When I first read Divergent I thought,"YES! Something that's completely original! Something I've never read before!"
I loved the characters, I loved the world, I loved the idea of the factions even though I knew that was just asking for trouble. But thats the point of every novel right? To ask for trouble for it's characters? Speaking of characters, I loved the fact that the side characters like Peter, Christina, and Caleb, were people. Not fillers. That is until Insurgent and Allegiant.
Imagine my dismay as I watched this series begin to crumble. As I watched Roth struggle to keep the originality of her story. Insurgent I felt was just an unnecessary filler book that completely dismantled everything I thought about the characters, but Allegiant takes that even a step further.
Okay, enough about the previous books. I have reviews on Goodreads if you wanna know how I felt about that. Lets get into Allegiant.
The only reason why I gave this a 3 out of 5 is because I actually do like the story.
I mean sure the plot didn't make sense at times. Especially with the whole, genetically damaged genes eventually making genetically pure genes if you procreate enough. If that were the case well then maybe my great great great grandchildren will have the cure for sickle cell disease swimming around in their veins. Anyway, so Veronica wasn't paying attention in Bio, I can relate. But research is always good for plots that have anything to do with Science. But regardless, I give her brownie points for at least trying to be different.
Most people felt like Tobias in Allegiant is to Tris in Insurgent. But I honestly don't think it was that bad. I completely understand Four's reaction to certain things, like being genetically damaged. That would make anyone feel insecure, especially if they have had that feeling for a while anyway. Bottom line is, no matter how tough Tobias appears, he's still a guy who was abused by his father as a kid and constantly felt or was told that he was worthless. Yes, he is insecure, and that makes him honest in my eyes. BUT, the whole not thinking things through situation is new to me. He was the one that always went off on Tris when she went on her little I'll sacrifice myself for everyone rampages
More on that later.
But for him to just say okay to the chick he barely knows, while brushing off his girlfriend's warnings as jealousy, was so not Tobias in my opinion. You know what else was so not Tobias, that epilogue zip line scene. He sounded like Caleb, practically sniveling about how he didn't want to do it. I remember being like WTF, this doesn't sound like Tobias. Two years later or no, Tobias, who first of all overcame all of his fear landscapes, would not still be terrified of zip lining. And even if he was, he wouldn't show it. He would grit his teeth and get on the damn thing. I was so disgusted by him saying "Please. I don't want to do this." Did you somehow lose your balls during the two years that passed? Even the way he was talking to his mother and everyone else, it didn't even sound like his voice. I wasn't sure who it was and I think Roth might have noticed that too, hence all the clues she was dropping until she finally just blatantly had Tobias say "well I am your son Evelyn."
Sidenote: Roth does a lot of that. Telling instead of showing. Instead of us just seeing something happen between two characters, somebody explains why they did what they did or how they're feeling. That is a storytelling no no.
Tris on the other hand, was way better than she was in Insurgent. Her confidence was back and she didn't turn into butter every time a gun was put in her hand. She had attitude, she was defiant, and she reminded me of why I liked her in Divergent. Even with her going in Caleb's place, I knew that was something Tris would do. But her death was not necessary. More on that later.
The sad part was watching characters that I really liked becoming flat fillers. Christina is only around when Tris needs someone other than Tobias to talk to. Same goes for Cara and Tobias. Caleb does nothing but mope around feeling miserable for what he's done. Uriah is the occasional "comedic relief" that is until he's... you know... blown up for no apparent reason other than it was about time for somebody else to die. Peter, who I liked for being proud of how much of an asshole he was, turns out to actually hate being an asshole. He wants to forget who he is and start over. Last time I checked, the memory serum takes away your memories, not your personality. Which is made even more apparent when it's stated later that the more "sharper" aspects of his personality came back. I'm not even sure what the point of that was. Maybe if it had been made clear that Peter had some sort of inner struggle all along about the type of person he was, this would have worked. Instead it just comes off as random and pointless. I guess she realized that nothing had really happened with Peter lately, so she made something up.
