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on October 24, 2013
I finished this last night and afterwards I felt just dead inside. I absolutely hate when a series ends leaving me feeling unsatisfied and even, in this case, angry. I feel kind of betrayed by the author.

I loved Divergent. The book had its faults, but I really fell in love with the whole story, the characters, the romance between Tris and Four, the Factions, etc. I read and re-read Divergent probably 8-10 times. I bought the audio book version as well. I was SO PSYCHED about the movie! I bought Insurgent and devoured it as well. It didn't have quite the same magic for me that Divergent did, but I still loved it. So I was REALLY psyched to read Allegiant.

And maybe my hopes were too high.

I don't know.

That doesn't change the fact that this book utterly and completely disappointed me.


For real, SPOILERS!



**What's outside the fence?**

I was really excited, after reading the 'cliffhanger' ending to Insurgent, to find out what was outside the fence. I had my theories, and I was right about some, wrong about others. I was expecting the cameras and Truman Show-esque thing, but I was not expecting all the genetic manipulation crap. As soon as our heroes get outside the fence, there are chapters and chapters of info dumping and, to be honest, it's kind of dull. We learn that Chicago (and some other cities) were created as 'experiments' because of genetic manipulation gone wrong. Supposedly these cities were an attempt at creating more 'genetically pure' people (aka Divergents). This is so far-fetched and bizarre, but I was willing to go along with it.

**Tris and Four**

I wasn't against the dual perspective, though once I finished the book I realized why she HAD to write it in a dual perspective. However, I don't think it was done well. There were several times where I would get halfway through a chapter and not remember who I was in the head of at the time, mostly because the two narrators had identical voices.

Tris has always been an interesting character to me. I really liked that she was tough, but a little vulnerable and naive. I liked her progression through Divergent and Insurgent. She doesn't really progress much here. We've always known Tris is a selfless person who is more than willing to sacrifice herself for the greater good, or for her loved ones. That doesn't change here. More on that later. She does become kind of arrogant and holier-than-thou here, and it really started to bug me. She's 16, but she often acts (and everyone treats) her like a grown-up. She is pretty much always right in Allegiant and she makes sure everyone knows it.

Four was awesome in Divergent. He loses all of that awesomeness in Allegiant. He becomes quite whiny and pathetic to the point where I actually wanted Tris to break up with him. She probably should have, considering some of the stupid and completely out of character stuff he does. I really hated seeing him reduced to this quivering mess of a boy who does nothing but wax poetic about his mommy and daddy issues. Four was always strong, and he is the polar opposite of that here.

I did enjoy the progression of their relationship though. Some people have complained about the scene where Four accuses Tris of being jealous, but I actually liked it. I like that they, FOR ONCE, acted like TEENAGERS. Unfortunately that was a tiny part of this book, and for the rest of it they act like 30-40 year old worldly adults.


So we have Four's mother Evelyn running Chicago like a factionless tyrannical dictatorship. Johanna and Marcus running the Allegiant, trying to reinstate the factions.

Evelyn has been portrayed as a nearly heartless person, hell bent on making all the Factioned people clean toilets like the Factionless had to do for so many years. At the height of the conflict, she is willing to allow a "Death Serum" to kill pretty much everyone in Chicago in order to avoid going back to the Factions. This is when Four arrives and says "Hey Mom, I'll be your son again if you stop acting like a monster" and she goes "Okay."

She then negotiates with Marcus and Johanna. Marcus wants to take over as evil dictator and Johanna says "Nah, you're not gonna do that" and Marcus just says "Okay."

Conflict over.



**Mass Murder**

Roth has not shied away from killing off characters in the first two books, but I felt like most of that had a purpose. Tris' parents in the first book, Al (due to the guilt over his own actions towards Tris), Jeannine in Insurgent, and more. Deaths in Allegiant come just as rapidly and have even less meaning. Tori dies in a very sudden manner, and then is mostly forgotten about. She was referred to as the leader of the Dauntless, but she is killed and then is nothing more than an afterthought for the rest of the book.

