Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Review: Insurgent

Insurgent (Divergent, book 2)
By Veronica Roth
Published 2012 by HarperTeen

WARNING: There will be spoilers for book one. To read my review, go here. Possible spoilers for this title as well.

In a heartrending decision, Tris chose Dauntless - and that was only the beginning. Tris discovered that she was Divergent, and that the Erudite had a plan to alter the power structure of their world. Oh, and she fell pretty hard for one of her Dauntless leaders, Four. After foiling the Erudite plot, Tris now has to deal with the aftermath, and soon realizes that Erudite will not be stopped after one attempt.

I had sort of an ambivalent reaction to the first title. However, as time passed and it came closer to the release date for book two, I found myself getting more excited than I expected to be. So, I made time in my reading schedule for this book much sooner than I might have normally gotten to it.

If there is one thing Roth does well, it's tension and action. This book clocks in over 500 pages - and it flies by. Every chapter is packed with action and leaves you breathless - what's going to happen next? How is Tris going to overcome this obstacle? Can Tris and Four ever be happy together? Roth is also good at delivering twists and turns - although those that populate the romance seem a bit overdone, the ones that pepper the action of the plot are exciting. I was especially pleased with the traitor in their midst - it works within the ridiculous world that Roth has created and makes for some high emotion.

Roth's stumbling blocks are mostly based in pure absurdity - the world of the Factions is still pretty ridiculous. However, that doesn't stop me from wanting to know more about it. What I am perhaps most interested in (and assume I will discover in book three) is how the world got to be this way. What was the catalyst for the creation of the Factions? How did it come to be that this was the most logical form of government? Additionally, Tris is not really any less annoying in this book, but I still find myself rooting for her. As a matter of fact, this book reminded me a lot of Mockingjay - Tris struggles with her sanity and PTSD throughout most of the book, often feeling despondent and as if her efforts have not been worth the cost. Her romance with Four suffers as a result of her mixed emotions and this becomes an increasingly frustrating aspect of the book. Yes, there is something very appealing about a love story that must overcome the odds but, at some point, we all want a happy ending. I suppose most people don't read dystopian fiction for its happy endings, but if it's going to be peppered with romance, I want that romance to at least be the cheerful bit. Odds are that everything is going to work out in book three, but for now we'll just have to wait and see.

Overall, this is sure to be enjoyed by fans of the first, who will despair the wait for the concluding volume. This is also a great readalike for Hunger Games fans and anyone who likes an action-packed story.

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