The Divergent trilogy is a thrilling invitation to investigate what matters to you most. Author Veronica Roth developed a future world that redefines freedom. Her writing is fluid and compelling; her new world order, insightful.
The twists and turns of this series provides plenty of meaty material to discuss; however, this reviewer will not reveal the mysteries of the plot. Though difficult, I choose to allow you to reward yourself by reading it first hand. In each novel our heroes, Tris and Tobias, make difficult choices – some obvious, some astounding. Divergent – One choice can transform you, dares our main characters to be different. Insurgent – One choice can destroy you, requires them to fight for what they believe in. Allegiant – One choice will define you, tests their loyalties, and their choices are shocking.
The beauty of this series is Roth’s character development. She creates not only two endearing main characters, but also numerous memorable supporting characters. You meet a lot of interesting people and won’t need a notepad to keep track of them. Each is distinct, well developed, and impressive in their own right. In Divergent, our main characters choose to be different. It costs them family and all that is familiar, except for each other. We learn that the dystopian Chicago in which they live supports five factions.
Five unique ways of life, each committed to a particular personality trait: Abnegation – selflessness, Candor – honesty, Erudite – knowledge, Dauntless – bravery, Amity – peace. At age sixteen, each citizen must choose a faction without advice, or even full knowledge of its way of life. Those who fail their chosen faction live in poverty as outcasts. Tris and Tobias have chosen. However, when they discover a rebellion brewing they choose to be different. They win and they lose. They expose the rebellion but lose loved ones, a clear sense of self, and their home.
Roth (or her editor) chose titles that outright envelop the story that unfolds within. Insurgent is defined as one who rebels against established authority. Insurgent presents Tris and Tobias each having rebellious choices. But who is the authority: the politicos of old, those currently in control, or is it the bond between them? They each discern the knowledge they share and bravely sacrifice of themselves for the greater good and for each other. Others also dare to be divergent and they survive to bring us to book three.
Allegiant – one choice will define you. Probably the least insightful of the titles but still appropriate. Their dystopian Chicago is too small a place for wanted rebels to survive. Tris, Tobias, and a small band of compatriots escape outside the security gates. Now begs the question first raised in Divergent – why are the gates locked from the outside? SPOILER ALERT: A world exists beyond their own. Just as life itself always will, Roth again presents our heroes with choices. The choices our heroine makes astound me! Few authors brave their main characters’ unfettered freedom so successfully. Roth and Tris are heroic in their choosing and made this reader forever allegiant.
The books are published by Katherine Tegan Books, an imprint of Harper Collins Books, NY, in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Divergent, the movie, opens in cinemas March 21, 2014. Do yourself a favor. Choose to read the book first – one choice can transform you!