Uriah's death is given a lot more page time, but only as a way to make Four feel like total garbage for getting involved in the rebellion and to make Tris "right" once again.

The biggest death of all was Tris, and this was the biggest disappointment to me. I will be straight up honest - I LIKE a happy ending. I read YA because I like knowing that things will most likely end up happy overall. I read romance because I know there will always be a happily ever after. HOWEVER, I can deal with a bittersweet ending so long as it feels satisfying and feels like closure.

Tris' death was NOT that ending.

Caleb's betrayal was a huge part of Insurgent, and that continues on in Allegiant. He has a LOT to atone for in Allegiant and when he volunteers for the suicide mission to help save everyone, he does it because he wants Tris to forgive him. And he doesn't want to live with the guilt of what he did. Instead of letting him, Tris forces him to let her go instead. I understand this. Tris forgave him and doesn't want him to die because he feels guilty. I get it.


Caleb doesn't get that opportunity to redeem himself. While I understand that Tris acted the way she had to act, that doesn't mean Caleb can't take a bullet for her. That doesn't mean he can't force a redemption. Instead, Tris dies in a completely unsatisfying scene that left me going "WHAT THE HECK JUST HAPPENED?" Caleb lives and basically still is the coward and traitor.

Caleb NEEDED to redeem himself. He needed to take that bullet for Tris and die.

Instead, we get this messed up ending where Caleb lives. Peter lives (gets his mind erased BY HIS OWN CHOICE and gets to start over). Marcus lives (just disappears somehow). David (Tris' murderer) lives (also gets his mind erased and even though he's an evil murderer, no one cares because he doesn't remember). Almost all the bad guys live and get to have perfectly happy, normal lives.



Sorry, but this book was awful. I wanted to love it. I REALLY wanted to love it. I was willing to deal with all the weird genetically damaged stuff. I was willing to deal with the complete dismantling of Four's character. I was willing to deal with a lot, but Tris' pointless and needless death... NOPE. This death felt like it was here for shock value only. So the author could be "edgy" and "different."

Unfortunately, all she did for me is ruin the entire series. I won't be re-reading Divergent or Insurgent anymore. I won't be re-reading Allegiant. And I definitely won't be seeing the movies that I was once so excited for. Knowing how depressingly it ends ruins it all for me
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on November 7, 2013
I've been struggling to put into words why I so violently disliked Allegiant after so eagerly anticipating it for months. It's hard to narrow down a list of all of the things that I hated about it, but these are the things that stood out:


1) Derivative plot. It was basically "The Village" with better technology. That's not to say that there wasn't the potential for a good book in there. Just that the execution was so ham-handed that it brought the derivative nature of the plot into much sharper focus.

2) Completely inconsistent characterization. I mean, night and day differences from Divergent to Allegiant. In many cases, it was hard to believe that Roth was even writing about the same characters. This was somewhat of an issue from Divergent to Insurgent, but the better plot and pacing helped to gloss over those issues a bit. There is no such distraction in Allegiant. Many of the significant plot points happened because of a character behaving in ways that were completely out of character. That made the fallout of those decisions feel like manipulations, not an earned reaction. I didn't believe what she was having them do, so what followed was completely unrealistic to me.

3) My feeling that as the plot points (and deaths) added up, that they were not contributing to a greater whole. Look, I have no problem with entertainment that has a high body count. Games of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Justified, The Sopranos, Deadwood, the Wire, Oz, Homicide-I love them all. But the difference between those series and Allegiant is that the deaths in those stories served a purpose. They moved the plot along, they were used for the development of other characters, SOMETHING. The reactions they caused felt earned, not something to jerk your chain just because the showrunner felt like messing with you.

There was no point to the deaths in Allegiant. Beloved characters dropped like flies for seemingly no reason at all. Horrible characters emerged without a scratch. And pointlessly horrible things happened. E.g. Tori dying right before the others discover the compound where her brother is still alive. The big event, which was IMO pointless and completely avoidable. Roth's choices seemed to just be for shock value, rather than to add anything to the story. I don't like stories that are so obvious about trying to be a tearjerker.

