The Trilogy Ends: Allegiant Book Review



by Veronica Roth

Apparently, my rush to finish Gone Girl has led to a reading frenzy to finish other books that I’d abandoned.  Tonight, I finally finished Allegiant by Veronica Roth.  Just as with Divergent and Insurgent, once I got going, I didn’t want to put the book down.  This is how I found myself forgetting to eat dinner, and leaving all of my household chores for tomorrow.

During the past few months, I’ve read a lot about how much the finale to the trilogy sucked, and, no doubt, that made it easier and easier to delay finishing it.  I was careful not to read too much , because I didn’t want to know what made people think it was so terrible.  I’m glad I didn’t read further, because I may not have ever finished it.  This doesn’t mean I agree with them, in fact, the opposite is true. This was a great ending to the trilogy.  The resolution is there, the story wrapped up in a satisfying, truthful, if idealistic, way.  Most of the time when something ends it hurts a bit, and expecting a series like this to go out without a bang and a little pain would have just been wishful thinking.

The characters, for the most part, stay true to their development in the first two novels, but they do slip from time to time.  Occasionally, they make choices that definitely move the plot in the right direction, but don’t feel authentic to the individuals we’ve gotten to know.  There’s nothing overt about it, just slightly…easy.  It is almost as if you can see the characters clamoring to have their way, and Roth forcing them to comply with the story arc to keep everything on track.  Without a couple of those less than perfect scenes, we could have ended up with an entirely different book.  One that leaves room for a fourth and fifth and sixth.

Although, I would be happy to revisit this world and see events unfold from Evelyn’s viewpoint or Christina’s or even Peter’s, a continuation would be a bit of a stretch, and I’m okay with that.  Sometimes you need to finish a series, and know that it isn’t going any further.

Would I say that I’m “happy” with the ending, well, no.  However, I can’t fault her choices there.  Tris’s decision was true to character, and it was a resolution of its own.  Any other action on her part would have been another character forced into an inauthentic action, all plot and no substance.  That kind of ending would have been disappointing.  Instead, Tris and Tobias both get what they needed…in a round about kind of way, but they still get what they needed.

First Lines: “I pace in our cell in Erudite headquarters, her words echoing in my mind: My name will be Edith Prior, and there is much I am happy to forget.”

Now, there’s been a lot of talk about how much people like the Divergent movie, but I haven’t talked to anyone who has both read the whole book and seen the film.  I think I really want to go see it before it leaves theaters, but I’m a bit hesitant after my disappointment in the Mortal Instruments:City of Bones movie.  Anybody out there who has both read the book and seen them movie?  Hit the comments below to tell me what you think.  Also, if you just want to talk about the stinking book, and the emotional aftermath, do that too. (One day, I’m going to get someone who actually reads these books around the same time I do.  This waiting business sucks!)

’Til next time,



2 thoughts on “The Trilogy Ends: Allegiant Book Review

  1. “Tris’s decision was true to character, and it was a resolution of its own. Any other action on her part would have been another character forced into an inauthentic action, all plot and no substance.”

    That is precisely what it was. Not her decision in that last moment, with Caleb, but her (and all of their) decisions that created the situation. The plan. It was not believable. It was contrived as hell to invent an excuse for Tris to be in a moment where she would make the obvious choice to be selfless for the “right” reasons. But there was nothing realistic or believable about the characters’ decisions that led to the creation of that moment. Do you actually believe that Tris would decide that the “only” way to save the city from having their memories erased, something she calls a fate worse than death and a horribly despicable thing to do to another human, would be to unleash the exact same horror on the other side? That was completely out of character for her to even suggest such a thing, and it was even more out of character for Tobias and the rest of them to even go along with it. But Veronica Roth ignored that since it conveniently led them to a situation where, also conveniently, the “only” way to enact this terrible plan would be to go through a room that “happens” to be booby-trapped with a fatal device … and yet with a two-day notice about the impending threat to the city, none of the characters make any effort whatsoever to come up with a way to avoid this death trap. They throw up their hands and go, “Welp, I guess we’re going to have to pick someone to die!” That was even more out of character than the original idea itself. We’ve spent two books watching these people engage in near-military level strategy capabilities as they navigate the faction wars in the city, and now suddenly they all become idiots who can’t be bothered to try to find a way to avoid dying? It doesn’t even occur to them to think of a way to disable the serum, or use the other serums at their disposal to get the passcode out of David, or just stop the damn war in the city so there would be no need for the Bureau to reset them in the first place? After all, that’s precisely what Tobias set out to do in the midst of this, and somehow it didn’t occur to them that they ought to have just done that anyway so David would have no need to reset the city? No? It doesn’t occur to anyone, least of all Tris, who is struggling with the idea that her brother is going to die, to use the freaking two days they have to plan their suicide mission to instead use that time to think of a plan that, I don’t know, doesn’t involve death? Yes. That is very believable. The ending is not authentic or true to the characters. There was nothing about the story that brought them to that moment that was believable. That is why the ending fails. We know Roth had this ending in mind from the beginning, and it’s obvious that she had to force the story there. It appears she was not capable of doing so without making the plot completely inorganic and contrived, and that, unfortunately, negates the entire thing.

    1. Great insights. I don’t disagree at all. Throughout, I kept trying to justify decisions that went against character. Difficulty adjusting to the new world they find themselves in, traumatic events making them second guess themselves, trying to make themselves believe that they’d left these kinds of decisions and actions behind, all crossed my mind as possible justifications for acting out of character, but I never really believed any of them. The only thing I really believed was that Tris wouldn’t let her brother die for what she felt were the wrong reasons. Even the extended tension between Tris and Tobias felt forced. More attention was paid to plot and so much less to character and the relationships between them.

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