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I’ve been slow getting into the Divergent series, but have managed to remain spoiler free so I can read the books before seeing the movies. After the shock and awe I got from the first novel, I was really looking forward to see what would happen in this second novel.
‘Insurgent’ really keeps you guessing and thinking. You get a sense of a bigger motive going on here which kept me intrigued. And thank goodness that Veronica Roth dropped so many bread crumbs into this second novel, because the pace dropped off around the half way mark – whether bogged down with too many facts, or including so much superfluous story arcs, I ended up putting down ‘Insurgent’ after reading 50% and took a break to read another book.
Luckily I was able to jump back into this quite quickly, and the pacing in the second half really picks up.
It still contains all that reckless gore and killing experienced in ‘Divergent,’ really adding to the sense of rebellion and desperation of the rebel faction members.
We learn more of the mythology behind the Divergent – which really threw me for a spin, and I can’t wait to find out what is going on in ‘Allegiant.’
It’s great to see Tris not only break and fall, but get even stronger at the same time. She has to dig deep and test everything, her physical strength, her relationships, her sanity… it is really amazing what this girl goes through all in the name of gaining her freedom and truth.
I loved seeing the dynamics of Tris’ relationships switch around again and again, it added to the tension and tone of the novel. So much of the unexpected happened that I was bombarded with information, but it all adds to the mystery as to why Tris’ community lives the way it does.
Many of my friends are heavily invested in the Tris-Four ship, but I am still yet to feel any pull for this coupling.
Roth still paints a marvellous and devastating dystopian world, and Tris’ narrative flows with ease through the highs and lows. The pacing felt a little stop-start in the middle, but considering the size of this book, it’s a relatively fast read. Further insight into the cast may have you changing you opinion of them, or your connection deepening. I really had no predictions for this, I was so busy working out what was going on and getting over one event to another, that I have to praise the way it is written. Pow. Bam. Boom!
A great follow up to ‘Divergent’ and will soon be picking up ‘Allegiant…’ let’s hope those surprises keep coming. If the writing style so far is anything to go by it’s going to be a rocky ride full of carnage.
Again, as with the first book in the Divergent trilogy, I loved the world building here, but the promise of romance/love between the two main characters progresses very little in that I don't fully understand or really see their attachment to each other. Nothing has really happened on an emotional level. It seems more of a story device than an organic story theme.
Tris continues in her selfish way of making decisions that have an effect on the lives many more people than just herself, without due consideration to those she professes to like or love, and even without respecting or trusting anyone else to come up with an equal or better plan than the one she has in mind. Her role as martyr becomes tiringly inevitable after a while.
Death has a big role to play in the book, again, and certainly Ms Roth takes no prisoners and gives way to no sentimentality when it comes to choosing who lives and who dies. Whether this is a nod cruelty present in Tris's world, or she is signposting something bigger, I have no idea.
I'm still not sure I know these characters very well. I don't understand a great deal as to their motivations, or really feel what they are feeling. They are still a little 2D for my taste.
That said, actually reading the book is not a negative experience. Watching the characters operate in their highly detailed dystopian world, to rules only they understand, is fascinating.
I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley from the publisher in return for an honest review.
“Insurgent, he says. Noun. A person who acts in opposition to the established authority, who is not necessarily regarded as a belligerent.”
A lot of the time, the second book in a trilogy becomes a "filler" book, basically just to fill the gap between an amazing start and brilliant ending. But this was not the case with Insurgent, It held its own, and gave us a lot of vital information as well as including some of the most memorable scenes.
Insurgent carries on immediately where Divergent ended, leaving our characters to deal with the consequences of the simulation that ended many lives lost. For many of the Dauntless this means dealing with the fact they are now murderers, for Tris this means dealing with the death of her parents and Will, for Tobias this means dealing with the fact that his father back in his life.
This book very much tests the friendships and relationships made in Divergent. Family betrays family, lovers lie and friendships are tested when the ultimate forgiveness is required.
“Cruelty does not make a person dishonest, the same way bravery does not make a person kind.”
Divergent was all about making the choice of who you wanted to be, Insurgent seems to be more about fighting for the right to be that person. We have previously only seen life in Abnegation and Dauntless, but in Insurgent we are given glimpses into the lives of Amity, Erudite and Candor. I found it fascinating seeing how each faction worked and seeing the differences in the beliefs and ways of life. Each faction has something that is important to them, whether its honesty, peace, intelligence, bravery or selflessness. The way Veronica Roth wrote about each faction allows us to see both the good and bad of each faction, and the importance of them all both separately and as a whole.
“It reminds me why I chose Dauntless in the first place: not because they are perfect, but because they are alive. Because they are free.”
