as I hoped I would. And, having known the big spoiler at the end actually made me extremely curious and interested in reading the book because I wanted to see just how the story molded around this detail, to see the logic, if you will, behind the author’s decision to make that kind of stylistic choice.
I’ll start, however, with what I didn’t like, and that is the “big reveal” behind the whole faction system and the world of Divergent. It wasn’t satisfactory and not that well explained. Besides the endless repetition of “they’re GP and we’re GD and that’s not fair” I didn’t get much else out if it. Allegiant tried to speak to social issues and division in a certain way but didn’t do a very good job at it. As a result I was reminded why, in post-apocalyptic scenarios, I always think it’s better for the human race to die out as a whole. Because both sides aren’t capable of coming up with something solid and it becomes a mess of conflicting thoughts, hypocritical ideologies and actions that make me dislike everyone and wish everyone was gone in general. As a result it took longer to get through Allegiant because of yet another string of endless loopholes that was opened up, as well as the vague theory of GDs that was regurgitated in the same basic format to the reader without adding any substance of justifiable explanation to it. I didn’t buy it. It felt like the author didn’t think that far into the story so the explanation in Allegiant was all she could come up with, very half-hearted and cold.
Another thing I didn’t like was Tris’ character, which slumped drastically compared to the previous books. Just like the plot she was stuck in one regime during most of the story, although her relationship with Four was still admirable because it once again showed the reality of a relationship, the ups and the very strong downs that often occur and which make a person decide whether it’s worth it in the end or not. I think it was a good stylistic choice to make the narrative from Tris and Tobias’ views, especially towards the end, because it added that strong punch of emotions.
Which brings me to the one big thing that I actually loved about this book, and probably the only thing I loved:
I’ve read too many reviews where the reviewers are in tears about how terrible the ending was and how they can’t believe the bombshell Roth threw on them. Sometimes I can’t help but sigh at the reviews, because it reminds me of the very naïve world of the factions that our society is often not that much different from. Not all stories have a cookie-cutter happily ever after ending because life isn’t always like that, and people who expect that from this series are delusional. The ending was perfect because it went with the message that was woven into the series, about the harshness of the world and about the theme of loss, the loss of innocence, ideas, comfort, loved ones. I don’t know how people say they didn’t see it coming. It was written in Tris’ character all along. I even came close to hating her when she had told Caleb that she wanted him to risk his life because it sounded like something out of her character, something done on impulse that she didn’t mean. If she hadn’t done what she did then I would’ve probably whipped Allegiant across the room because it’s easier to forgive a poorly explained resolution to the faction situation than it is to see a character turn into everything she was supposed to be against and hate. To expect a different ending is somewhat laughable even and no different from the very struggle portrayed in the series. It made perfect sense why Roth did that, and the only logical decision I think she made in the whole book.
I won’t bother going into any more details about all the problems in the plot and the numerous loopholes as I think past reviews covered that topic in depth already. I wasn’t satisfied with the book as a whole, nor did I find the series to be as praise-worthy as it was made out to be. It was just another dystopian series that took a slightly different twist on the situation but was unable to deliver on the premise in the end. I wonder if I’ll remember much of it in years to come, considering all the gapping holes and frustrations I faced during reading. I know I’ll remember the ending though, the one bright spot of the series, because for once an author decided to show things the way they truly are, and the populace has showed their own nature as well, which is slightly terrifying because it shows that there is an element of truth in all these dystopian novels and we should really reevaluate where we’re all going.