Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: May 01, 2012
Find On: Goodreads | Amazon
"I have a message for the Divergent.
I am Divergent.
This is not a negotiation .
No, it is not.
It is a warning.
Regardless of what you may think of Divergent by Veronica Roth, whether or not you are a fan, or even if you are sick and tired of dystopian books, there is no denying the fact that Veronica Roth made a huge splash in the world of young adult fiction with her debut novel. Divergent fast became one of my favourite books of all time, and its sequel, Insurgent, one of my most anticipated. And I assume the same applied for many other readers too. With so much buzz and excitement surrounding book 2, along with the speculation of whether or not it would be able to fill the large impression left by its predecessor, Insurgent sure had a lot of high expectations to live up to. Thankfully, it didn’t disappoint.
Veronica Roth is back with her second novel and proves she still has many tricks up her sleeve. As with several middle books in trilogies, there is always the risk of the plot being dragged out extensively so that the book ends up becoming more of a ‘filler’ than anything of great significance. At first, and occasionally during the middle, I was concerned Insurgent may have fallen victim to Middle Book Syndrome, but I was quickly proven wrong as Veronica Roth crafted a story more complex and rich in detail than Divergent. The characters were bigger and better than before, though not always admirable, and the plot as action-packed and intricate as ever.
The story takes a fascinating turn in this book and there is a lot to appreciate. Finding out more about the factions which were barely touched on in Divergent, including Amity and Candor, and even the Factionless, was something I valued greatly. The world-building in Divergent was remarkable, and Insurgent builds on that, adding to the captivating quality of Tris Prior’s world. As unpleasant and perilous as life has become for her, I couldn’t help but want to join her, to join her world, and experience it for myself.
When I first met Tris in Divergent, she rapidly developed into one of my favourite main characters. Her determination, fearlessness and real emotion made her the perfect heroine and I was eager to see how far her character had come in Insurgent. Things were definitely trickier for her in this book and her relationships with many people were put to the test. A distinct cloud of hopelessness surrounded her occasionally, and her thoughts and decisions became difficult to agree with, but she was, overall, a remarkable character to read about. In a strange sort of way, I was glad there were emotional obstacles for her to overcome on top of the obvious ones, as it transformed her by the end of the book and made her even better than she once had been.
Now, I’m sure I’m not alone when I say Four/Tobias Eaton was one of the main reasons I wanted to read this book. There really isn’t much this guy has to do now for me to still want him. In Divergent, he was a bold and strong character, and unbelievably easy to fall for, and in Insurgent we are able to dig deeper into his character to get a better grasp of ‘Tobias’ and know him as well as we know ‘Four’. It’s a pet peeve of mine when the author changes the name of a character halfway through a book and that was something I didn’t appreciate in Divergent and it wasn’t any different in Insurgent. Although he is predominantly referred to as ‘Tobias’, I couldn’t bring myself to call him anything other than ‘Four’. But anyway, trivial points aside, Four was just as astounding in this book as he was in the first. The romance between him and Tris was beautifully crafted. Although things were occasionally strained between them, I enjoyed reading about it and was whole-heartedly satisfied with some of the tension.
And speaking of tension, the ending of this book is a killer. Being a reader who more often than not despises the cruelty in being left to wait for some crucial answers, a cliff-hanger isn’t always welcomed with open arms. Surprisingly though, the ending of Insurgent filled me more with excitement than with frustration. The big revelation is an astounding one with very little, if any, signs of predictability. A whole new door is open for book 3 now and whichever route Veronica Roth decides to take it down, I am sure I will be waiting with bated breath to read it.
The bar is set high once again. Divergent was outstanding and Insurgent proved it could live up to the hype. That next and final book will be released in 2013 and I hope beyond hope that it brings the perfect closure to this remarkable series.
Rating: 4.5 stars