My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It's been over a week since I finished this book, and therefore the Divergent trilogy, and I'm still a little confused about how I feel about it. It gets three stars instead of two because of a major plot point/spoiler that I've selfishly wanted since the first book (though I know other readers weren't happy about it). Like Insurgent, this book continues with no time lapse--it's literally as if Veronica Roth wrote the entire trilogy as one large piece, then chopped it into thirds. The only thing setting the final installment apart is its switch to co-narrators, Tris and Tobias (the boyfriend), instead of just Tris.
Having Tris as the narrator (as opposed to writing from third person point-of-view) was one of the major downfalls of this entire series, and bringing Tobias on board did little to salvage the narrative tone. First, it was hard to distinguish his voice from Tris's. I'm not sure if this is because Veronica Roth can't write voices for two different people (her mediocre dialogue is evidence of this), or if I got confused because I was already used to Tris as the primary narrator thanks to Divergent and Insurgent, but either way, there were several instances where I had to flip back to the beginning of the chapters to see who was doing the talking. Second, it turns out Tris isn't the only whiny, self-absorbed character--Tobias had some pretty cringe-worthy thoughts that again made me wish for a third person perspective.
As far as the plot goes, it lagged in many places and got bumbled in others. We've already established the factions (based on personality traits) and the factionless (those rebelling against the current system) in this world, a Chicago of the future. At the very end of Insurgent, we learn that there is a whole other world outside the city limits. Tris and Tobias, along with several others (by this point there aren't that many people left--the series does not lack violence, one thing that works in its favor, credibility-wise), leave the city to figure out what exactly that is. Then things get both confusing and boring. I wasn't quite sure who the enemy was in the middle section of the book, and this wasn't helped by the lack of action. The narration sounds like robotic descriptions: There were beds. We ate food. We wore clothes. Tris and Tobias's "romance" gets a little tumultuous when Tobias talks to another woman while--gasp!--Tris isn't even there, and once again, they prove that no dystopia/civil war can stop their hormones from forcing them to kiss and canoodle at any moment.
And the ending. I won't reveal any spoilers, but let's just say it was one of those where things magically work out because the author is ready for the story to end. As for the things that don't magically work out, they felt like cheap shots--just there to force emotion, and serving no real purpose. I said Allegiant got an extra star for one of these plot points, but that was awarded for its end, not its means.
Much like the other books in this series, I don't hate Allegiant. It was still a fast read. I can't fault it for trying to be the next YA craze. Deep down it has some interesting themes and views on the world. I only wish it had been read/edited even once more before publication.
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