Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Dystopia Surges Forward

Insurgent (Divergent)
When any group of people are divided, they lose the strength their numbers could have afforded. As divided groups, they have less power, they are easier to manipulate, and most importantly, they find it harder to fight back against adversity. In Veronica Roth's Insurgent, we see a city divided into factions that is finally realizing the hazards of living separate lives.

Tris experienced one of the worst things a child could encounter. She watched her mother sacrifice herself in order to save Tris's life. Add that guilt to the fact that Tris's faction, Dauntless, were the ones killing her parents' faction, and you have a young girl who no longer knows where she belongs. Now that the Abnegation (her parents' faction) survivors have scattered and Dauntless (Tris's faction) has divided, the plans of the Erudite faction are coming to light. The faction knows how to control people's minds through simulations (used to place kids in their factions and train them), which gives Erudite a load of mindless, obedient drones to control. For a faction with its sights set on controlling everything, this is a very dangerous scenario.

But the loyal Dauntless who aren't under the Erudite's control refuse to give up (because, after all, they are Dauntless). With the discovery that the Divergent (a rare person who qualifies for more than one Faction) are immune to the simulations, Erudite is becoming more ruthless than ever, and they know Tris and Tobais are behind the insurgency. What they didn't expect is that the factionless, people ejected from the factions for one reason or another and forced to fend for themselves on the streets, are joining forces with the other factions to stop Erudite. But are a bunch of half-starved stragglers enough to take on the most powerful faction? They just might be!

I loved Divergent. Loved it. Obsessed about it a little bit. So Insurgent  had a lot to live up to. While I still love Divergent the best so far, I have to say Insurgent was pretty darned good! I was a little worried at first, but the book hooked me quickly and kept me turning the pages. I loved the depth into Tris's story and her true qualities, the same ones that make her Divergent, poking out. Her relationship with Tobias was really strained throughout this book, and I was glad to see a relationship that mirrored the climate and setting of the book. I hate when you have the crazy, can't see anything but you, obsessive love forming in the wake of a murderous revolution (or zombie plague, or any high anxiety situation for that matter). Who is going to be giving moon-eyes over the table when you watched your family slaughtered by your own community?! So I appreciated that Roth kept that in mind with the relationship. I also like that Tris was a little impetuous and had trouble keeping herself out of trouble. We can't all be calculating and spot-on, so it was humanizing to see her react to each situation.

This is a great dystopian series for both lovers of the sub-genre and those who just liked one particular dystopia (that which shall not be named out of respect for not comparing every bloody book in the same genre to one particular series despite the glaring lack of similarities solely because that series is the new craze). The books look big and intimidating, but they read so fast that a number of types of kids could enjoy them. The story gets a little complicated at times with so many characters, but you can sort them out relatively easily. And oh boy. You will want MORE!!

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