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Review: ‘Allegiant’ by Veronica Roth

May 27, 2015
Allegiant

Were these books a trilogy? Because I feel like I’ve just read three different books. What a terrible ending to a terrible series. It’s like Veronica Roth realised that her initial plot made no sense so she changed everything up and threw in a lot of action, fireworks, romance and unnecessary plot points just to make sure you didn’t notice!


Roth’s first mistake was attempting to switch first person view between Tris and Tobias. First of all, by changing the format it made the ending relatively obvious, and even more, unfortunately, she completely lacks the capacity to write a convincing male voice. Both Tris and Tobias had the same voice through their first-person narrative, and that voice was distinctly female, and even more distinctly Tris. I had to go back to the beginning of the chapters a few times to remind myself who’s viewpoint I was meant to have. The voices were too similar.

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The characterisation of Allegiant is poorly executed. Every character that isn’t Tris or Tobias is two dimensional and incidental. They serve no purpose, have no personalities, and basically exist to die to create false emotion so Tris has something new to cry about. Even Tobias and Tris have had their third personality iteration so, as I got to the end of the novel which should have left me a pathetic blubbery mess, I had pretty much run out of fucks to give, because I no longer felt that I knew any of the characters.

The thing that bothered me most was the completely warped morality. We’re meant to admire Tris for her bravery and selflessness, but she makes the exact same decisions as the ‘evil’ people in this novel, it’s just somehow they’re not considered evil because Tris is the one making them. We as readers are asked to accept without question that all Tris’ decisions are the right ones, despite evidence to the contrary. Even Tobias is shown to be worthless when he disagrees with Tris and spends a lot of time whining about that very fact.

Roth had the potential set up for this series to have a really poignant ending. With the faction system destroyed she could have used the positive elements of the factions to work together to build a future, but instead she chose to use the pointless death route. The ending did not say anything or even mean anything. There is mention of the fact that the rural US is now largely uninhabited, meaning that the potential was there for what remained of the factions to create their own future outside of the government’s control, and outside of the experiment. But we didn’t get that. We got an abrupt and pointless resolution which just annoyed me. I should have cried. I didn’t. I felt nothing because everything went nowhere. Also, I don’t know why this annoyed me so much but, what on earth is the REST of the world during this time? It seems that this genetic experimentation was a US government only initiative, and we know that air travel still exists so why not seek refuge in another country? But the rest of the world is not mentioned once in this train-wreck of a novel.

What I basically got from this series is that when nearing the end of writing Insurgent Veronica Roth saw the film Serenity and possibly the series Firefly as well. She took the video broadcast from Serenity to end Insurgent and then made Allegiant about teen appropriate Reavers.

There you go, I saved you hours of your life. Watch Firefly instead.

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