“What if your whole world was a lie?”
Here’s my (spoiler-free) review of Veronica Roth’s Allegiant, the third and final book in the Divergent trilogy.
The final book in a series is always one that I worry about, particularly if the series is one of my favourites. Both The Hunger Games and Delirium disappointed me towards the end (though I’d still recommend reading them despite that) and so I didn’t have much hope for Allegiant, the final book in the Divergent trilogy.
I’d heard whispers about a shocking ending, so I knew something big was coming up. I had managed to avoid spoilers, so I had absolutely no idea what that ending was going to be. I’d thought of numerous possibilities, though the actual ending wasn’t one that dominated my expectations while approaching the final pages. I’m glad about that, because it meant I was still surprised as I discovered the characters’ fates.
I know that many, many readers reacted badly to the ending, and I can understand why. I don’t want to spoil anything for those of you that haven’t read it, but I will say that I actually really liked the ending. I think it was brave, and that seems fitting to me.
It’s the rest of the book that let me down a little. Until I was about two thirds of the way through Allegiant, I wasn’t hooked. I was able to put it down without missing it, which is something I was absolutely incapable of when I read Divergent. It took me a surprising 10 days to read, but I’d expected it to take just a couple. That last third of it flew by in a few hours, though.
I didn’t particularly enjoy the dual narrative, mostly because I’d always found Four to be mysterious and complex, but such a deep insight into his character took away from that. Perhaps that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I found my attachment to him wavering at times. Also, the split narrative changed how I felt about Tris. Not only did I sometimes find her irritating, stubborn and big-headed, I also felt less connected to her (which changed my reaction to the ending too).
I love Veronica Roth’s writing style, but in Allegiant I noticed a few strange similes that distracted my attention away from the story as I puzzled over what on Earth they meant and why she felt the need to use them. For example, on page 91 it reads: “We move closer together like sections of a tightened shoelace.” Urm…
Despite the negatives mentioned above, I did have that ‘wow’ moment as I closed the book for good. Not many books do that to me these days, but Allegiant‘s ending really got me. That sigh of satisfaction when the final words in a series give you the closure you need is something I didn’t get from the end of The Hunger Games trilogy, and absolutely didn’t get from Requiem (with Requiem it was more of an infuriated scream).
If you’re reading this review, you’ve probably already read Divergent and Insurgent, in which case I’d advise you to keep going. Allegiant is a solid ending to what is unmistakably a brilliant series, though it doesn’t live up to first book’s awesomeness. If you’re reading this wondering whether to even start the Divergent trilogy, I say yes, go for it. It’s worth it, particularly because the first book is so amazing. Plus, there’s a movie coming out soon and we all know that reading the book before seeing the movie is a must!
**** 4/5 stars
Have you read Allegiant? I’d love to know your thoughts (and read your reviews), which you can share in the comments section below.