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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Divergent / Insurgent / Allegiant
Format: Hardcover|Change
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on October 12, 2014
This set includes the trilogy, along with the extra book titled, "Four". I actually recommend reading Four first. It's the comets set. My 13 year old triplet boys started reading this series in school. They couldn't stop talking about it, so I bought this series for them, and I even read it myself. It's very, very good. The movie is pretty good too; although, the books are a lot more detailed. I highly recommend this series. I would caution for younger readers as the two main characters have some heated moments. Nothing that heavy, but on the line. I wouldn't want my 8 year old reading something like that. I hope this review has been helpful for the parents out there. All in all.. Definitely a great series! A Must Read!
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on March 28, 2014
People almost universally love the first two books and I agree so I'll leave it at that. Many people hate the 3rd book for two reasons: the ending, and lack of differentiation of the two main characters. I disagree concerning the ending. It was quite complex, very human and a real commentary on war, conflict, human society and healing. I just wasn't Hollywood. I slightly agree about the two main characters not being differentiated. The narrators voice is quite similar to Tris, so when we are in Tris's head, it feels quite natural and you get lost in the character. When the narrator moves into Tobias's head, the voice doesn't shift enough, isn't distinct enough. This made it difficult to feel that you were experiencing a different character. However, this error was mitigated by the fact that the 3rd story was just as engaging, just as complex as the first two. For this reason, I remained engrossed in the story though I recognized that there was a problem with the differentiation. It just wasn't a big enough problem to separate me from the experience of the story.
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on August 2, 2017

I enjoyed Divergent. I really did. But I had some problems with it.

If you have read several of my previous reviews, you know that I am more character driven than plot driven. Well, this book was more of the latter than the former.

I felt that Tris had pretty much no narrative voice, which is the danger when writing a first person, present tense novel. (And, in hindsight, I’ve realized that, while I enjoy the writing style very much, I never felt Tris’s presence through her narration. Most of the time, she seemed too stiff [heheheh] and stoic to be flesh and blood.) As far as characters go, I think I’d say Four was my favorite, because I felt he had both a developed backstory and a developed personality.

In regards to plot, most of the novel occurs in the training headquarters. Not only are we subject to a lot of training scenes–this also means that, halfway through the book, Tris has still not yet been accepted into her chosen faction. For a book almost 500 pages long, that’s a lot of time focused on training. As a result, everything kicks off around the last fifth of the book, and, while the ending was incredibly exhilarating and very satisfying, I wish certain plot developments would have started appearing earlier in the book.

But this book did keep me reading late into the night, and the memories I have while reading Divergent are timeless. This is a total guilty-pleasure read, and I enjoyed the heck out of it. I just wish Tris had been more developed as a character; this book would have been a solid four stars if I could have connected with her better.
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on December 7, 2013
Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Publication Date: April 25, 2011
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 487

Amazon Book Blurb:

One choice can transform you. Beatrice Prior's society is divided into five factions—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Beatrice must choose between staying with her Abnegation family and transferring factions. Her choice will shock her community and herself. But the newly christened Tris also has a secret, one she's determined to keep hidden, because in this world, what makes you different makes you dangerous.

Review: Published in 2011, Divergent is Veronica Roth's first novel. The first of a series by the same name, Divergent reflects the voracious appetite readers at the time had for post-apocalyptic literature.

The story is entirely from the viewpoint of sixteen year-old Tris who's forced to undertake a social sorting test that separates them into separate and distinct factions—not unlike the houses of Hogwarts—that dictate their members' roles in society. These factions come complete with initiations and manifestos that emphasize their respective ideal virtues. It's discovered during Tris's sorting test that she doesn't fit neatly into any one group. In other word's, she's special.

I'd heard of this book when I came across it on Amazon but I was immediately snared by the potential the world setting offered. An entire society formally divided into factions by their values? I could just imagine the possibilities. Unfortunately, I found that potential to be largely wasted.

I was quickly bothered by the facile nature of the world Veronica had built. Perhaps I've been spoiled by the likes of J.R.R. Tolkien and George R. R. Martin, but I expect my fictional worlds to survive the most cursory of internal logic tests. In this, Divergent fails.

