Author: Veronica Roth
Released: May 1st 2012
Pages: 525 (Paperback)
I HAVE DONE BAD THINGS.
I CAN'T TAKE THEM BACK,
AND THEY ARE PART OF WHO I AM.
Tris has survived a brutal attack on her former home and family. But she has paid a terrible price. Wracked by grief and guilt, she becomes ever more reckless as she struggles to accept her new future.
Yet if Tris wants to uncover the truth about her world, she must be stronger than ever... because more shocking choices and sacrifices lie ahead.
It's always the way, isn't it, in dystopian trilogies? Fantastic first book and then second book syndrome. The first time I read Insurgent, I was swept away by the trilogy on a whole and it could do no wrong. But now that I've reread it, I can actually pick out some major faults. Whilst I still enjoyed it, I didn't enjoy it enough to warrant the previous five star rating.
After the Erudite try to gain control of the city by putting the Dauntless under a simulation and killing the Abnegation, those who are left are now factionless. This is a name for those who belong nowhere - and Tris is now one of them. In Insurgent, the group who remain loyal venture out to seek refuge and comradely amongst the two remaining uncorrupted factions. However, many secrets still remain undiscovered, and as the factionless seek to recover what the Erudite took from them, they will discover things that will change their perspective on life forever.
My ship is ruined. I was a big fan of Tris and Tobias, but in Insurgent, they both turn into unstable gits. Tris has never been a nice character, and that's part of the reason why I liked her - you could see her flaws and she embraced them like an amour. However, she has now become plain ridiculous. She is full of self-bloody-pity, and all she does is argue with any rationality people try to throw at her - including Tobias. See, him I still love, but Tris just stresses me out. I think because I didn't like her character, it made it difficult to enjoy the narrative as much as I did in Divergent. Most of the time, I was concentrating on not screaming at her through her pages rather than the actual story.
A problem I didn't have but noticed is that Insurgent picks up literally immediately after Divergent. If you've had a big gap between reading the first installment and this one, you will be lost. Roth seems to presume you remember every single event and character from Divergent with not even the tiniest of recaps. Thankfully I did pick up Insurgent immediately after Divergent - but if I hadn't, I really wouldn't have cared less for the first few chapters, the decease characters, and the new ones.
The plot seemed to take a complete one-eighty turn! I loved the idea of factions, I loved the originality they brought to the novel, but now it is just confusing. Half of the factions are in tatters, and without that base to build up from, it's just a bit of a mess. You can kind of compare it to The Hunger Games - in the first two novels you have that arena, but as soon as you take it away, it kind of falls apart. The difference between the two is that whilst Collins managed to pull off this completely chaotic society on the verge of revolution, Roth hasn't.
It all just felt a bit rushed. Like Roth wanted to get from point A to B as quickly as possible whilst at the same time providing the depth she delivered in Divergent. It's safe to say that it really didn't work. However, her use of language is still as beautiful as ever, and although I don't like where the plot is heading, it's imaginative and clearly well thought out. Overall, I'm still going to go out and read Allegiant - despite my distaste for the cliffhanger, I'm intrigued to know what Roth has up her sleeve next.