So the genetically pure and the genetically damaged story has some kinks to be worked out, that is what it is. My problem is, why introduce a whole new conflict when the previous conflict has yet to be resolved. If we were going to go outside to the world beyond the gate and get some new crap shoved in our face, then the whole faction vs factionless dilemma should have ended in the second book. Or rather, it shouldn't have started in the 3rd book. Or it should have started and shutdown quickly. Anything to not have the plot so convoluted. Maybe she could have saved the whole GP and GD thing for a prequel series or something, I don't know. It's just too much going on in one book. It's to the point where we barely even know what's going on with the factions. They've been reduced to here and there snippets on the control room screens. I think I would have actually been okay with the 3rd book still focusing on the factions and factionless, and then ending with a group of people leaving the compound. Then we can have a few more books exploring the GP and GD conflict. Funny because in Insurgent, I was saying it should have been a two book series, but since she dropped this stuff on us, I'm thinking 2 more books could cover this new plot nicely. It's almost like halfway through writing the series she came up with another idea and felt like she just had to squeeze it in somehow. That was one of her biggest mistakes with this book.
The other was Evelyn throwing away years worth of work and determination just because Tobias asked her to. Its even more ridiculous to me because right before the scene Peter reminds Tobias that Evelyn almost got him killed by sending a group of people with guns after them when they were leaving the city, knowing that her son was among the people leaving. We also know that Evelyn doesn't take too kindly to betrayal. But low and behold Tobias says choose me or the city and it doesn't even take a second for her to choose him. You know I actually thought it was a trick. I'm reading and in my mind I'm like OMG, she's so faking it, something is going to happen, that was too easy! But no, nothing happened. She really was surrendering. And Marcus, Mr. Big Bad Wolf, was shut down by Johanna before he could even really begin to start a ruckus. And he actually gave up. Just like that. You mean that this conflict could have ended a long time ago if Evelyn had just surrendered? Then explain to me what the point of all this was? If all it took was for Tobias to say, "Hey mom, choose me," then why didn't they have that conversation when he was working side by side with her. Evelyn faked her own death for goodness sakes! You would think that having a family again is not exactly high on her priorities list. I literally pictured them fighting and Tobias force feeding her the memory serum. But it's almost like Roth is afraid of having completely evil characters. It seems like she tries to give all her bad guys some sort of redeeming quality, but it's really not necessary. Let a bad guy be a bad guy. That's their job. But since Roth apparently wants everybody to just forgive each other, we end up with a very anticlimactic end to that conflict.
Now for that finale. That moment my friend told me is going to make my jaw drop. Honestly, it didn't. As soon as my friend told me I might not like the ending, I knew what was coming. I figured it would either be Tris or Tobias. And you know what, I would have been fine with it. It's realistic enough. I'm not the one to always want a happy ending anyway. But the way this ending happened was so forced, it's insulting. I can't help but feel like she, her publisher, somebody wanted this "shock factor". Cause lets face it, Tris's death was so unnecessary. It took away the chance for Caleb, the only person who actually did need redeeming, to prove that he wasn't a bad guy after all, just misled. I was completely okay with him sacrificing himself because it just made sense. But I just knew that Tris would steal the moment. But I didn't expect her to die because of it. I was expecting the whole she has more of a chance to survive the death serum thing. But David waiting with a gun? We don't even know what tipped him off. He just had a feeling because she had been running around with GD people all week? Thats complete bullshit. First of all, who else is she going to run around with? Those people are her friends and she's not going to cut them off just because you say they're damaged. Oh, and let's not forget that she saw him early in the day at a meeting! Don't you think if he suspected anything he would have brought it up then? But no, instead we get a random security lockdown that ruins the whole plan. If we had some clue or inkling that David was on to them, this might have worked. But instead she forces a situation that would allow Tris to die. And then we're supposed to be heartbroken for Tobias. First of all, it took pages for them to get back to the Bureau to learn what happened, by then I was just over it. The mini chapters of Tobias in his feelings didn't even move me because I was just pissed the whole time that Tris died is such a dumb way. I mean she had a whole conversation with David and was taking steps BACK. She could have dived behind some cover, grabbed her gun, shot David from around the corner and Initiate the memory serum and that would have been that. Hell maybe she could have took some shots too, but survivable ones.
I think in Roth's quest to be different, she threw logic out the window. But I'm sorry, to successfully kill off a main character, you better have a damn good reason to. That's why it's very rare, not only in books but in films. Roth could have gone so many ways with that ending. But she chose the wrong path for the sake of controversy, and that is the biggest disappointment about this series.
You know what, that 3 out of 5 is more for the series as a whole. I would give this book more of a 2 out of 5.