Insurgent is an intense emotional rollercoaster for Tris who is dealing with the death of her parents and the guilt she feels over Will's death. This results in Tris making a lot of careless decisions which leave her in some extremely dangerous situations. It was quite hard to see her in such a desperate way at times, but even so she remained a strong character and eventually finds her way.
“Sleep,” he says. “I'll fight the bad dreams off if they come to get you.” “With what?” “My bare hands, obviously.”
Insurgent allows us to see a lot more of Four/Tobias then just the strong and brave trainer he was in Divergent. He is still that strong character, but we also get to see him at his most vulnerable, at his most frustrated and at his most loving. Tobias has a lot to deal with in the book; an unwanted reunion with his dad at the end of Divergent really shakes him and he has difficulty deciding how he wants to deal with it whilst trying to survive and fight for the survival of those he loves.
“We both have war inside us. Sometimes it keeps us alive. Sometimes it threatens to destroy us.”
Insurgent makes way for the development of Tris and Tobias'/Fours relationship. It's not easy or beautiful, there are a lot of obstacles and emotional baggage, with each keeping secrets from the other to try and protect them, which doesn't help matters. But it makes it real. They are forced into this tough situation, of course there's going to be struggles, and that's what makes it believable. I will admit, there were points when I was slightly worried for them, but they always overcame it, and it made their relationship even stronger, and made me love them even more!
“The truth has a way of changing people's plans.”
This book is action packed and a shock cliff hanger ending really leaves you wanting more. I actually had to read the ending a few times it was that much of a shock. I can't wait to see were Veronica Roth takes it after this.
This is the second in Veronica Roth's trilogy, so don't read this review unless you've already read Divergent! But I would recommend you read the two books in close succession; unlike most sequels, Insurgent doesn't begin with any kind of recap of events. The first chapter picks up just a few minutes after the end of Divergent and it's straight back into the action.
So, back in Divergent, Beatrice discovered in her aptitude test that she was classed as `divergent' and subsequently transferred from Abnegation, the faction she grew up in, into Dauntless. She became Tris, she both struggled with and excelled in the trials for new members, she watched as her fellow faction members - under the effects of a mind-controlling simulation - massacred the people of Abnegation, she was captured but escaped before she could be executed, she watched both her parents die, she freed Tobias from his own simulation and they - along with her brother Caleb and one or two others - jumped on a train heading towards Amity. Phew!
Things don't really slow down at all in Insurgent. The action is so constant, and the dynamics changing so frequently, that it's hard to say much without giving away key plot points. At the same time as trying to figure out who's working with who, and what the big secret is that everything seems to hinge on, Tris struggles to keep her relationship with Tobias on steady ground. I like this strand of the plot; often in young adult dystopian fiction, the heroine is so caught up in challenging dangerous regimes and saving society that it's all too easy to forget she's just a teenage girl. I like that we see both sides of Tris: the strong, brave Dauntless initiate and the girl trying to interpret the words and behaviour of her first boyfriend.
Having said that, this is definitely not just a girls' book. As with Divergent, there's a lot of action and a fair amount of violence throughout. Innocent people both (unwittingly) kill and are killed. The ongoing threat of mind-controlling simulations means nobody can really be trusted, and allegiances frequently switch. There's one big twist that I just didn't see coming at all, completely changed how I saw things, and even had me looking back at Divergent to retrospectively join up some dots.
Going back to that big secret though, that I did see coming. I suspect many, maybe even most, readers will. This is the secret that sits at the centre of everything: it's at the heart of the faction system and it's what people are killing and dying to obtain or protect. And I kind of guessed what it was back in the first book. I don't want to spoil it for anyone who might not see it coming, but it was a tad disappointing to simply have my suspicions confirmed.
Overall, if you enjoyed Divergent, you'll certainly enjoy Insurgent. And - while this isn't my favourite series in the genre - I'll no doubt read the final book in the trilogy.
Leaving pretty much where Divergent left off, the second book follows Tris, Four and their companions head out to speak to the other factions about what they have learned. Their first stop is Amity, yet they aren't welcomed with complete open arms and acceptance. Throughout their time in Amity, and after they leave, we learn more about the history of the factions and how they were implimented to keep the peace.
Four's father has more of a role in this book, and he is definitely a character with secrets. I think, in this book, he is the reason the readers turn the pages. We want to find out what he knows.
I have to admit, both Tris and Four/Tobias irritated me in places during the story. They made choices throughout the book that felt completely out of character for them, and in places felt as if it were just to move the story forwards, but after a couple of chapters, they made more sense. This created more tension for the couple, but it was realistic. How can a couple survive if they are either keeping secrets from one another or don't trust each other fully?
As the story moves on further and further, the action ramps up further and further, particularly once Tris makes a choice that puts her in the direct line of fire. From this moment, I couldn't put the book down.
