Tag Archives: Tobias Eaton

Book Review: Veronica Roth’s “Allegiant”

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I haven’t been this excited for a series in a long time. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series was the last one that did this to me. But I had to do catch up for that. There were already three Harry Potter books when I got sucked in.

I was always sort of late in starting book series. I started reading Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy when Catching Fire came out. I rushed through Ally Condie’s first two Matched books a few weeks before the last book’s release. That was a bad idea because I had to re-read all three books again since rushing made me miss a lot of the trilogy’s plot points. And, hey,I just started Lauren Oliver’s Delirium trilogy a year after the last book came out.

But it’s different for the Divergent trilogy.  I’ve been on the Divergent train from the very start. Someone gave me an ebook copy, and I immediately got hooked. I fell in love with the whole story; with Veronica Roth’s dystopian Chicago the moment Tris accepted her divergence.

It’s been two years since I’ve first read it and the Divergent fanbase has definitely grown. I have more people to talk about it now. I’ve converted some of my friends, convincing them to read the books and even giving away a few copies. That’s how much I’ve loved this series. Suffice to say, saying good-bye to it is hard. Bittersweet.

After reading Allegiant, though, things are mostly bitter than it is sweet.

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Allegiant, the last book in Roth’s Divergent trilogy, picks up from where Insurgent ended with the factions collapsed,  the factionless – under Evelyn’s leadership – taking over the city, and the discovery that they were all put inside the fenced-in Chicago by a group of people who may need their help. Buoyed to discover the truth about their city and their existence, the trilogy’s protagonist Tris goes outside the fence with Tobias, Cara, Christina, Uriah, Caleb and Peter. What they discover completely obliterates everything they know and believe in.

Again, I fell in love with the first two books. I still am, actually, and I wanted to love Allegiant as much as Divergent and Insurgent but I just can’t. It’s not even because of the ending, although that made me sad, too.

Allegiant is an ambitous book, and it should be after the success of its predecessors but there’s a fine line between being ambitous enough and outright being bombastically, overly ambitous you lose touch of any realism. Allegiant crossed that line.

My biggest issue with Allegiant was Veronica Roth’s plotting. Instead of tying loose ends from Divergent and Insurgent, she pulled even more strings into the mix. The result? A convoluted mess of a story that’s confusing at best. I feel that the conclusion was rushed and does not offer neither explanation or resolution.

The switching between Tris’ and Tobias’ point of views also didn’t help. I know she said that she needed two characters to narrate her story, to give the readers a multi-faceted view of the world she created but it did not work. Personally, I didn’t get any new information from reading Tobias’ POV. It actually confused me even more to the extent that I have to check every chapter whose POV I’m reading. He started sounding like Tris, and it led me to feel like I didn’t know his character at all. Allegiant’s Tobias is a million miles away from the one I knew from the first two books. Divergent’s and Insurgent’s Tobias is tough, confident, strong and brave. The one in Allegiant is a pale and weak version of him.

Continuing my discourse on character development or lack thereof in Allegiant, let me go to Tris. Tris, stubborn and reckless; Tris, my favorite character in the trilogy. I expected Roth to stabilize her beliefs, make her go forward. That does not happen, though, instead she goes on retrograde – travelling backwards to her demise. It wasn’t so much her death that affected me, it was the way it played out. It was senseless.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m okay with writers deciding to kill off their main characters but it has to make sense and it has to push the narrative forward. Roth did not do Tris, who’s such a great character, justice. Also, the author could have taken that chance to give Caleb the redemption he so deserves.

Allegiant is so full of interesting characters which Roth could’ve explored more. I’ve mentioned Caleb, now add Marcus and Peter into that list. Then there’s also the dynamics between Marcus and Evelyn, the Allegiant and the factionless and, of course, Tris and Tobias but you wouldn’t want me to start on that last one because this review would need 10 more pages.

I know Veronica Roth can write better than this. She’d shown an incredible talent in being able to get her readers’ attention, draw them into the world she created and make themselves immersed in it. She also has the knack for creating really amazing and varied characters. She’d shown that in both Divergent and Insurgent. I gave those books a 4 and a 5 respectively, that’s how good they were.

Allegiant could have been a better book if the author was able to plot more carefully. I’m more sorry for all the lost potential than the unnecessary ending. I will still recommend Divergent and Insurgent to people who haven’t read it yet. Allegiant, however, is a read-at-your-own risk kind of book. There were things I liked about Allegiant – Tris and Tobias finally talking things out like adults 75% into the book, how Tobias’ grief was potrayed and the role of his and Tris’ friends in his handling it – but there were just more things I can’t let pass.

This review doesn’t mean that I hate Veronica Roth. I am still a fan, she, after all created this wonderful, intriguing world and all its amazing, interesting characters. I wouldn’t be this affected if her writing wasn’t effective to begin with. She made me care about this fictional world and all these characters, and that says a lot about her. Allegiant just did not work out for me but that does not invalidate the rest of the trilogy. I will definitely still read Roth’s works in the future. Come to think of it, there are stil three Four short stories.

Please know that giving Allegiant this rating hurts.

Also, I will still watch the Divergent movie and I would still love for the other two books to get the same treatment (ATTENTION: Summit Entertainment). Seeing these books become movies, translated into a different medium, is both exciting and intriguing at the same time.

