Book Review: Insurgent

February 13, 2014


Well, it has taken me quite a bit of time to get through all of my Christmas presents, because of my dog, and other things.

Of course, that is not the only thing that I have been slacking on, because it has a while since I have covered any books, so I will try to make up on that, because my coverage of the Detective Conan anime ends this month.

Today, I will be reviewing one of the two books I got on Christmas, which is called Insurgent by Veronica Roth.

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

Even though the simulation attacks have ended, conflict does not, as Tris and loyal companions are trying to find allies to go against the threat of Jeanine Matthews and her erudite army.

However, external conflict is not the only thing to be concerned about as there are traitors, both loyal to erudite and those that have their own agenda, within their ranks that will ensure that there is no peace.

I kind of liked this book. While I am still not that comfortable with the mixing of first person point of view and present tense verbs, I am used to it now, like how I got used to the pacing of the Level Upper arc when I read A Certain Scientific Railgun Volume 2. I also liked how I felt like I was suck back into the world rather quickly, even though it has been about almost three months. This is what I expect from a sequel. After all, sequels are things that tend to fail a lot in various entertainment mediums. I really liked seeing Tris’s struggles presented here. It made her seem like more of a human being because she was torn between two things that she cared about deeply. I also liked how her curiosity still remained in her. They say that curiosity brings people to ruin, as that clichéd saying about the cat goes, but without that curiosity we will become apathetic and bring others or ourselves to ruin. In fact, a lack of curiosity was what caused the downfall of Akiyama’s mother through an illegal pyramid scheme masked as an MLM, according to Teruo Tanimura in chapter 18 of Liar Game. Here, because Tris was curious, she was willing to find out whether or not there was something being hidden. Another thing that I liked was that Tris realized that things are not always black and white. For the longest time, she thought Marcus was an evil man because he abused his son. However, here does actually do some good and does not retaliate against people who hurt him. Of course, that could be because they needed help from each other. However, unlike Cage of Eden Volume 5, the need was not because somebody’s life was in danger. The things that I liked the most though were the numerous amounts of twists that happened. The most surprising was when it was revealed that somebody that may be related to the protagonist appeared a video and talked about something that pretty much everyone wanted to know, which was life outside of their society. It makes me want to get started on the next book right now. The fact that Tris’s struggles make her seem more human and that a twist makes this book pretty decent.

Although I did like the book, there are some issues. However, aside from the obvious problems with sequels, there is only one thing that annoyed me. Tris seemed to be rather dumb. This is probably because of my experience with the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres, neither of which is where this series belongs, though there are some mysteries, but Tris could not really think things through. For example, after just one incident where a fellow dauntless commits suicide after giving a message from Jeanine, she immediately decides to give herself over to Erudite. While the attacks may have stopped, that does not mean that they would be guaranteed to so do. A kidnapper is very likely to kill their hostage, regardless of whether their demands are met or not. Likewise, a person that can remotely control minds would most likely still take control of those individuals that Jeanine used as threats, because she does want to eliminate people who get in her way. With so much conflict going on, things need to be thought through carefully. One cannot act like Tris did just because she did not want more to die. If anything, she should have had some other goal that involved her own capture, just like Tobias surrendered himself in order to gain information on the enemy stronghold. Seriously, Tris should have listened to Tobias and not leave the place that her group used as their own stronghold. Then again, many females do tend to act more on emotion than anything else. However, the worst example of her stupidity was talking about her aptitude test results with her brother. In the previous book, she was told took to keep the fact that she was divergent a secret from everyone, yet here she tells Caleb, who goes missing quite a few times. I know that people should be able to trust their family, but with how many criminals go after there own family members in real life and that Caleb was an Erudite initiate before in this series, family members should be doubted. After all, Caleb did give away her secret to the dauntless that sided with Erudite and even other Erudite members. Tris seemed to be smarter than this in the first book and now she keeps making a lot of mistakes. While the obvious issue with sequels is a problem, the thing that disappointed me most was how stupid Tris was here.

Despite the fact that Tris was stupid here, there was still enough good here to make this worth reading. I recommend this only to fans of Divergent, because this is a sequel.

What are your thoughts on Insurgent? Do you agree or disagree with my views? Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment.

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