The characters tended to be fairly shallow and predictable in the extreme. Their goals rarely extended further than than the scene that contained them. I found the dialogue to be similarly shallow and unrealistic.

The plot twists were predictable. The writing was often as subtle as a Leslie Nielson movie. Maybe I'm giving the young adult genre too much credit but the characters and plot were about as surprising as a form-fittingly wrapped Christmas present.

I'm genuinely surprised at the praise this book has received. There wasn't anything exemplary about the book except for the setting's concept which turned out to be poorly developed despite its potential. I'm fairly certain that the reason Divergent obtained such an impressive level of success can be narrowed down to its impeccable timing. Publishers and readers alike were hungry for another Katniss Everdeen story. Another story about a young women who had more handsome romantic prospects than she knew what to do with.

Now, don't get me wrong. I try to support new authors. I wish Veronica the best in her writing endeavors. It could very well be that I'm not a fan of the simplistic style she uses, a style exemplified in her website's biography:

"I’m Veronica. I write books for young adults. Specifically, I wrote the books Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant, and Four: A Divergent Collection.

I like things. Some of those things are (in no particular order): Harry Potter, rain, YA, books, puns, cute animals, tea, sitcoms, grammar, writing, Chicago, Doc Martens, trains, flat stretches of prairie land, cold weather months, and so on. "

It's very possible I'm missing something that her fans are picking up on. After all, her books are adored by millions. They can't all be wrong.
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on June 16, 2015
I read and liked the first volume in the series, Divergent.
While not particularly original, it has grit and pace,
and some of its scenes are rather memorable.
The main characters are a bit shallow -- the heroine has some
substance, but the hero is a bit less fleshed out, and Eric,
the main villain, with his ever-increasing piercings, seems
mostly robotic. However, the plot and setting do not require
subtlety and the action carries the book along nicely.
I'd give Divergent four stars.

The second volume, Insurgent, is a reprise of the first, but
at a consistently lower level. The new arch-villain, the
leader of the Erudite faction, is a cardboard cut-out without
even a notion of being driven by anything in particular --
she's just malware, not a person.
Our hero and heroine drift around, in pain and combat,
but without any underlying goals. The writing is on par with
the first volume: serviceable, but too anodyne to make up for
defects in the storyline. In particular, the various characters
all speak in the same manner -- none of them has any distinguishing
speech mannerisms or any specific way of expressing certains
thoughts or desires.
This may be deliberate on the author's part to make a point
about the smallness of the world they live in, but it does not
feel right: with the factions at great pains to differentiate
themselves, one would expect different speech patterns in
different factions.
If you still have momentum from reading Divergent, it will
most likely carry you through Insurgent, hoping for the text
to become more interesting. So I'd give Insurgent two stars.

The third volume, Allegiant, is a complete disaster. The plot
(well, whatever passes for one now) is getting stretched far
too thin, well into complete implausibility, not to mention
that it makes a complete hash of basic genetics. What really
kills the volume, though, is the author's lack of skills
in distinguishing her characters. In this volume, unlike in
the first two, the author chose to write the book in the
first person, some parts from the point of view of the hero and
others from the point of view of the heroine. (Keep in mind
that the two are a couple.) The problem is that, most of the
time, the reader has no clue who is the narrator and has to turn
back to the beginning of the chapter to find out. More than anything
else, it painfully illustrates that the author could not (rather
than decided not to) differentiate patterns of thought and speech
between her two main characters. To make matters worse, each of
the two narrators ends up retelling much of what the other told,
since their lives and actions overlap much of the time. This would
not be a problem if each had a distinct point of view on the events;
in fact, many famous authors have used this literary device to great
effect. But the two characters are pretty much interchangeable
and so are their descriptions and observations. Unsurprisingly,
the result is an unreadable mess. I'd give Allegiant zero stars,
which, with four stars for the first volume, two for the second,
and now zero for the third, averages out to two, my rating for the

