Allegiant by Veronica Roth Review: What a trainwreck

November 11, 2013 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 1 star, Books, Reviews

Allegiant by Veronica Roth Review: What a trainwreckAllegiant by Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #3
Published by HarperCollins Australia on October 22, 2013
Source: Publisher
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
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The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

Allegiant, you were the biggest disappointment of the year for me. Here I was looking for an epic battle between the Allegiant and the Erudite but instead, what I got was a complete and utter mess. It’s taken me days to form some coherent thoughts on the book so here goes…

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD

The problems I had with Allegiant

My whole life is a lie

Now I don’t have any problems with going out of the box, and Allegiant was a true mind numbing experience. Instead of giving us the epic, final battle we were looking for, Veronica Roth chose to defer from the whole thing and explain the true reasoning behind the factions. This is how it went…

The Bureau of Genetic Warfare: You were all an experiment, and your whole life and everything you know is a lie.

Tris and co.: …Oh okay then.

Wouldn’t you think that if this happened to you and your friends, there would be denial, breakdowns, refusals and drama? These guys were just stunned, accepting mullets.

What makes you so perfect 

The biggest shock to Tris and Co. appear to be some strange form of prejudice, where the Bureau has manufactured the Chicago experiment to box people away into their neat little pigeon holes so they can modify their behaviour based on their genetically damaged (GD) genes. Yes, these are the factions that we know.

The reasoning behind this is to absolve the flawed behaviour of these genetically damaged people after the government has unsuccessfully messed around with people’s genes resulting in The Purity War, which I’ll talk more about below.

I don’t know about you, but calling someone genetically damaged does not sit right with me. Everyone has flaws and you learn to live together and love one another. If you thought the prejudice of the factions were bad, imagine the disdain that would come from someone’s genetic makeup. I can’t ever imagine people giving consent to messing with people’s genes on a mass scale.

..Every faction loses something when it gains a virtue: the Dauntless, brave but cruel; the Erudite, intelligent but vain, the Amity, peaceful but passive; the Candor, honest but inconsiderate; the Abnegation, selfless but stifling. 

Flawed reasoning 

The Bureau pretty much manufactured the experiments after The Purity War, where those with damaged genes after extensive genetic manipulation had waged a war on the government and those with pure genes. Their primary goal is to ultimately heal people’s genes to become the Divergent, recovering from the ultimate fatal flaws of the GD. If this is the case, why did they not equip the Chicago experiment with this knowledge and filter all of the Divergent out of the city, once identified? Why were the Divergent placed under threat from the faction leaders? It makes no sense.

Let’s just hit reset

Those Bureau guys just won’t learn. It appears that the uprising in Chicago has happened once before in the outer edges of the factionless places. So they administered the memory serum to make everyone forget it ever happened and start over. While it’s happening again, and what’s their solution? The memory serum again. Just so they can watch their sick reality TV show all over again.

Not to mention Tris’s plan to wipe the memories of The Bureau, thereby making everything obsolete and pointless. The experiments, the GD war, the serums, everything. Let’s stop them from wiping away the memories of our loved ones by wiping away their memories, that will teach them! Last I heard, two wrongs don’t make a right.

Goodbye sexy broody Four, hello Mr Whiny

When Allegiant was announced, we were excited to get inside the mind of the mysterious Four and find out what goes on in his head. What it turns out to be is a constant whining, insecurity, mommy and daddy issues, and a whole lot of angsty emotion. Four in Divergent/Insurgent, was a hunky, confident, mysterious instructor. Four in Allegiant is an annoying, whingy puddly mess. Not only that, but in Allegiant he seems to make all the wrong decisions and not trust Tris repeatedly, even though she was right. Roth must have had a vendetta against him, making his decisions result in Uriah’s death, taking away Tris, making him one of the GD.

As the book switched perspectives between Tris and Four, it was difficult to pick out who it was throughout the book. The two just sounded so damn similar and their voice was exactly the same.

Side characters – who were they again?

Christina, Uriah, Caleb, Cara and co. were all in this book but the fact of the matter is – you could have taken them away and come up with exactly the same outcome. The only one that seemed to make any impact was Nita, the new rebel girl who has her own illogical ideas. But the whole flirting with disaster thing with Four? Didn’t sit well with me. And Caleb of course, who was a sniveling mess of a man living in the shadow of what he did to Tris in the past. There’s a man who for his whole early life, urged Tris to be selfless. There’s a man who couldn’t be selfless himself, when it came down to it.

Here’s an idea – let’s communicate!

