I am a huge fan of Veronica Roth’s Divergent Trilogy. The first two books were devoured as quickly as any Harry Potter novel I’ve ever read (that means really quickly, basically only stopping to eat or use the bathroom). I enjoyed the ease of the prose, as well as the fantastic images and characters that the writer painted. There was enough loss to make it realistic, but plenty heart and warmth to keep you reading and hope for the best. I’ve eagerly awaited the final novel in the trilogy, Allegiant, and bought it the day it came out. To my displeasure, I was not nearly as captivated as with the others. The words did not flow as well, due in large part to the introduction of dual narrators. While Roth captured Tris with ease and precision, she lacks the finesse to narrate from two different characters’ perspectives. I am not downplaying her talent. She is a fabulous author and creates a beautifully desciptive landscape of places and characters. I just couldn’t get behind her latest work. I wonder if she didn’t rush it a little for her fans and editors. While I cannot begin to describe the irritation I feel for George RR Martin’s slow writing pace, there is something to be said for taking one’s time.
Other than the split narrative that through off the pace and ease of the writing, there were a few other things that made the novel feel disconnected. For one, it takes place almost entirely outside of Chicago, the setting of the first two. The name of the book refers to a revolutionary group that the characters barely deal with. The conflict feels hastily tied up in a way that negates the premise of the entire book. A main death comes out of nowhere and serves no real purpose, except to try to elicit emotion from the reader. That emotion is hard to feel, though, due to the narrator’s lack of emotional depth. I don’t want to say it was a waste of my time…but it kind of feels that way. I do not share with Allegiant the respect and enthusiasm I feel for Divergent and Insurgent. It just was not the right way to end a beloved trilogy.