Tuesday, 13 August 2013

'Insurgent' by Veronica Roth (2012)

Synopsis: Insurgent is the second book of the Divergent trilogy and it picks up directly where Divergent left off. It begins with Tris, Four/Tobias, Caleb, Peter and Marcus fleeing from the Dauntless compound (after the Erudite and Dauntless factions teamed up to slaughter the Abnegation). They now hope that one of the other factions will offer them shelter and protection. Tris is also struggling to cope with her grief and guilt over the death of her parents and the fact that she killed her mind-controlled friend Will. Meanwhile, the Erudite faction and Dauntless traitors are developing a serum in order to control the Divergent and take over the city.

I have to admit that I really enjoyed Divergent. Of course I recognised that it wasn't a great book and that it was very flawed: the dystopia didn't make any sense whatsoever and its side characters were extremely underdeveloped and one-dimensional. However, I still found Divergent to be a very entertaining and gripping read. It was fast-paced and suspenseful, it had lots of action, and a heroine that kicked ass. Also the romance was only a nice little subplot that didn't get in the way of all the action. But unfortunately this isn't the case with its sequel. Insurgent is a far weaker book than Divergent and I found most of it pretty boring and tedious. Although I still think that Veronica Roth is a talented woman and that she has a lot of potential, the final book of the Divergent series will now have to be something really special for it to save the series.

I really didn't like Insurgent much at all and that was mainly due to it being so lacking in plot. Barely anything happens! Divergent was mostly focused on Tris trying to get through her initiation process in one piece. Her romance with Four/Tobias was only a subplot. But in Insurgent it's now the other way around - the romance between Tris and Tobias is now the main focus of the story and there's considerably less action. Throughout most of Insurgent Tris travels aimlessly between the different factions and gets into arguments with Tobias. I actually really like romance novels when they're well-written and engaging but that wasn't the case with Insurgent. Reading about Tris and Tobias's angsty romantic troubles wasn't the slightest bit of fun.

I wouldn't recommend Insurgent. To give it some credit though there are a few entertaining scenes and moments in it, the writing is still really good (for Roth's age), and it was nice to learn more about the Amity and Candor factions. I didn't hate Insurgent. There are many things that bothered me about it but I can't say I dislike it enough to give the book one star or less. Mostly, I just felt apathetic whilst reading. I'll probably still read the final book of the series, Allegiant. I've come this far so I might as well and I'm hoping that Allegiant will be an action-packed improvement.

Rating: 2/5

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