At the end of the book, there’s 4 different plans that went on to stop the overthrowing of the Chicago experiment, that would result in the death of thousands and dare I say – the genetically pure/Divergent. The Bureau would release a mass memory serum and wipe out the memories of the entire city. One group will go in to inoculate their loved ones from the mass memory wipe. The other group will go in, take the death serum and release the memory serum on The Bureau. And Four decides to go against all of this and administer the memory serum to either Evelyn or Marcus to end this thing once and for all. At any one point, they could have told each other what was going on. But nope, never happened. Which is frustrating, seeing as Four’s plan could have saved them all.

Finally…the death was only for symbolism’s sake 

I’m not so cut that Tris died in the first place, after all that is who Tris is, brave and selfless and always putting her loved ones ahead of herself, even if it was for snivelling Caleb who deserves death himself. Tris, in this novel could do no wrong. She was always right, she was selfless, she was genetically pure, she loved and finally sacrificed herself for the good of everyone. That’s great, because we love Tris and her journey over the past 3 books have showed her that she’s her own person.

But my biggest problem was how the author administered the final blow, and then the way she justified it to everyone in her explanatory blog post. Let’s have Tris survive a death serum (how is that even possible), have a false sense of survival and then have someone come in a shoot her! That is just cruel. Tris has survived death so many times and she went in because she knew she had a sliver of a chance in surviving. Roth considered having her survive, but didn’t, just because she deserved it and that was what she chose:

This was the end she had chosen, and I felt she had earned an ending that was as powerful as she was. – Roth

Symbolism’s sake, the ending could have just been powerful in the wake of Tris surviving, but instead it is causing an Erudite/Factionless outrage.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

I found Allegiant to be disappointing for a myriad of reasons, it was illogical, rendered a book boyfriend completely useless and ripped away what could have been a satisfying ending to an awesome trilogy into something that completely ruined my affinity for the whole series. Veronica Roth took risks, she’s Dauntless and gave us something that we couldn’t have imagined and that, I do respect. Unfortunately, the end result turned out to be an incoherent mess filled with illogical sequences and a crappy ending.

Now does anyone know where I can get myself some memory serum?

ALLEGIANT: HOW IT SHOULD HAVE ENDED: Still feeling robbed of the ending you were waiting for? Terri from My Book Boyfriend wrote an amazing fan fiction ending here.

Thank you to HarperCollins Australia for sending me a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Series: Divergent #3

Rating: 1 out of 5


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Jeann is an Aussie blogger, gamer, reader who loves to read, write, fangirl, geek out and eat food. You can find me glued to one of my many mobile devices 24/7, or fangirling over the latest YA book, TV show, movie or game. Chat with me on Twitter @happyindulgence

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54 responses to “Allegiant by Veronica Roth Review: What a trainwreck

  1. thebookprophet

    You.Are.Awesome. Just found this blog and just browsing through this review (sorry its long and I'm lazy) made me love your blog (and its pretty). ALLEGIANT SUCKED! And not because Tris died. That was the best part I HATE tris. Just her name alone is annoying. BTW: love the spn gifs you used.

  2. Joe Collier

    Could not agree anymore, well written review. I felt the ending and more specifically Tris's death was rushed and pointless. I have no problem killing off a main character, or Tris in this case. What really bothered me was that her death didn't feel like a sacrifice, it felt forced, and easily preventable. My first though when she died was "wait, she just survived the "death serum" and now she dies from being shot? seriously? this has to be an affect affect affect affect the death serum". I absolutely loved the first two books, and even enjoyed this book until the ending. I can get over some of the other issues with the book, but killing the main character like that is unforgettable and I don't think I'll ever read these books again or watch the movies. Unless of course the director changes the awful Allegiant ending in the movie. Again, well done and I pray Veronica Roth reads these reviews and when the movie gets to the end, she realizes the huge mistake she made here and for any future books she writes. As of now, I'm done with her books, and done with books for a while. I'd of course love a rewrite or an alternative ending, but she seems very defensive and stubborn on her idea (not necessarily a bad thing).

    • Joe Collier

      One more thing that bugged me was the way Four's mother who chose leadership over her son constantly throughout this book just randomly changes her mind? Another thing that felt forced. She should honestly consider rewriting Allegiant and splitting it into two books to solve some of these issues (and the awful ending!!!), but doubt that'd ever happen.

  3. needtakehave

    Couldn't have said it better myself 🙂

    Though just to add something to the flames.

    Not just all of that but if you think about it really? It wasn't just all that but really, only the bad guys got the happy ending. Sure, most people kinda expect the main characters to get a happy ending so sure, that's probably the main reason everyone is PO (and if I'm honest, it's a probably my #1 reason though not my only one, not even close). The truth is though, that really I can't see how any of the good guys really got a happy ending and instead basically all of the bad guys got one.

