Book Review: Allegiant

February 15, 2014

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Well, this is surprising. I thought that too much of my time would be taken up to be able to read the books I got for Christmas.

Fortunately, I was able to read both of them, one of which has been covered already.

Today, I will be reviewing the one that remains, which is called Allegiant by Veronica Roth.

As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.

With Jeanine Matthews dead, many people rejoice under the new regime being run by Evelyn Johnson, but others are not and want to reestablish the old government.

However, when Tris and her companions leave the city to explore the outside world, they discover that there are many dark secrets that connect their old world to their new one.

I kind of liked this book. The pacing was good enough to be able to get to know the new characters. I liked how it showed that the city just transferred hands between tyrants. Many times, this is what happens when people rise up against something they perceive something bad. True, the US did not fall into the hands of tyrant after it beat England in the American Revolution, since it was free for at least one whole century, as both a confederacy, under the widely known Articles of Confederation, and as it supposedly is now, under the United States Constitution. However, that is not always the case, because people do not realize it is too late that they chose something that ended up being worse than what they had. Likewise, Tris’s friends saw that Evelyn brought in a reign of chaos instead of the peace that was promised, though Tris had suspected that Evelyn had an agenda of her own in the previous book. I also liked how it was revealed that Edith Prior was related to Tris, like I thought she was. Then again, compared to the things that get revealed in Pandora Hearts, such as Jack being the one the caused the Tragedy of Sablier, this was not nearly that exciting. After all, they did share the same family name. Another thing that I liked was that Tris was able to forgive her brother for betraying her in the previous book. While the situation was not as desperate as the one presented in Cage of Eden Volume 5, it was not any less great, because it is a hard thing to forgive those who have seriously wronged us or anybody else we know. In fact, it was much better because Tris knew that her brother had less chance than she did to do what she and her friends set out to do and took upon herself to do it instead. What I found most interesting though were the revelations. For example, Tris’s mother, who died in Divergent, was born outside the world Tris knew all this time. This made me want to continue reading just to find out how she knew the Dauntless headquarters. I was also surprised that the group introduced in this book had a hand in the recent events that Tris became involved in. All this time, I thought that Jeanine was the major villain of the series, but it turns out that this new group was behind it all, just by giving Jeanine their support. Outside of that, I cannot think of anything else that I particularly liked. The fact that the book show that revolutions do not always result in a better government and that Tris forgave her brother and decided to perform the duty her brother decided to do, instead of letting him die, as well as the fact that some revelations were quite interesting, made this a relatively good book.

Although I did like the book, there are some issues. First, the book has more than one narrator. In some portions, we have Tris narrating and in others, we have Tobias. This made things way too confusing for me because I had trouble knowing who was talking, thus making it hard to follow. The only thing that told me who was narrating was text that was located under the chapter headings. I wish that Veronica Roth wrote this in a third person omniscient point-of-view. If she did, I would have very little trouble following things and Veronica would still be able to show as much as she tried to show here. However, seeing as the other books in the series used a first person point-of-view, it might be difficult for fans of the series to get used to it. Still, that does not mean that Katherine Tegen Books should allow a book with multiple narrators like this. Another thing that I did not like was how the new group introduced in this book seemed to be involved in the things that Tris experienced. While I was surprised about it, the revelation seemed to be tacked on just to introduce a new villain because Jeanine was killed, just like the Fairy Dance arc of Sword Art Online felt like it was tacked on just to make the show longer, even though there was something that connected it to the first arc. I really wish that there was something that suggested that somebody from the outside was involved. A Certain Scientific Railgun did a much better job of suggesting that the people running Academy City were involved in the Level 6 Shift project of the Sisters arc than this book did suggesting that the new group was involved in attack on Tris’s old faction. In fact, it is not unheard of in fiction for newly introduced characters to end up being either the enemy or important to the events that the main characters of a series are now facing. I think that Veronica Roth could have done a better job. Then again, seeing as this series is my first exposure to Veronica Roth’s writing, I am willing to give some leeway, but not enough to overlook this issue. I should just be glad that it does not end up like I hear Sword Art Online became after Asuna was finally rescued in the Fairy Dance arc. Other than that, the only other issue I can think of is the obvious issue that plague sequels. While the obvious issue with sequels may not hurt this book, the confusion caused by having two narrators and the revelation that the newly introduced group was involved with other events that Tris experienced felt like it was tacked on just to create a new enemy does ruin the quality of this book a lot.

Despite the fact that multiple narrators created confusion and one revelation felt like it was made to just create a new enemy, the good outweighed it enough to make the book enough to kill time. I only recommend this to fans of Divergent, because they will probably be the only ones who can overlook my major complaints.

What are your thoughts on Allegiant? Did the multiple narrators confuse you? Did you dislike the way the new villains were revealed like I was? Is there anything that you liked or hated about the book that I did not mention? Feel free to comment.

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