There are quite a few moments in Insurgent that made me gasp, like the emergence of the truth about Jeanine and what she is trying to accomplish with the serums and how she wants to control the factions. The twist at the end, segues perfectly into the third, and final, book of the series. Yet, again, Tris makes a choice that is out of character and completely blew me away.
I felt that this book, more than Divergent, was a lot more visual and descriptive. I have never been to Chicago, having only seen pictures of a bustling and vibrant city, but Roth's Chicago is completely different. Through her words, I can see it's is run down, the streets are in ruin, with greenery growing anywhere it wants and can. Transportation is virtually non existent yet electricity and technology has continued to move forward. The world she has created is at odds with itself, and that is no hard to imagine as you read.
Insurgent, the sequel to the fantastic 'Divergent', is only the second book by author Veronica Roth. However, she writes as if she's been publishing for years, and unless the upcoming movie is a complete failure, she will surely be close to J.K. Rowling status. That might be going a bit too far, but Insurgent is honestly one of the most entertaining and though provoking reads I've had in a long time. The themes here are more developed and the world Roth has created expands and becomes far more interesting and complex. The central characters are all brilliantly written. Even those you're supposed to hate are so fantastically done you find yourself just as interested in them as you are with Tris and Tobias, who remain some of the best characters in fiction today. Tris is no Katniss or Hermione, but she's definitely up there; she's a complex heroine who is more than badass. Tobias also grows as a character, and he's definitely more intriguing than either Peeta or Gale. The action sequences described are incredibly tense and don't pull any punches. Most usually result in the death of a character who we've just started to love. Those who have read Divergent know Veronica Roth has no problem with killing off main characters. The ending was very well thought out and left me eagerly anticipating the third and final instalment, Allegiant. Seriously, if either Allegiant or the upcoming film are disappointments, I'll be very annoyed. I highly recommend this series, and don't just write it off as Twilight, as many did that with The Hunger Games and that's rapidly becoming one of the most successful franchises of all time. This is well written, thought-provoking stuff.
After the great Divergent I got straight into the second part of the trilogy. Insurgent follows straight on from the end of Divergent and whilst it is still a good book it doesn’t really reach the level of its predecessor. There are plenty of action sections but they never really grabbed my attention as much as they did in Divergent. Also, Divergent had a lot of character building to fill the book. Insurgent already has the main characters and so needs something else to fill the pages. This takes the form of a lot of emotion fighting, teenage love problems, and inner demons to battle against. I know this will appeal to a lot of people but to me it’s just a load of tosh. Thankfully, the rest of the book has a few twists and turns that keep it from getting boring. The faction leaders have their own agendas to protect their own people or take over the other factions. Alliances are negotiated and betrayed. Characters surprise you with sudden revelations and changes in who they are fighting for / against. The final few pages left me wanting more even though I had been wondering whether to bother with book three or not. I had a vague idea of what might be happening but the cliff-hanger made my mind up for me. I have an inkling that the final book could be great.
I am very late to the Divergent party and now really wish I had been punctual and read the books when they originally came out. I am absolutely hooked to the Divergent world and this second book was unbelievably even more unputdownable than Divergent. I had actually said to myself the other night that I was just going to read the first few chapters and then go to sleep but I ended up reading half of the book as I just had to know what happened to certain characters at a majorly large book plot moment. If you are a fan of YA and dystopian and are one of the rare few like me who haven't yet read the Divergent series then I highly recommend the series and urge you to read it. There are no book spoilers for Insurgent in this review but there are spoilers for the first book Divergent so don't read any further if you haven't read Divergent and don't want to know anything.
Wow what an ending to the first book! This book follows immediately on from the first with no breaks which I love when a series does this as it makes the world feel more real to me. Anyway following the attack simulation which Tris and Four managed to stop with the help of her Father, Marcus, Peter and Caleb the five remaining of them escape the madness on one of the trains headed for the Amity compound. Once there they call upon the Amity to choose a side as now all out war is threatening to take over their city with half of the Dauntless mortified of what the Erudite did to them and they have taken up with Candor and the other half more than happy to continue on with Erudite and their mad leader Jeanine. So will Amity choose a side or stay on the fence? Will Tris and Four manage to overthrow Erudite and Jeanine or has she darker plans for them and their friends? Will Christine be okay and will she forgive Tris if Tris reveals the truth about Will? And just what is the great secret if there is actually one that Abnegation didn't want to fall into Jeanine's hands?
An absolutely amazing read and I have been drawn into the world of Divergent and don't want to come back out. I absolutely love the character's Tris and Four and love the world that Veronica Roth has built. I have read some amazing books this year and this one is right up there with the best ones. I literally couldn't put the book down until after chapter 36 at one point and when you read the book you will see why. Also just when you think Veronica can't surely add any more twists to the book.....erm lets just say she does and Allegiant is set to be another amazing read. A must read book for fans of YA and Dystopian.