    Let's look at it… Peter? He got the memory serum, or rather took it himself right? So he forgot all the terrible things he did and got to start over. Marcus just disappeared if I remember correctly I think, which isn't dead or in jail or whatever. David got the memory serum too, so again, didn't remember killing Tris and of course the government wasn't going to prosecute him. Why would they when they consider her a rebel which is all her life amounted too which is truly sad.

    The good guys? Well, they are either dead (which is bad) or alone and miserable because everyone they loved pretty much is dead and the world they know it has been completely and horribly fucked over and changed.

    So seriously, to me, it's not even that she did what she did with Tris, or Four (which I agree, he was just, ugh), or the plotline for the whole book, etc etc… it was that the people that really got the happy ending was the BAD GUYS. WHO DOES THAT? lol. THREE BOOKS and THAT is what we get? That's just pathetic and makes me seriously angry to have wasted my life like that.

  4. Bwahahahaha! I actually gave this book a 3 star rating but I am still contemplating about bringing it down to 1. I agree with all the points that you've raised. Though I am okay with Tris' death, I am not yet fully convinced that it should be her ending as a heroine. I think Roth tried to imitate George RR Martin or JK Rowling but failed miserably.

    Hero and heroine deaths are definitely fine as long as there's a very valid logic behind.

    As for Four, I just want to slap him especially when he secretly joined Nita's cause. He's supposed to be mature and responsible but WTF.

    I am kind of annoyed with Roth and her publisher's reactions when the hatred erupted. One of them said that disappointed fans should go re-read HP and eat ice cream.

    *sends you a virtual memory serum*
    Charlotte recently posted…Book Review: Pushing The LimitsMy Profile

  5. I completely agree, I was really disappointed with Allegiant. It completely deviated from what I was expecting, and I honestly found it boring in that I wasn't interested in any of the genetics stuff! All the explaining stuff was to conclude the series, but did she need to waste the entire book in a series which would only have 3 installments on it?! Sigh, I also agree in that Four's character was a let down as well. It seemed in so many scenes that Tris wasn't really reciprocating, and half the time I kept forgetting whose POV I was reading since they were so similar.
    Chantelle recently posted…Sci-Fi Month: Interview with Dan WellsMy Profile

  6. Argh! I was so excited for this book and now I'm really scared of picking it up. I've already been spoiled but I still want to stay in a happy bubble of of no disappointments.

    I don't want a whiny Four! He was the perfect amount of tortured and broody.

    And the ending…Ms. Roth went outside the box alright…maybe way too much.
    Amir recently posted…Mini Review: Bring on the Angst! #COYERMy Profile

  7. I was initially pretty annoyed at the ending and then I was like eh whatever lol it was fitting but the rest of the book was SUCH a disappointment! The world building and explanations for the factions and a serum for EVERY fricking problem they might have??? WHUT? It was just the worse pseudo scientific explanation ever and I will buy anything, I will suspend disbelief happily for entertainment but this was just so clumsily done and the book needed an editing job badly. The POV's were so similar, Tris was seriously dislikeable and Four, what a whiny puppy with mommy issues! Where was the badass?? His ending pissed me off just as much as Gale's in Mockingjay. Homeboys got gypped! Four will never be happy now, he'll always be alone except for a drunken bang with Christina when they are like forty! Blah!
    Danielle recently posted…Review: Going Long by Ginger ScottMy Profile

    • HAHAHA omg Danielle you are so hilarious about the drunken bang rofl! There was a weird moment between them towards the end, no thanks. You are so right about the serums, I wasn't sure how to work that one in. Maybe Roth got rushed to get this one out, who knows. You know what, at least we can watch the movie and know at least we're not going to be inside his head again and he can carry on being sexy.

  8. Great review Jeann! I completely agree with everything you've said! 🙂

    *sigh* The series just kind of went downhill for me in the middle of Insurgent, and Veronica was never – in my opinion – able to "revive" it. Which is such a shame because she's such a talented author – we all saw how phenomenal Divergent was!
    Zoe N. recently posted…ProdigyMy Profile

  9. i read divergent but haven't read book 2 or 3 yet. divergent was just an okay. enjoyable but nothing truly remarkable about it. i'll eventually read the rest of the books in the series but after what i'm hearing about book 3 it's not a priority. and also knowing what happens to tris i don't know if i want to watch the movie.

    -michelle @ Michelle & Leslie's Book Picks

    • I loved Divergent but I think that's why I was so disappointed. I was expecting a lot from this. Yeah, I hope they change the ending to the movie. I can just see it being a disaster on the screen.

