Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Review Day: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

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I finally got around to read Allegiant, by Veronica Roth. So far, I've loved this series and I'm glad to finally read this final installment. It's been on my Kindle since Christmas. 

Warning: I'll do my best not to give spoilers, and I promise not to give away the ending, but there may be some very mild spoilers for previous books!

Plot: The third installment picks up where book 2 left off, after seeing a certain video made by a woman with a familiar name. This volume felt very different to me, in a way, because Tris and the gang actually leave the city--where books 1 and 2 were set--to see what is beyond. It just has a whole different feeling to it than the first two books did. Not that things are so different outside Chicago. They still run into different groups of people trying to control things and butting heads with all kinds of intrigue and conflict. Good times.

Characters: Both Tris and Four get a lot of character development. Four, of course, is trying to figure out his relationship to his parents, and who he is, independent of them. Tris's main conflict is with Caleb, because of what he did in book 2. We see her really come full circle when it comes to her brother and her family, which plays into the ending, but more on that in a minute. Overall, I really liked where Roth took the characters in this installment.

Writing: I will say that I'm still not a huge fan of the way in which it is written. I'm not huge on first person to begin with. I don't mind it, especially when it's done right--and Roth knows how--but it's just not my favorite. On top of that, she does the thing where, although everything's in first person, she shifts POVs from chapter to chapter. While it's becoming a more and more popular way to write, I've just never liked it. I can't tell you how many times I'd be reading along, get through two pages of a chapter, and then realized it was from Four's POV, not Tris's, as I'd been imagining. Or vise versa. It's just really distracting and yanks me out of the story time and time again. :/

Themes: The themes are what you might expect for a dystopian novel: freedom, human rights, love, sacrifice, the one against the oppressive many. I won't say much about them in the context of this review, except that they were well-executed and I applaud Roth for them.

Ending: So here's the thing. Before reading this, I read skimmed lots of reviews of the novel, careful not to actually read what happens at the end. There was a lot of "why would she do that!!!"-type rants online, so I figured there had to be some major tragedy involved, and there was. I give any specifics, but suffice it to say that not all of our favorite characters come out breathing on the other side. 

So how did I feel about it? I still don't know. Not exactly neutral, but I can see both sides of the argument. I have a pet peeve about putting tragedy into the end of the story just to get the audience to cry. I HATE THAT! I'm all about tragedy, even character death, but it has to mean something. It has to be in service of the character development or the plot. Otherwise, I'll hate it. With this, I thought it was very much in service of the character development, so I could see that it made sense. 

Of course we want all of our characters to have a happily ever after, but I respect Roth for doing what I'm sure her readers least expected. On the flip side, I do understand the rants as well. Maybe I can take the ending more in stride than most because I had a healthy suspicion of what was going to happen before I read it. I don't know. 

Overall: I really enjoyed the series and I'm glad I finally got to book 3. I've forgotten so many of the little details that I kind of want to re-read it--at least book 1--before the film comes out. But I already know I won't have time. *sigh* Oh well. 

I'd love to hear how everyone else felt about the ending.

What did you think of the way Allegiant ended?

4 comments :

  1. I wasn't quite spoiled about the ending, but I had a pretty good feeling what was going to happen. I did see one comment that hinted at the end, but it could easily be interpreted multiple ways so I wasn't sure. I actually loved the ending. It saved the book for me - I thought the rest was poorly done.

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    1. Ah. Glad to find someone else who liked it. I didn't think the rest was badly done, but it definitely had a different feel than the first two books, so I see what you mean. :D Thanks Alison!

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  2. I just started this series... finally. I'm a little afraid of the ending because I'm a HEA kind of girl. However, I'm also curious, and after reading your great review I'm keeping an open mind.

    Marilyn @ Marilyn's Mystery Blog

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    1. Hope you like it all! I really did! :D

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