Review: The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth

Divergent CoverThe Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth; Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant.

I started on Divergent as a Kindle freebie; I’d never read it so thought “what the hell, I probably should!” I went into the read with fairly blasé expectations; I’ve seen the marketing for the film, heard a bit about the books, and I know they’re fairly popular. I was expecting YA with a post-apocalyptic bent, so a dishy love interest, feisty heroine, general trouble, hopefully a society falling down…I’ve read The Hunger Games, so something along those lines?

Insurgent CoverWell, that’s pretty much what I got.

It’s good, don’t get me wrong. I liked it. But…it’s just a different flavour of dystopia rather than something original. The writing’s pretty good, and the plot swings along happily. Characters are a nice mix of people and personality types. I never felt there was a particular baddy (which I suppose is the way with the dystopia stuff, as it’s the society that’s the issue rather than individuals).

By the time I got to Insurgent, it was a bit bleh…there’s a threat, it’s complicated, everyone hates everyone. I suppose I didn’t really get into the first one enough to care about the factions in the second; I spent most of the book just waiting for them to twig that maybe everyone having a bit of every personality trait is possibly best, and working together might help things. Cynical, moi?Allegiant cover

I also didn’t particularly like the addition of Tobais’ voice in Allegiant. He’s not a personality (which I note seems to be a complaint other people have made) – he sounds a lot like Tris, which I think is a writing issue rather than a character one. It’s also jarring as we’ve only had Tris up until now. As far as the plot goes, I’m still fairly meh on the whole thing. I think I preferred The Hunger Games, with its specific threats and set scenes and overarching ideas, rather than this maze of loyalties and ideals to start with, which then move and shift and change. I also admit I struggle with the dystopia/YA habit of ramping up threats constantly, providing an out-of-the-frying-pan-into-the-fire atmosphere – I know it makes good reading, but it annoys me!

So: nice, if you like dystopia YA, but I think there are probably better examples. But then I’m not particularly into the genre and I’m not the target audience, so I’m happy to accept that my opinion doesn’t particularly count!

This was one of my Discoverability Challenge books.