Thursday, 31 May 2012

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Tris is back after the trauma she faced in Divergent. Since her youth in Abnegation, her life has turned upside down and the world seems to be following the same track. Yet it isn’t over, and as Tris comes to terms with her own demons, she has to deal with the next stage in the plot, leading to the unexpected.

I’m having the same problem many reviewers have with book. I want to sit here and talk your ear off about almost everything that happened in the novel, but in doing so I’d ruin the entire thing for you and anyone else. And then the double-sided blade scenario comes into play because I don’t want to spoil Divergent for you either: it is just as gripping and awesome.

So the best I can do is a bit of relativity of Insurgent in comparison to Divergent.

There was huge anticipation for this book and sometimes all that hype can ruin a book. It was somewhat similar with Divergent. Last time, for Divergent, I really got caught up in all that and frankly it lived up to that gargantuan expectation. The thing was, I tried to not get mixed up with the stuff prior to Insurgent for two reasons. One was purely personal, and if you follow me on twitter you probably have a general idea of that. The other was that I’ve been disappointed about hype a few times since I started blogging and the method I’m slowly developing is to not get involved in it and so I can’t be disappointed. The only reason I say all this is that I genuinely think this book deserved what hype I was exposed to and I genuinely think it was a great book.

I think this book was about as action-packed as Divergent- they are dauntless after all! In some ways this was something I was expecting, since I rarely find myself so involved in fighting sequences in books. But these tended to draw me in, though they lacked some of the lustre of Divergent- but I think that was Tris’ influence. She loves her faction, but she’s still recovering psychologically and the almost manic loss-of-self in the action is less pronounced.

Four/Tobias was really great. In Divergent, my memory was that he went from International Man of Mystery to…well, Tobias. Without getting into it too much, it’s almost as though Four and Tobias are actually different people, which then links back to the Divergent things. Holy… I think pontificating actually rendered something vaguely sensible.
Tris got on my wick a little bit though. I don’t begrudge her being depressed, nor do I dislike the occasionally spontaneity of her, but I find part of me just wants to grab her and shake her. As Tobias puts it, she’s so frustrating. Not wrong, not hateable, she just makes me grind my teeth sometimes. I think the problem is that I can see, understand and even emphasise a bit with her, but I think she seems narrow-minded sometimes or inconsiderate of other things. It’s more of a niggle but meh.

I thought the plot was like a train journey before a huge crash. Strangely, this is a good thing. It started off fairly slowly, which made sense, and then when it got into the actually meat of the story it stayed fairly interesting. I think Divergent was more involving as a story for the middle section and I would stand by the belief that though the plot was good, it wasn’t perfect. It seemed sometimes too straight-forward or bit repetitive, but like an action movie. You sort of know what will happen, but you can still enjoy it. For me, the whole ending sequence was just brilliant. This is why I use the train crash analogy: you’d notice when you start to move, and you’d notice when you were on the main section of the journey, but you simply can’t ignore it when you crash. I don’t want to give away a thing about the ending though- I just want to say I thought it was utterly brilliant.

Conclusion (!)
A great book, and definitely a commendable sequel. It might not have been special in a particular way, but that might only be because it followed Divergent which was so fantastic. It’s a solid 5 for what it is and I’m oh-so-grateful to Karen for getting this for me! If anyone liked Divergent, they should definitely look into this.


  1. I was wondering what you thought of Tris int his book. I love her and I think I understand all her motivations and actions. i even feel for her but I wish both her (& Four) to some extent would trust in each other a little more.
    It wasn't throw the book across the room or even hate the character level though.
    You describe the book perfectly. You're right....sometimes you are just chugging along almost able to find flaws in the story then you're jolted into this incredible action scene or hit with a HUGE twist.

  2. They are a bit bothersome, but I've come to accept it. Now I think about it again, I guess I kind of preferred them before they fell in love and even though they're good together, all the lovey-dovey/ stop-suffocating-me can get a bit old. And I don't really know myself, but I'd like to think if you truly love someone, you should trust them, right?!