Rating: 2/5

Book Music: Veronica Roth’s “Allegiant”

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I know, I know all I have been posting about in this blog lately are all Divergent related. What can I do? I fell in love with this series something that hasn’t happened since Harry Potter.

I am currently reading the last book now, Allegiant,  but here’s the thing, I already know how it will end because of the spoilers on Tumblr. I am aware that some people don’t have their copies yet, or aren’t finished reading their copies so I’d stop there. However, this song just kept popping up in my mind while reading.

Be brave, initiates.

Here’s Jimmy Eat World’s Hear You Me (May Angels Lead You In). 

Book Music: Veronica Roth’s “Insurgent” Playlist

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And we’re down to a solitary day.

Allegiant comes out tomorrow, and as part of my Divergent trilogy/Veronica Roth appreciation week, here are the songs that helped her write book # 2, Insurgent.
Insurgent

1. Timshel Mumford & Sons (Sigh No More)

Death is at your doorstep
And it will steal your innocence
But it will not steal your substance.

I don’t think anyone could describe Tris as “innocent” after the things she’s done and seen, but I do think of her as a person of substance, so these lyrics struck me.

2. GiantsNow, Now (Neighbors)

There isn’t really a specific part of this song that applies to the book, but I listened to it during quite a few action sequences while writing the book, so the general feeling is right.

3. HysteriaMuse (Absolution)

I’m not breaking down
I’m breaking out
Last chance to lose control

I believe this qualifies as a Dauntless-on-the-verge-of-war song.

4. The CatalystLinkin Park (A Thousan Suns)

God bless us every one,
We’re a broken people living under loaded gun,
And it can’t be outfought,
It can’t be outdone,
It can’t be outmatched,
It can’t be outrun.

This one sort of surprised me, because I heard it randomly one day and just stopped in the middle of what I was doing, because it captured the situation of Insurgent so perfectly—a group of people who Tris calls “creatures of loss,” facing an enemy they don’t feel strong enough to defeat.

5. Under the WavesPendulum (Immersion)

I am deep in a river
Waves above my head
Held with no spirit
We descend
We reach the end.

There are a lot of moments in INSURGENT in which Tris feels overwhelmed. This song is good for that sort of thing.

Personal note: My fave from this one is Now, Now’s Giants though Linkin Park’s The Catalyst is sort of a driving/running song. Anyway, tomorrow, fellow initiates, tomorrow.

And, like what Tobias told Tris before she went to her fear landscape the first time, Be brave!

Book Music: Veronica Roth’s “Divergent” Playlist

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It’s just, what? Six days, five days before the release of the third and the final book in Veronica Roth‘s Divergent trilogy, Allegiant. A lot of people, myself included, have been eagerly (also, impatiently) waiting for it. We all know it has to end but, still, it’s bittersweet. It’s hard to say good-bye to all the characters in the series. We’ve been with them from day one, accompanied them through their struggles, grew to love them. So, as a sort of “saying good-bye” to Tris, Tobias, Christina, Uriah and the rest of the Divergent gang, here are the songs that, in a way, inspired the books.  This is for the first book, Divergent.

Personal note: My faves from the list are Again and Arise by Flyleaf, and Come Alive by Foo Fighters because it really captured the feel of the book. Give it a listen. NO, strike that! Give all of these songs a listen.

Divergent hc c(2)

1. Starts with One – Shiny Toy Guns (We Are Pilots)

This song gets me in touch with the good aspects of Beatrice’s chosen faction

2. Chasm – Flyleaf (Memento Mori)

And this song gets me in touch with the bad aspects of Beatrice’s chosen faction.

3. Come Alive – Foo Fighters (Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace)

This is the love interest’s song for Beatrice.

4. Again – Flyleaf (Memento Mori)

And this is Beatrice’s song for the love interest.

5. Help I’m Alive – Metric (Fantasies)

Beatrice’s initiation song.

6. We Die Young – The Showdown (Temptation Come My Way)

This might as well be the theme song for Beatrice’s chosen faction—it’s what they would choose for themselves.

7. Canvas – Imogen Heap (Ellipse)

This is the “riding on trains” song.

8. Running Up That Hill – Placebo (Covers)

The tone of this song matches the tone of much of the book, for me.

9. Sweet Sacrifice – Evanescence (The Open Door)

I was listening to this song when the first scene I wrote (in chapter 6) popped into my head. That scene led me to the world of the book and its basic plot.

10. Arise – Flyleaf (Memento Mori)

A powerful song that’s perfect for chapters 38 and 39.

And now, some really exciting “Allegiant” news

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allegiant

Oh, yes! Allegiant is now being printed and Katherine Tegen posted this photo on Tumblr. What’s more, we now have a full back description. Here it goes:

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

Author Veronica Roth recently announced during the Divergent movie panel at Comic-Con that Allegiant will be told from both Tris and Tobias’s perspective. Allegiant, the last book in the Divergent trilogy, will be released on October 22. Meanwhile, the first of the four “Four” e-shorts titled The Transfer will be out next month on the 24th. Also, also, voting for Four’s voice (Allegiant audio book) will end soon. Harper Audio has something for the voters, so go VOTE.  And if it helps, below is the four auditions for Four’s voice from Soundcloud.

It’s been a good couple of months for Divergentland. Aren’t you guys excited? I know I am.