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Four: A Divergent Collection Hardcover – July 8, 2014
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Giving further voice to Four (Tobias Eaton), this collection of seven short stories provides the backstory of the "Divergent" trilogy and will be a hot commodity thanks to the success of the film Divergent. Fans of the novels are given access to the thoughts and emotions of one of their favorite characters, while also learning more details about secondary characters like Eric, Zeke, and Shauna. Listeners will better understand how Tobias was raised by a tyrannical father and an absent mother and how joining Dauntless was a life-changing decision that catapulted Tobias from a fearful and withdrawn boy to become Four, a strong and confident leader. Two years pass within this collection, from the first story of Four's initiation into Dauntless until he meets Tris in the final stories. Narrator Aaron Stanford provides a serious and strong voice, which captivates listeners. An excellent addition to existing "Divergent" collections.—Suzanne Dix, The Seven Hills School, Cincinnati, OH --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
“Fans of Divergent who can’t get enough—and maybe even the rare reader who missed the first rush—will snap up this relatively stand-alone story collection told from the perspective of Tobias (aka Four).” ” (ALA Booklist)
“Divergent fans will thoroughly enjoy this extra bit of backstory, which is filled with names and places that became beloved in Roth’s bestselling trilogy. Roth’s storytelling retains the same mix of tension, uncertainty, and hope that made the original stories irresistible.” (Publishers Weekly)
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Top Customer Reviews
For those of us, and there are many, that were disappointed with Allegiant (Divergent Series), Veronica Roth's collection of novellas in Four: A Divergent Collection (Divergent Series) is a kind reminder that the Divergent series was really a good trilogy if only more depth and distinction was delivered from Tobias' perspective.
Each novella is very short, with the entire book totaling about 300 pages. It was a breeze to read through in two sittings.
The set of novellas document events that take place both before and during the first Divergent novel and helped me fill in the many gaps left in the story of Tobias' life. Starting two years before Tris transfers to Dauntless, we are given a new, albeit still limited, perspective of the characters in the original Divergent novel.
The first three novellas, The Transfer, The Initiate, and The Son have the most depth and kept me really interested. It gave me a great new vantage point similar to re-reading Divergent through the eyes of a new narrator. In the Transfer, we are immediately entangled in the Dauntless world reminiscent of Tris' initiation. The books focus on Tobias' life, his choice to flee, and the emotions that haunted him in doing so. The Traitor brings together the time when Tris' arrives in Dauntless. This gives the reader, in my opinion, a different understanding and appreciation of Four's character as told in Divergent.
Four: A Divergent Collection is nicely written and uniquely put together as short novellas. However, I am not sure it makes up for the disappointment with how Allegiant ended. And given the interviews from Veronica Roth's book tour, it looks like the final nail is in the coffin of a series that never adequately concluded.
I was really looking forward to reading from Four's POV, because even though Tris may have had a better story, I found Four to be a more compelling character. These novellas were just OK. Not as bad as Allegiant, but not nearly as captivating as Divergent - which I loved. There were some inconsistencies with the main trilogy which was disappointing to see. (Where are the editors?!) The last novella (Traitor) seemed rushed to me. Lots of dialogue, but not nearly as much of Four's inner monologue as we saw from Tris in Divergent. i would have rather had fewer, well-fleshed out scenes than a bunch of short-takes with little development.
After the disaster that was Allegiant and the ham-handed way these novella's are written, I think I am done with Roth. She can't seem to write well with a deadline. There is some excellent fanfic out there that is worth your time though. Do a search for "Determinant: One choice changes everything". That book is a replacement for Allegiant and the author is also doing some stories from Four's POV which are also very well done.
Divergent 5 stars
Insurgent 4 stars
Allegiant 1 star
Four 3 stars
Four's story was even more addictive than the original Divergent series to me. These short stories are fast paced and really got me inside Four's head. He is thoughtful and I loved seeing him grow and change as he switched factions and found his place in Dauntless. This gave an even more complete picture of the world and characters.
There are so many sides to Four and it is interesting to see him make his way and discover some of the problems within his society. Lots of hints about the future and you can see the foreshadowing for the Divergent trilogy. I loved it, there were parts that dragged for me, but seeing things through Four's eyes was fantastic. I highly recommend it especially if you loved Divergent.
Individual Story Ratings:
The Transfer: 4/5
The Initiate: 5/5
The Son: 4/5
The Traitor: 5/5
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My 13 year old daughter bought me Four by Veronica Roth from her school book fair for Christmas.Read more