4) The whole thing felt like a rush job. I would really like to see what could have happened if Roth had been given a longer timeline to work in and a better team of editors. Whoever edited this mess should be fired and blackballed from the industry.

Throughout the book, I kept thinking of ways that the story could have been told better. There are a lot of interesting places that Allegiant could have gone and a lot of cool things it could have done. But Roth chose to do none of them.

I can't recommend Allegiant to anyone. Not for fans of the series, not for anyone who is at all attached to the characters, and certainly not for teenagers. It is truly horrible and I would not suggest that anyone spend their time or money on it. I took the bullet of reading it for all of us, and my conclusion is that I would be happier pretending that this half-baked mess never happened. I reject Allegiant's very existence. As far as I'm concerned, the series ended with Insurgent. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it, no matter how much Truth Serum you give me.
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on December 23, 2013
Let me start off by saying that I enjoyed the first two books, but this one seems completely out of place. The plot-- omg, the plot... was most of that even relevant? And a lot of the storyline had so many holes that it just couldn't stand up on its own. She made Stephanie Meyer's idea of making a teenage werewolf fall in love with a talking baby sound more sensible than half this book. Don't bother unless you like confusing and disappointment because that's all you'll get. It's best to stop at book #2 and dream up your own ending.

Let's look at how this book fails: structure, plot, and the ending.

The first two books were good, but this last book became progressively lost as Roth grasps for a cohesive story. We can ignore the many grammatical errors and simply focus on the structure of this final book. It lacks the fluidity of the first two novels and shifts from one characters perspective to the other so frequently that it's difficult to remember who is narrating. Especially since she doesn't give Tobias his true voice. He and Tris sound like some person-- neither carries an individual tone as the narrator. And I LOVED Tobias-- he was a great character until he became some weird, wimpy teenager in this book and both characters became almost annoying. And the dual narration serves no point, except for the ending. You learn nothing new about anything by having both characters as narrators. They are in the same setting most of the time and have the same friends and both of them pretty much do the same thing - be sneaky, make plots, makeout and get into trouble. I found myself constantly flipping to the first page of each chapter to figure out who was talking.

She doesn't even stay true to the characters she built in the other two novels-- making them do things which are out of their nature. It drove me INSANE. Did anyone ever think Tobias (the careful planner who was always skeptical) would just join up with some group for the hell of it to take down a government without knowing details or asking questions? No. How about Tris's willingness to sacrifice her brother? She's suddenly now okay with guns because they are lighter and feel different than the other guns the Fractions used? Hmph.

And how about the ENTIRE group losing all common sense:

A) Who was dumb enough to think she would let her brother die voluntarily? Apparently everyone else in the story so they let her escort him to his death mission alone. Yeah. That's smart.
B) Everyone saying it's okay to send a kid with ZERO military experience to go on a solo mission to blow up stuff and possible get into a gun fight when everything depended on his success? Seriously? These people are supposed to be "military experts" and they pick him for this super critical mission. That's believable.
C) Christina says she has to pee and jumps out the truck, then slashes BOTH back tires so they can do some sneaky side mission. OMG! Flat tires! Tobias tells the driver they are both flat and he's like "oh, that sucks, but that's totally plausible. Let's just split up on foot." Uh, anyone would wonder why both tires were flat-- I think he'd go look and notice the slashes. Dumb. Just dumb.

This novel drags more than the others and loses its appeal as we learn more about the true secrets of the fractions and how ridiculous it is. The plot become slow and tedious to read. It seems like much of the plot wasn't completely thought out by the author--- why didn't the people living in the Fractions ever notice the planes flying above them? When they inserted Tris's mom into the experiment, they said they only reset a few people. They would need to have reset A LOT of people and being reset is supposed to change their personality-- wouldn't that be noticed by friends in the Fractions. Nothing made sense. And why didn't they try to come up with a better idea than a suicide mission? Seriously, they had other options. I could see other options and I'm just a reader. The only thing consistent is the failure after failure after failure in the plot line.