  10. Cyn

    Nooooes. I'll have to read this review after I read the book, but all I saw was "what a trainwreck". I'm a bit scared to start it now haha. I've been seeing such mixed reviews. arg. Maybe I'll grab the audiobook so I can just listen to it during my spare time.
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  11. Eve

    I feel the exact same way! Especially about Four – "Goodbye sexy broody Four, hello Mr Whiny". Roth just ruined his character. It's fine to have doubts about yourself, we all do, but he was so annoying, I wished someone would just punch him and bring back the real Four, the one we are used to and love.

    Everything was so messy and it didn't make any sense most of the time. I wasn't as outraged about Tris's fate as most readers were, but it did feel kind of dumb to have her survive so many types of death and then to just shoot her. It was underwhelming and kind of embarrassing.

    And their points of view were too similar – I had to keep checking who was narrating almost all the time. *sigh*
    Eve recently posted…Review: Alice In ZombielandMy Profile

    • Four was ruined, and I'm so glad I read The Transfer beforehand cos I was like…umm wasn't he a bit out of character? HAHA I have to laugh Eve about punching him rofl.

      Yeah, a lot of my problem was how haphazard the book was put together. It's just so lame about Tris dying as well. So many things went wrong in this book!

  12. Yikes! Had started this on the day it was released, but didn't feel like continuing. I read your review, spoilers and all and I'm so sad that Four turns out to be a whiner and Tris dies. Some guys are just meant to be enjoyed from afar. Thanks for the review! I think I'll defer reading this some more…

  13. It was all the rage at ComicCon. It was the book everyone wanted. I find that usually, just like with a movie, is a let down. I feel bad that you read it when you could have been reading something else. Authors of YA are getting nuts are churning the books out like it is going out of style. I believe this affects the quality of work. YA is fine. Just do not let your public decide when your book comes out. Think logically, and do your best work.

    • Yeah, I could imagine everyone would want to get their hands on it. I read a comment from someone the other day that said all the overhyping of the book made this one fall flat on its face, because authors can't live up to the hype. Roth didn't give us what we wanted, instead she took the book where she wanted it to go and I think that's why so many of us are mad.

  14. We have a similar review on this one (which will be posted next week). I also didn't like how Four turned out. He became a whiny bitch. And Tris didn't have to die. Why not let someone else die? Like say, the tyrants? Ugh. This book broke my heart.

  15. I initially didn't want to read it because someone spoiled the ending for me, but boy am I glad that I didn't buy the book.

    It sounds like this was a complete mess and to be honest, Roth's blog post annoyed me. If you need to justify your ending, it means you didn't do a good job in the first place.

    Anyways, the stuff with the genetically damaged would have frustrated me too. Seems like there was a lot discrimination. Plus, the whole plot sounds like it wasn't well-thought-out at all with the characters making stupid decisions. And Four. Ugh. He sounds annoying. >.<

    Sorry this was such a terrible ending for you, Jeann. But thank you for sharing your honest thoughts with us. 🙂

    Lovely review.
    Nick @ Nick's B recently posted…Book Haul & Weekly Recap #43 + AnnouncementMy Profile

    • OMG I really didn't want to get spoiled so I read it early. Her post annoyed me too especially the stuff about "this is the ending that Tris chose". Thanks Nick, it definitely did frustrate me a lot as you can see lol.

  16. I don't really plan on reading this (for some reason I just don't care anymore) so I could safely read your review! I'm glad you pointed some things out because like you said, this sounds like an absolute trainwreck. Blegh! I pretty much agree with everything you said and I'm glad I didn't buy this book. Such a disappointment, but great review!
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  17. Great review! And you were a lot nicer than me, I gave it 0. We all deserved so much more and I couldn't believe what she turned Four into. He used to be one of my favourite male characters till this book. Urgh, so awful.
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  18. So lemme get this straight- the mc dies at the end of the trilogy? Whoa, no wonder there's so much outrage over the ending all over the interwebz!

  19. Oooof. This one is coming up on my review radar, and I'll admit that I'm not looking forward to it based on a TON of the reviews I've seen. Here's the thing…I can APPRECIATE when an author takes the risk and does the opposite of what readers expect. I can't, however, forgive it if we lose everything that made the series work in the first place, you know? Thanks for the honest review, Jeann! 🙂

  20. I still haven't read Allegiant but I had heard enough grumbling about it to decide to read your review spoilers and all. I'm not sure if I will read it, Divergent was a brilliant read for me, but then Insurgent was disappointing, and Allegiant seems to be even more so…

    Thanks for a great review, Jeann!
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