Book Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

The final book in the dystopian trilogy Divergent by Veronica Roth is, well, not good. I did not reread the two previous books in preparation for the release of the third book – I ran out of time and I let SIL borrow Divergent. I don’t believe a refresher of the plot and characters would have made my feelings about Allegiant more favorable. I was hesitant to read Divergent in the first place mostly because I was insanely jealous someone my own age wrote a best selling book while in college during the years I was making countless biochemistry flashcards. However, I read Divergent at the recommendation of a friend and an NPR post and I enjoyed it! I found Insurgent to be entertaining as well and am looking forward to the movie next year. Allegiant however brought all those feelings to a grinding halt. I’m not even sure where to begin but I will try to make this as coherent as possible.

  1. I didn’t even know ‘allegiant’ wasn’t a word. I think I would have preferred the title nickname of ‘detergent’.
  2. I might have missed the memo but I did not realize Allegiant would be told from alternating character POV (Tris and Four). I may have caved and paid a couple bucks to read Four’s e-book ‘The Transfer’ a few weeks ago and genuinely enjoyed his story. This was not the case during Allegiant. I found myself constantly flipping back to the start of a chapter to orient myself; I continually forgot which character’s POV I was reading. There is no distinction between Tris and Four. I suppose now that I have finished the book, I understand why Roth set the book up like this but it was inconsistent with the earlier novels and it didn’t work.
  3. The plot became unnecessarily convoluted once Tris and Four made it outside the fence. I never really questioned the dystopian world Roth created inside Chicago but once our protagonists left the city and Roth began to expand her dystopian society on a larger scale, I had many unanswered questions, what I perceived to be huge holes, and an overall a general lack of cohesiveness and believability about the society.
  4. As a scientist by trade and education, I can’t even begin to expound upon my dissatisfaction with the genetically pure/damaged plot. Letting ‘pure genes’ manifest through procreation takes years upon decades upon centuries, etc. If the scientists were really so smart and could manipulate genetic material, don’t you think they would do it in a petri dish rather than elaborate, expensive, ridiculously large scale behavioral modification experiments? Makes absolutely no sense to me. And if Roth did any research into genetics to create a plausible storyline, I couldn’t tell.
  5. The constant stream of supporting character deaths seemed forced.
  6. My copy of Allegiant came with extra diary entries written by Tris’ mom. I was much more interested in her storyline!! If Roth was going to switch up her writing style for this book, I would have preferred two narratives flipping between Tris’ POV and her mom’s, past and present, now that would have been interesting!!

All in all, obviously not my favorite book. It was a disappointing ending to a trilogy I otherwise enjoyed. While I suppose I will continue to follow Roth’s writing in the future, Allegiant was just, just blah.

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

  1. A dual perspective from Tris and Nathalie would have been amazing! I wasn’t disappointed that Four was there, but now that you’ve mentioned Nathalie I’m now wishing we had that instead of Four.

    As for your answer to number 4. The scientists may be dumb, but this is the same world where being in Dauntless meant that you were brave instead of a reckless idiot. I don’t think real brains was really necessary here. :p

    Enjoyed hearing your thoughts on this, though I am surprised you didn’t talk about the ending. How did you feel about that?

    • I tried to leave my review a little vague to avoid spoilers. Let’s just I was caught off guard by the ending, haha! It was not at all what I expected to happen!! It was a bold move on Roth’s part. At this point (I finished the book yesterday) I would have liked Tris to take over Caleb’s part in the plan just like the book but have Caleb swoop in at the very end during the stand-off with David, that would have been cool (and redeeming for Caleb’s character). Thanks for commenting!!

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