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Mockingjay (Hunger Games), Requiem (Delirium), Sever (Chemical Garden), The Death Cure (Maze Runner) and now we add Allegiant to the list of ya-dystopian-series-finale-gone-wrong. [IMO, Sever was great but some disagree and I have not read Maze Runner, I’m relying on my friend Scarlet’s views here]. Now I’m led to believe that only Patrick Ness can write a perfect ending to a perfect series [Go read his Chaos Walking trilogy NOW if you haven’t.] Before I turn this into “All hail Ness” article let me jump back to Allegiant.
I can’t write a review this time, I have many scattered thoughts about this book which I’m going to list out so I'm sorry if this feels too haphazard in structure.
First thing, Allegiant is so beyond and disconnected from Divergent and Insurgent, it’s setting so much bigger that it could have been turned into a spin-off series. While reading this book you’ll realise how tiny the previous world was.
Now, I see a lot of people hating this book with a fiery passion, I’m NOT among them. I didn't love it, didn't hate it, neither am I in-between. I felt obliged to read Allegiant because I liked the first 2 books, that’s all. My thoughts about this book are few and not very strong because it didn't matter to me. Just like School Spirits. I don’t want to decide anything because this book is one of those “come and gone” books, which you read and don’t ponder upon.
But as I said, my mind is forced to dwell upon this book for I loved Divergent a lot.
See, Divergent was never a proper dystopia, it doesn't fit the definition at all but V. Roth made it promising by her writing. Divergent and Insurgent with their action sequences, fast pace and mindless fun made the read worthwhile. Plus, Roth is a good writer, you can’t deny that, there are some quotes that are just unforgettable. I never felt deeply connected to the world she created but still I loved it because there is one thing in this series that I really cherish.
And no, that’s not Four. It’s Tris.
Many people find her annoying, unlikable, a jerk but let me tell you this – If there is one heroine I have felt the most familiar with, it’s her. I say my most favourite protag is Rose Hathaway because I want to be like her but a protag that is closest to me is Tris. When I first read Divergent I was surprised by how much I am like her. Her every little thought mirrored mine so it was very comfortable for me to step into her shoes. And obviously, that’s why I agreed with everything she said or did, that’s why I was eager to read a book where I felt I was narrating it. The fact touched me.
But Allegiant is where this bond between me and the book started breaking as I disagreed with the way Tris acted as a litmus test to determine what's right and what's wrong. She set the bar to determine what should be done and what shouldn't and this time I lost the sense of intimacy I experienced with her character.
With Tobias’s inclusion, it became a bit uncomfortable as well. Don’t get me wrong, Tobias’s narration is as welcoming as Tris but the problem is it’s almost the same. I do not like it when an author tries dual or multiple POV but doesn’t master it and that’s what happened here. Tris and Tobias voice is so similar that after reading half a chapter I had to go back and check who’s narrating it.
Finally, the ending.
Choosing the title “Allegiant”, then the cover of the book to the change in setting, it was clear from the beginning that V. Roth was trying to create something different from the very beginning. So, of course the ending followed the same road. I think it was purposely done so people would “talk” about it, to create an instant buzz.
I’m not unfamiliar with this kind of ending, I've seen a similar closure in another book –which if I mention will spoil both the series for you – and the fact that I had been hearing that “OMG. Allegiant’s ending will break your heart” for the past 2 weeks, it really didn't hit me as hard as it should have, in fact, I had been expecting it.
I have two final thoughts – Either all of this was planned from the very beginning or it wasn't planned at all. Veronica Roth just created it along the way because first 2 books are distant from 3rd book but they are connected in small threads as well. So, I think that either she had planned only first 2 books properly then took all her time to write Allegiant or this had always been her design. I’d actually love to get an answer to this question, if I get a chance I’ll definitely ask her.
I did not hate Allegiant to the extent to break all my ties with this series, I’ll remember it for a lot of things I liked about it and so all the books Veronica Roth decides to write in the future will definitely be in my to-read list.