Sunday, July 5, 2015

Veronica Roth's Allegiant: A Book Review

Allegiant reads as a book about teenagers, for teenagers, that leaves little room for the adult mind. While Divergent was an above average fun read, this text picks up right where Insurgent left off, and in doing so, continues to show an impulsive, teenage disregard for human life. People die, for seemingly no reason, and Tris remains bulletproof (that is until the bitter, drawn out end). Tris has always been a martyr to a cause that lacks clear definition beyond her self-anointed path to righteousness. Author Veronica Roth casts her as a Christ like character, but does so overtly and without a true purpose to her cause.

Of course her death should not be a surprise, for while the first two texts came entirely from her point of view, we now enter the equally impulsive mind of Four. While he thinks of Tris a frequent basis, his character is quite flat. He is idealistic, angry at both of his parents, and despite all the bullets flying around him, he lacks the typically teenage preoccupation with sex. Any intuitive and able minded reader can predict the future—Tris will die and Four will have to describe the end. Perhaps Roth could have waited until the end to shift the point of view—did we really need the Tobias and Evelyn reunion show—but what is done is done.

That said, the two find themselves in the Fringe, in an airport just outside of Chicago, and they find that the US Government still exists and is running the city as an experiment to a group of genetically damaged people. This damage is loosely explained at best, but gives the individuals a predisposition to violence. The ruling class in this endless war is genetically pure (but with a more hidden inclination towards violence), and Tris and Four, not even in their twenties are the catalysts for yet another revolution, the third at this point, yet more death and destruction, as they try to impose their will on society.

Always a poor man’s Hunger Games, this text ends predictably, painfully, and thankfully.  

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