And really, how many times can Tris and Tobias get shot? I actually began to roll my eyes at their many, many flesh wounds while everyone else keeps dying in various ways and many without reason. Although, I don't even understand why Uriah or Tori had to die. It was pointless and just caused more useless conflict between Tris and Tobias that annoyed the *bleep* out of me and continued to make both the main characters act outside of their normal behavior. Half way through this book I wanted to stop reading it. I wish I did.

Oh, and then end is horrible. No, beyond horrible. Deplorable. The worst ending of any book and it's not because I don't like what happened-- sometimes endings should be sad. It's because of how she wrote it. You don't do what she did without making a major point and showing that there was no other way. But there were other ways. There were other options. Her ending was useless and pointless and a disrespect to the other two books and the characters.


So we expect that Tris is somehow super human and immune to the death serum which she is (shocker), but you don't expect the dude in the wheelchair with two bum legs to kill her. Yeah, the gimp kills the girl who always beats the crap out of everyone else. Why can't she figure out a way to get the gun from him and THEN go push some buttons? He's in a wheelchair. Come on! He didn't deserve to kill her.

Was her death necessary to the story? No. Does it make the story better? No. Did it serve a purpose? No.

So why'd she die? Maybe to make the story memorable? Well, then Roth succeeded in making this the book that I'll remember as being one of the worst book I've read. Good job. I applaud you.

AND since Tris's death was to save the city she loves by reprograming the government-- would it work in the long term? Sure it might have stopped the attack within 48 hours, but what about in a week? A month? What about all the other compounds and leaders who they interact with? They will notice the newly reset government and their sudden lack of knowledge about divergents and the defective genes. Wouldn't you think that they'd notice something was off and then shut down the program anyways? Just reset that entire compound including all of Tris's friends or kill them as traitors?

What about those horrible soldiers that terrorized the people in the ghetto? Did her death stop them? No. They had no affiliation with their compound so obviously there are more government programs close by. Don't you think they'll notice when one compound starts behaving differently than every other person in the region and in the world? So her death would have been in vain anyways if the book was to make any logical sense.

To be honest, I didn't read the last 10 pages or so after Tris was confirmed dead. Maybe those last 10 pages were really, really good. I don't think so.

What did her death do? Spare her traitor brother (giving him salvation and probably survivor's guilt) and devastate her friends and lover. Did it serve a purpose that could not have been accomplished by another means? No.

Who does that?! Who kills a main character for no good reason?!

Roth just pissed me off and made me regret reading the entire series. I wish I could erase this book from my brain.
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on October 23, 2013

Allegiant is proving to be quite the controversy, though perhaps not for the reasons it should. The series was never going to be fine literature, though I was definitely entertained and devoured the first two books; they were escapist and overall a good read. After reading Insurgent I found out that Veronica Roth is quite vocal about her Christian background, which set up certain expectations for the climax of the final book (in more ways that one, you might say). However, I didn't find her tone at all preachy or heavy-handed in the first two novels - that changes a bit here. This final book has definite changed how I'm going to view the movies as they come out, and will make it hard to read the first two books again.

I had absolutely no ideas about what might happen in Allegiant, so I was excited to find out how the series would conclude. However, I think there were missteps - some apparent right from the beginning. From a narrative standpoint, my biggest qualm was the shift in perspective; while I didn't mind seeing things through Four's eyes, he is not the person who led me into this world, and is not the most reliable or interesting narrator. There was also hardly any narrative between Tris and Four - often I read a few pages into a chapter before realizing I was picturing the wrong person. Switching back and forth every other chapter is a bit hacky - check out how George RR Martin does it to get an idea of how multiple perspective is used skillfully. I see now why Roth decided to do this, but I think she could have cut of Tris's voice and ended with Four's and we still would have had the same journey.

