Veronica Roth's 'Insurgent': A Review
Roth's debut novel, "Divergent", impressed me so much that I went and ordered "Insurgent" before I was a quarter the way through it. I really hoped that Roth would be able to maintain the same exciting, intriguing story telling and human characters that she beautifully brought to life in "Divergent". Sadly, "Insurgent" falters just slightly in its delivery. Don't let my over critical mind dissuade you. If you enjoyed the first novel, the sequel is still a must read.
"Insurgent" begins exactly where "Divergent" leaves off. Tris and Four are on a train bound for the Amity headquarters in the hopes of finding amnesty. As the Amity members debate the fate of the Dauntless escapees, Tris can't help but do a little bit of snooping. She discovers that one of the sole surviving Abnegation leaders has a secret that the ever vicious Erudite are desperately trying to protect. Despite her best efforts, Abnegation's leader admits that there is knowledge that the public does not know, but refuses to confide in Tris. Shortly afterwards, Erudite soldiers and the Dauntless traitors storm the Amity headquarters. Their focus is not to kill, but to identify the living Divergent. With quick thinking, Tris is able to foil the Erudite once again and is able to escape. Thinking there is nothing left to lose, Tris and a few other Dauntless escapees decide to storm Erudite's headquarters and take them out once and for all. Once inside, Tris will discover the secret that her parents died trying to protect, and she'll find out who among her group is betraying her.
As I mentioned earlier, "Insurgent" is a sequel. I wouldn't recommend reading this novel if you haven't finished "Divergent". There is a lot of information that you'll need to know and "Insurgent" doesn't back track. Roth has done well with "Insurgent". I see a pattern developing like that of the Hunger Games series. As the second novel turns more into a political struggle (see Catching Fire) instead of the initial survival concept, Roth loses just a little of her magic touch. While Suzanne Collins' third book "Mockingjay" verged on the on the edge of ridiculousness, I hope that Roth can pull the series into a different direction. The book was still a fast and fun read, but the similarities are too prominent to ignore. The wonderful characters are still there, and their presence is just as strong, and I still find Tris a hero worth rooting for. My only real complaint about the story is that as gears change into a more political direction, the lines between factions blur. Eventually leading to parts of the story that are confusing and can swamp the reader. I'm not ashamed to say that there are parts I had to reread to get the full picture. For letting parts of the story sink into translucence, I'm only awarding "Insurgent" four stars.
Roth's secend novel in the Divergent series.