I was such a late comer to this series, and it took the movie to finally get me cracking the spine to jump into Veronica Roth’s brainchild. I only wish I hadn't jumped into it so close to reading The Giver by Lois Lowry – the similarities were somewhat off-putting.
However, I have to say I loved the world of Divergent – how this dystopian world is there without explanation. There is no info-dumping of how the world came to be, or what exactly is going on, the reader finds out as our protagonist (Tris) does. And even then, given her naive innocence, protected upbringing and rules regarding her behavior facts are a little hard to come by. But it makes enthralling and realistic reading.
There are hints at what happened and the reason for introducing factions as a way of life – but it is all from a small collection of points of view interpreted by Tris. I’m eager to see if she discovers a deeper and darker truth as the series develops.
You get a real sense of Tris’ intelligence, she keeps a lot to herself and is a critical observer as well as exhibiting moments of madness and dare-devil-ism… I grew to love her as she broke out of her meek upbringing to almost Amazonian stature. It made her relatable as we grew with her on this journey and was not simply gifted with special talents – she fought and earned every skill in her arsenal.
While the book jumped around a bit in location, that I felt unnecessary, as it was somewhat distracting, it did manifest a real sense of Tris not knowing what is going on, but aware of the different layers of intrigue and political machinations. Again something I’m very interested to see play out in the next installments.
Divergent develops and explores much of the cast expertly to help build the world and socio-political landscape. I’d have to say the downfall for me, was that many of the questions I had were not answered – but it is a pilot novel in a series. So I guess a little patience with weather my curiosity.
A relatively fast read with great pacing… you won’t get bored with this book. If you liked elements in The Hunger Games and The Giver then you have to give this book a shot. Not overly surprising and fairly predictable but highly entertaining.