The actual storyline also frustrated me a bit; I was rather disappointed to find out what was outside the city because it took some of the magic away. Everything slows around the middle of the book, and I found myself wondering how it could possibly be wrapped up in a cohesive way (which, in truth, it doesn't quite do). Most of the book is far away from the world that was created in the first two books, which is a risky choice. I definitely saw more of Roth's religious background in this book as well (quite obviously in Tris' questioning of God and the destruction of her reality).

Which leads me to the end - the focal point for 99% of the reviews up so far. From a purely literary standpoint, I don't have a problem with the main character dying. We readers are so used to happy endings that we forget how often a narrative can't logically conclude with the heroine dancing into the sunset, but I really don't think this is why Tris died. I thin Roth made a calculated choice that was consistent with her views, but not with the text, or rather, what we all bought into in the text. Tris' death was very symbolic (the Christ imagery is a little overdone here) but unsatisfying. I kept expecting her to pop out in the last few chapters - a sign that the death was not fully resolved. Make no mistake, the heart of the series went with Tris, which is why so many people are finding it hard to take, I think.

You definitely need to suspend reality to believe the ending has any sort of permanence, that Tris died to save something real - lose that and the ending stings that much more. I don't think the book deserves a 1 star rating, but I, for one, can't get fully behind a series that ends on a bum note. In Game of Thrones, it's tragic when a character meets their grisly end, but there are other full-formed characters who can carry the book. The biggest problem here is that Four is not fully-developed; we see him from Tris' eyes, and when we lose that it all feels a little hollow. I also just didn't expect the book to take the turn it did when it pulled the rug out from the first two books, and I'm not sure I liked it - we've seen the genetics allegory before, and done better.

To sum up: There isn't enough narrative weight in Allegiant to support the bold moves that Roth makes. The storyline is a bit lacking compared to the first two novels, and at the end of the day, the ideas expressed here feel out of place - these readers (myself included) just wanted to happy ending! But hey, it didn't offend me and it got me thinking, so maybe that alone makes it a little successful.
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on November 14, 2013
If you enjoyed Divergent, tolerated Insurgent, do not go anywhere near Allegiant. This book killed Veronica Roth's career, or at least I hope it does. Poorly written, endless plot holes, and a ridiculous ending. At points in the story I felt like the author was trying to convince herself and the readers that this book made sense. Well, she failed to do any convincing. No more Veronica Roth books for me, at least not until she can learn to develop a plot properly.
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on October 26, 2013
After loving the first two books in this series, I cannot help but being so disappointed in this final installment. I am just beside myself with how many things are wrong with this book, but these are my main complaints:
First, the switching points of views from chapter to chapter. I kept forgetting which point of view I was reading from throughout the book. I have read plenty of stories where the author changes points of view and never had a problem keeping track of which person's viewpoint the story is being told from. There was just no real distinction in their thoughts, it all read the same way.
Second, the setting of the story made me disconnect from it more. The first two books are so well established in the setting of Chicago. It was its own world, and now we are torn away from it all that is going on there to be placed in this sterile environment with all these new people that I have no connection with and don't care about for the majority of the story.
Third, the big reveal about the purpose of the factions was such a let down. It was anticlimactic and, well, boring. It made me immediately think, how can there be over 300 pages left in this story? Where can she be going with this, and how can it be a good story? Well, my answer was, she ultimately went nowhere with the story, and it's not good.
Fourth, where was the action? I felt like so much of the story was wasted on explanations of a world that Tris and Tobias knew nothing about, or trying to figure out who is lying to them and who is not. I wasn't compelled to keep reading. The first two books I couldn't put down and read them each in a day. This book took me five days because I knew it would just keep getting worse, and it did.
Finally, the ending. It felt so unnecessary and without reason, like she wrote it that way because it would be the unexpected thing to do (or maybe just the sacrificial thing, since that was such a major theme of the story). But I just feel cheated. I started on a journey with Tris in Divergent and I did not get to finish this journey with her.
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on October 22, 2013
I know everyone is harping on the ending, but that isn't even the problem in this novel. I don't expect much YA novels to be Hemingway, or Rowling even, but reading Roth's monotonous and continuously stilted, short sentences for the duration of this story made me long for some artistic flare. A bit of purple prose, even.