My advice is to stick with the first book, Divergent, and call it
quits before you get disappointed. Divergent is a fun and easy
read; the others will just spoil the fun.
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This book is the first in a popular dystopian young adult trilogy. Dystopian societies are not my favorite setting. I had read very little about the series, so for me it was interesting to gradually realize that the described crumbling world was Chicago. The story begins with our heroine at 16 making a momentous choice of her faction. It has elements of The Hunger Games with young people fighting to the death and malevolent political powers. The violence is unrelenting. The picture of humanity is repellant with our heroes and heroines hard to admire. Obviously, no one would want to live in this world. The dominant character trait of each faction (truthfulness, fearless bravery, selflessness, studiousness, etc.) is carried to extremes. At those extremes, the traits become perverted, cruel, and unbalanced. The society certainly seems beyond redemption. Our divergent heroes are not much more balanced than the faction members since they have been so damaged by the society in which they were raised. There is some romance among the teenagers, but it is of a chaste and innocent variety. They are more timid with sex than with brutality. Katness Everdeen is a more interesting and more sympathetic character than Beatrice. Because the bulk of this book was so violent with little in the way of strategic thinking, grace, or kindness, I am less inclined to read on in the series. Nevertheless, congratulations are due to Ms. Roth for writing such a successful book at such a young age. I am not her target audience so perhaps it is not surprising that the book did not capture me.
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on September 21, 2015
I was hooked onto this book from the very first sentence! It only took me about a day and a half to read through the whole thing! The character of Tris was someone that I could easily relate to! It seems like almost every dystopia book that comes out now has to be compared to The Hunger Games, and while I love the Hunger Games series... I love the Divergent series for so many OTHER reasons.

Tris (Beatrice) is born into a faction of Chicago called Abnegation - they are a selfless group and are supposed to be others before themselves. I found this hard to understand in some ways because I personally believe that we are all as humans just a tad selfish, and that's okay. While it's honorable to put others before yourself sometimes, I don't see the need to do it all the time. In this part of her history, I was able to relate to her. Tris never really bought into the whole selfless part of her family life.

At the age of 16 in this society, each teen is supposed to participate in the choosing ceremony - where you will choose which faction you are to remain a part of for the rest of your life. This ceremony comes right after the "aptitude test" they are required to take to help them decide which faction is right for them. (Belonging to more than one faction means you are Divergent.) She's of a small minority of people who are divergent, which eventually becomes a dangerous fact in her life. At the ceremony, Tris decides to join up with the Dauntless crowd - the military faction. They are a fearless and rowdy crowd. But it doesn't take long for her to fit in; to embrace and conquer her fears... she soon learns that her society is not all that she's been told to believe.

It's in Dauntless that she meets Four, who's name is a mere nickname based on the fears he has to overcome. It doesn't take long to realize that a slow-building romance begins between Tris and Four from the first day he meets her in the Pit!

This book has all that I love in a dystopian science fiction - strong heroine, lots of action, a good bit of romance, and an extremely flawed society. Although I wanted to hit Tris upside the head with her own book a few times!
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on July 24, 2015
Wow, what a twist and disappointment. After reading the first book, I was impressed how closely the movie followed along, and I could see why. It was well written, perfectly paced, and for the movie to stick so closely was a testimony to how little room for improvement was left with Divergent.

I came into Insurgent expecting more of the same. Man was I grossly disappointed. I actually saw the movie first and thought it was very well done, so I was excited to dig into the book expecting a similar storyline but some deeper character insights and the juicy bits you get from the book that just don't translate onto film. What I got was a ragtag, at times completely nonsensical, rambling, all over the place mess. It left me scratching my head wondering if these were even written by the same author. Anyway, here is the breakdown, as always Pros first.

1) The best pro was a carryover from the first book. The worldbuilding in this series is brilliant and innovative. I really like the deeper look inside Candor, and to see the dichotomy even between those houses like Amity and Candor who should have been allies in standing up for what was right. This really was the only high point in the book.

1) Inconsistent characters. It was like some of the characters from Divergent developed multiple personality disorder. Tris turned completely unlikeable in this book, and given that readers are trapped in her head due to the 1p POV, that is not a good thing. Other characters seemed to act in ways contrary, or at least inconsistent, with how they were written in Divergent.
2) Story. Things sometimes happened for no reason. Characters acted in unfathomable ways. Sometimes obviously courses of action were ignored by otherwise brilliant strategists. All in all this felt like a REALLY BAD fanfiction written in the Divergent setting.

