Friday, 31 January 2014

Allegiant Review

In the weeks leading up to the publication of Allegiant, the final book in the Divergent series, there was a huge amount of hype. It was trending on Twitter and consumed Tumblr in the days before the publication. When the book was finally released, it was devoured by fans.

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Only for people to find out the book was absolute rubbish.

I have read a lot of terribly written books in my lifetime, and Allegiant is one of them. The first book, Divergent, was fairly good. I enjoyed it enough to continue on to the second book. Insurgent was a bit of a chore to read, but I still did manage to finish it. Allegiant made me lose all faith in the series.

What was with the writing style, first off? Some authors have managed to pull off the idea of switching perspectives between characters, but Veronica Roth has not. While reading the book, it was extremely easy to become confused as to whether you were reading from Tris or Tobias’ view. Their internal voices were very similar – so similar, in fact, that when Tobias was kissing a girl I had thought it was from Tris’ perspective only for Tris to walk into the scene. It was very poorly written. On top of that, the writing itself was very basic. First person present tense is not my favourite, and this book is the reason why. The sentence structure was very simplistic and the diction was incredible basic. The plot may have been creative, but the poor writing drowned all of that out and made it very difficult and almost dry to read. There was no emotion in the writing either.

Characterisation, or rather, lack thereof, was extremely prominent. Tris lost any and all of the personality she’s gained in the previous book and ended up as a blank slate of emotionlessness. If she did have emotion at any point in time, it didn’t affect the reader I the slightest, leaving them indifferent. Same goes for Tobias. He discovers something shocking about himself, and while I expected him to have a more dramatic reaction, he only grew slightly more angsty and followed along with what another character was doing.

The plot itself was unrelated, to put it nicely. This book contradicted and made everything that happened in the previous books irrelevant. The idea behind that isn’t terrible, but it was so poorly executed that any positive that would have come from it was counteracted by the fact that the book just wasn’t written well. Even if there’s a good idea behind a book, if the writing and the characters are poorly done, there is no way the plot could excel. You can’t have one thing without the other.

Death should normally hold some meaning and usually, if it’s a major character, shock and upset the reader. This isn’t always true, but there’s a difference between offering foreshadowing for a symbolic death and just killing off character because there was literally nothing else to add in. Not saying which characters die, but the deaths are pointless in this book. It serves to add nothing to the plot – not even closure at the least. Its only purpose was to shock the reader in the ending and leave the fans of the series completely disappointed.

I give this book a one out of five. It offers a conclusion to the series, yes, but it’s a rubbish one and you would be better off reading fanfiction instead. The ending of the book is not a good ending (again, trying to stay spoiler free here), and while the other books felt like they were leading up to something, this one wasn’t. Overall, the book was just poorly planned out and poorly written. No one should read this book. It really is not worth your precious time.

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