Thursday, January 2, 2014

Where Does Your Allegiance Lie?

The city formerly known as Chicago has been divided into factions for generations, but it was never more divided than when a group of factionless, led by a tyrant of a woman, forced the factions to disband. In the conclusion to the Divergent series, Allegiant is Veronica Roth's chance to wrap up the stories of Tris and Tobias. 

With the factions disbanded, the people of the city are struggling to find their rightful place. When Evelyn locks the city down, Tris, Tobias, and a number of others designated the "Allegiant" or rebels against the factionless, decide to escape the city in the hopes of some help from the Vast outside. What they find outside the city, however, is something none of them could have expected. They have known all along the Divergent were special, unique. They also knew the Divergent were being hunted, but they assumed those people were lost forever. When Tobias runs into the Divergent who helped him when he joined Dauntless, he can't believe he is alive. But outside the fence, there are even more secrets to be uncovered.

Very quickly they learn Chicago is only one city of many experiments. All were treated differently, and not all had factions, but the most terrifying thing is the organization outside the fence is just as devious and cold as those factions inside the fence. When a war is on the brink of eruption in Chicago, they have plans to "reset" the experiment. Tris, Tobias and the others are stuck on the outside watching their friends and family inside being treated like mice in a maze. But if you know anything about these brave kids, you know they don't just sit idly by and watch tyrants mess with their lives. They are going to do something about it. Even if it means risking their lives. 

I have a truly strange relationship with this series. I loved, I mean adored the first book. The second book was good, but it just didn't have that magic for me. And again, I liked this book, but it just didn't have that spark of the first book. I will, however, say that for all of you out there who hate the romance or the relationship angles of these dystopian books (can't harm the sacred 10 people who we love so much!), you will be happy to know Roth ended this story in a way that leaves no question where her loyalties lay. She is dedicated to her story, not her characters. She is dedicated to the world, not the relationships in it. While I struggled to truly LOVE this book like I had the first, I totally respected her dedication to the world she built. I am sure it wasn't easy for her to do and she will get a lot of flak for it (much like Robert Kirkman gets for his ruthless treatment of his characters in The Walking Dead). 

I think the struggle with this story lies in the huge amount of conflicts all intertwined but still independent of one another that are going on. Sometimes they contradicted one another, which made the whole situation a little more confusing. For instance, there was more than one rebel movement in the fence, more than one outside the fence, people pretending to be on one side but really on a different side but actually secretly working for a third side?! Sadly, in an effort to make the story intricate and complex, it got lost in a convoluted mess. That being said, however, it wasn't a bad story. I actually enjoyed it and was content with the ending (although I predict many readers will hate it). I just don't think the rest of this series lived up to the amazing first book, sadly. 

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