Since reading and expressing some of my displeasure at the drop in quality between Divergent and Insurgent, I have heard rumors that the third book drops even further so I should go ahead and lower my expectations. I think I will pursue another course. Given how much quality stuff there is piling up in my reading queue, I think Insurgent was bad enough for me to do something I rarely do...leave the series unfinished and give the third book a pass.
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As with many trending "It" series, I was brought into the world of Divergent by my sister and her fellow book loving friends. Honestly, I was easily hooked and quickly read through Divergent followed by Insurgent, which leaves you hungry for more. So when I realized that there was one to come and it was to be the end of the trilogy with all the answers, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I even pre-ordered a copy so I didn't have to wait on a friend's copy like the last two. Sadly not even a third into the last book, Allegiant, I found myself regretting staying up till midnight awaiting its release.

Living in dystopian Chicago among one of the five factions, Beatrice Prior is at the age where they must take a test which will reveal her true faction. Born in Abnegation (the selfless) Beatrice wonders if she is in fact Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), Erudite (the intelligent) or simply still Abnegation? However when her results come back inconclusive and read as Divergent, Beatrice is told to keep it a secret and choose for herself or else . . . Yet during Faction initiation Beatrice chooses a new faction no one expected, the Dauntless. A new faction means a new family and new name, she becomes Tris. It's in Dauntless that Tris finds out more about herself and learns the truth of how the system everyone trusts is failing. Tris eventually leads a group of friends to help stop the corruption of the world they live in and the world around them, while learning and showing what it means to be Divergent.

Overall, you'll love the trilogy then hate it. The first two books are great but the last book makes little to no sense. Allegiant basically needs another book to explain itself, but the first two are worth reading again and again, hence the conflicting feelings about the trilogy. Tris as a character is relatable being constantly different and yet willing to be strong, plus when the time comes she doesn't just rely on her hot BF, but takes action herself. The sad thing is in the last book you lose some of that strength of character as Tris looked to others too much and ended up making rash decisions in the end. Plus there are a few other issues, but I'll not spoil too much. Divergent and Insurgent were told only from Tris' perspective, but Allegiant was split between Tris and Four which wasn't executed properly since their voices ended up sounding the same and Four lost all his manly appeal. There is also a HUGE controversial plot point in the end of the trilogy which I'd actually be okay with IF the scene had been better crafted and the rest of the story better explained to give meaning to the huge moment. So if you haven't already dove into this series I suggest its worth a read even if the ending isn't at all what everyone and I mean EVERYONE expected.

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Actual rating 3.5 stars

There was a lot of hype around this trilogy, and I resisted picking up the box set for a few years after being disappointed with some other YA series released around the same time. News of a film franchise being kicked off is what finally encouraged me to start reading. Though I didn’t power through the books – I really enjoyed ‘Divergent’ and rated it for the experience I had, thinking this was going to be an amazing trilogy. I’m not a big lover of dystopian novels, so the subsequent sequels were spread out over the following two years, each spurned on by looming release dates of the film franchise.

Overall, it is a fun, imaginative and gritty series, but I would probably recommend some others in this genre to my friends before the Divergent trilogy. My satisfaction diminished with each volume. It has a great conclusion, but ultimately the narrative style is what dragged my rating down.

I’d probably rate the boxed set as a solid 3.5. It has become a big part of the YA reading culture, and with the films, hard to ignore. So while a phenomenal story, fantastic packaging and a strong female protagonist role model, it didn’t make the impact on me I’d hoped for… whether my expectations had been elevated by the hype, or that I did not gel with Roth’s writing style, it’s still an action packed journey worth a look.

On the whole I feel as though I have enjoyed the movie franchise a lot better than the books, especially the SPFX, and much of the superfluous story lines stripped away, leaving it compact and throwing a punch. Really excited to see the final movie, 'Ascendant.'

To read individual reviews:
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