My main problem is that Roth, for having decided to alternate POVs to both Tris and Tobias, has created no discernible tonal differences between the two. Neither develop a distinct personality and that leads to a boring read. If each chapter title did not state whether it was in Tris or Tobias' view, then I would not have been able to tell who was the narrator, aside from situationally figuring it out. Both viewpoints really do read that similarly.

Again, the very minimal diction (not to be confused with the bare style of The Road, an artistic masterpiece in simplicity) also leads to little passion. For all the kissing that Tobias and Tris do (a lot), there's little romance and tension. Unfortunately, this style also renders the rest of the novel, including all those action scenes, as repetitive and somewhat boring.

Finally, about that ending. I give a lot of leeway to authors. They can do whatever they want, even if it devastates me, as long as it serves a purpose. In this case, I don't see how the ending served the story for the better except for "shock-value," mainly because the end is filled with too many plot holes. Plus, by the time I even reached the end, I was already bored to apathy.

And just to be clear, my low-ish rating of this novel was not affected by the ending. I found the rest of the novel to be far more problematic.
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on October 26, 2013
So many people have said it so much better then I will, but I really wish VR had taken a different road toward the finish line of this book. I have followed this series from the very beginning and through all the long waits in between books, this was not the ending I could have ever imagined.

To find out what was behind the gate kept me intrigued. But the series turned too abruptly for my liking, the pace was slow up until the end, the POV switching (which I normally like) showed no distinguishing personalities of each character, and the book was full of incredibly stupid decisions by the characters--almost as if they learned no life lessons from all they've dealt with so far. Where is the character growth?


What about the people who believe in hope, happiness, & overcoming unimaginable obstacles in an ending? Tris did that! She beat the death serum! What things could she have accomplished in their "new" world? Because, you know that world is still too far gone to really be normal.

There is a lot to learn/gain from grief, pain, and coping, but to me it wasn't brave of Tris to go in and save Caleb at the literal last minute because of why he really was volunteering. Her choice was reckless and unplanned, and left me feeling like after all Tris has done, this is how she dies? All the talk about Tris finally understanding her desire to live after being so close to death, and then at the end to turn around and think, you know what? Life doesn't matter to me after all. If her mindset was never in imagining a better life for her, I would totally agree w/ her decision.

I think that an additional book would potentially have given me enough information to accept the ending that VR wanted, but I guess I'll never know.

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on November 16, 2013
While I loved Divergent and thoroughly enjoyed Insurgent, I felt bored reading Allegiant and annoyed by the story which felt weak. I couldn't keep track of whose perspective I was reading and since I read it on a Kindle it was more of a hassle to go back to the beginning of each chapter to remind myself when necessary.

The ending was depressing and actually made me angry.

I told my husband who is just about finished with Insurgent to not bother reading Allegiant at all and simply imagine his own ending for the series.

I read Divergent over the course of two evenings. Then I immediately bought Insurgent and read the whole book in one sitting. So I was very excited for Allegiant. I could barely get myself to finish this book and that was without even knowing how terribly it would end. I just didn't feel connected to the story at all like I did with the previous books.
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on March 28, 2015
It's rare that I truly dislike a book, especially when it's the third installment of a trilogy, but reading Allegiant left me sad and disappointed. I had grown to love Tris and Four through the first two books but they changed in Allegiant. Tris was bossy and annoying and Four was whiny and not at all himself. And then there was the plot...

The plot was not well thought out. It made very little sense and no sense at all when you look at it in the context of what was going on in the larger world. It felt rushed. It felt wrong.

Reading Allegiant almost spoiled the entire series for me. Had I not read the fanfiction alternate book, Determinant, I would regret even getting into the series in the first place. Windchimed's Determinant is everything Allegiant should have been, but was not.

My advice, like so many others here, is to skip Allegiant entirely and read Windchimed's Determinant instead. Allegiant is just not worth it.
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