“Insurgent” – A Sequel That is Full of Fire

Book Review : Insurgent by Veronica Roth Spoiler Alert! Conflict between the factions is raging. Erudite is vying for power and control in the government. Countless Abnegation have died, including Tris’s parents, at the hands of the mind-controlled Dauntless. Amity is determined to remain neutral. Dauntless is splitting into two sides, those with Erudite and those harbored by Candor. Unfortunately, Candor is in a situation where they will be forced to see the truth that they are powerless. The Factionless, may have been forgotten by the Factions, but they have not forgotten why they were abandoned, and they have a new leader. Lies begin to unravel, forgiveness is extended, betrayal wounds and hypocrisy reigns. A terrible secret has been kept, only the elite of the factions even knows it exists, and yet, everything hinges on this one piece of knowledge that could destroy everything. Adult Point of View Veronica Roth has done a nearly impossible task by creating a second novel in a series that is not flat, boring and lack-luster. Insurgent is full of fire and action. In fact, I like Insurgent more than the opening book, Divergent. Insurgent jumps in right where Divergent left off and I really could have used a refresher on the characters and drama. I felt like Tris’s character was more greatly developed than any of the other characters, especially as she faced the moral dilemna if she should place her trust in Marcus, Tobias’ (Four) father. Remember big spoiler alert! I was caught by surprise when Tris was betrayed by her brother. His betrayal seemed strange because he had seemed concerned that Tobias might take advantage of his little sister,  but then he was willing to give her up to Jeanine, the leader of Erudite, who would eventually kill her as she studied the way a Divergent brain worked. Peter, the Dauntless member who sided with the Erudite, was an interesting character because of the self-imposed code of ethics under which he operated. He felt he had to save Tris to pay her back for his life, but that would only last for that moment. He would have no further loyalty to her unless she were to save his life again. Even Tris wonders how difficult it must be to always be calculating where you owe another and never really trust. There is a lot of violence in this novel, atrocities of war and senseless death. There are also a couple of steamy scenes with Tris and Tobias.

As an example, “His mouth moves against mine, and his hand slips under the hem of the T-shirt, and I don’t stop him, though I know I should. …My shirt creeps up my body, and I don’t pull it down, even when I feel cool air on my stomach. He kisses my neck, and I grab his shoulder to steady myself, gathering his shirt into my fist….My shirt is twisted around his arm, and our kisses become desperate. I know my hands are shaking from the nervous energy inside of me so, I tighten my grip on his shoulder so he won’t notice.” (p. 48-49)

In another scene it is implied that Tris and Tobias could have had sex, but it is left obscure and so I assume they did not. Tris thinks, “I have never longed for someone this way, or this much.” and then Tobias “pulls back just enough to look into my eyes” (p. 313) Later in the scene they are laying next to each other with Tobias falling asleep. It is up to the reader to fill in the blanks. Finally, I question the basis of the secret of the world outside of the fence. Could people really have believed that creating five Factions would be the answer to finding peace? A system that inherently divides and isolates people rather than finding common ground seems doomed to fail. Each faction naturally developed prejudice against the other factions because of their differences. I would like to see a more compelling reason for the development of the five Factions. 3.5 out of 5 stars – the Mother Teen Point of View I didn’t like this book as much as the first. I thought there were too many relationship issues and drama. I didn’t like it when Tris and Tobias started to have fights because they  were so perfect for each other in the first book. It just didn’t seem right. 3 out of 5 stars   – the Daughter   If you are enjoying this series try Cast of Stones, A (The Staff and the Sword) by Patrick W. Carr.

Book Review: Allegiant By Veronica Roth

Spoiler Alert!

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The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love. (Courtesy of goodreads.com)

Adult Point of View

Veronica Roth jumps right into the action again. Finally it is revealed that the five faction system was not an attempt to save save humanity. As a small group escape from the city and go beyond the fence their reality shifts to realize how small they are compared to the scope of what is beyond. Each character takes this shift in a new way. Tris doesn’t buy into everything she is hearing, she is too jaded from her previous life. Peter, in an odd way, seems comforted to see that the world is larger as if to shrink his acts of cruelty to insignificance. Tobias’ hidden belief that he is damaged, and there is no hope for him is confirmed by the authorities.

Warning again! Spoilers are on the horizon!

I wasn’t thrilled that this series is culminating in another apocalyptic disease-like conclusion, like The Maze Runner series and the Matched series. In this case the “disease” is genetically damaged humans. There is a divide between the genetically pure (GP) and the genetically damaged (GD). The GD’s are suppressed and maligned. Chicago, was an experiment to give a chance to the GD’s to rebuild their gene structure and their progeny would become GP’s to be reintroduced to society at large. There are obvious parallels to Nazi – or any other repressive government – who works creating propaganda and keeping the majority of the population misinformed and uneducated. This could be seen as any government. There are also parallels to racism. We can see how Tobias has a complete lack of confidence in himself when he is told that he is GD.

I don’t have the dates for this, but here is a interesting story I heard about perception and prejudice:In school there was a third grade class and the teacher told the kids that there was a study done and blue-eyed children were smarter than other brown-eyed children. Then the children took a test. The blue-eyed children performed better. The next day the teacher said there had been a mistake in the study and it was actually brown-eyed children who were smarter. A test was administered, and the brown-eyed children scored higher. At the conclusion the children were let in on the secret that there was no study and it was their belief in themselves that changed their score rather than intelligence. 

In the previous novel, Insurgence, I had stated there was a steamy scene between Tris and  Tobias (Four) that let the readers draw their own conclusions if they had had sex. Well, they didn’t. In this novel they discuss how a person decides when they will have sex and they decide a moderate approach is best. There is one scene which describes some kissing and steaminess, but the details are left to the imagination.

Again, you have been warned of the spoilers coming!

By the end of this novel I was much more vested than I was at the beginning. I couldn’t believe there was a huge government conspiracy as well as the conspiracy within the experiment city of Chicago, nevertheless, I was more interested as the characters developed. I was annoyed with Tris that she was so condescending to Tobias, but I guess we can all be that way sometimes. I was surprised when Caleb, Tris’s brother, had agreed to be the one who would die to release the memory serum which was protected under lock and key and the death serum. Of course, Tris takes his place and is resistant to the death serum. However, she is shot and is dead! That was a shocker! I thought she would miraculously be alive by the end, but she wasn’t, she was dead. At least there wasn’t a love triangle!

3.5 out of 5 stars 3-half-star-hotel

– Michelle

The teen didn’t read this one. She is done with this series after the last one.

About Tales Untangled

I am a mother of four children and have a passion for reading. I love sharing my treasury of books with my kids. I also do experiments in cooking which includes such things as Indian Tandoori Chicken slow-cooked in a tagine. I write stories and illustrate in ink.
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