Allegiant was a funny sort of read for me. I feel so detached from the series I once loved and enjoyed so completely. The Divergent series was always built on a shaky foundation and in Allegiant it crumbles and falls apart though I bear no dislike towards the most raged about ending.
What bothered me most was the explanation of the current state of the world. It’s so inconsistent, the puzzle pieces jagged and wrong for each other. There were too many questions and plot holes stopping me from enjoying this book. I became quite critical while reading it, like I was analysing poorly written text rather than a story I cherish. In comparison to many dystopian books, the reasoning behind the current chaos was more detailed but it was also sloppy and confusing. Even if I suspended my disbelief of people fucking up the United States as much as they had (because seriously, what’s going on with the rest of the world?) I never understood the point of it all.
I do not know if it was intentional but the POV’s from Tris and Four were so similar I could not distinguish their voices. It made me feel indifferent towards either character. Here was Four like we’ve never seen him before, vulnerable and insecure, angry and desperate yet I could not bring myself to care. All I felt towards him was frustration and disappointment. Had he not learnt anything from Tris in Insurgent? He was so easy to manipulate and while I can try to justify it by brushing it off to inner demons of abuse and insecurity it just seemed contrived.
Then there’s Tris, a character whom I admired and respected, described as plain and small yet strong suddenly evolves into this unicorn. A unicorn that is invincible, able to resist things unheard of. The fact that I am supposed to accept that Tris is special without any explanation cheapened the ending for me.
The pacing of the book is also different from its predecessors; it’s slow and halting often dumping tons of frustrating, poorly explained science into the laps of readers. Secondary characters die and drop like flies and it’s difficult to feel anything. New ones are introduced and again there’s little to care about because they all fall so flat. Even when things were coming to a climax I still felt confused and exasperated because by this point I had had enough. Conflicts are resolved so easily and conveniently, they felt like vessels to promote certain messages about love and sacrifice. Overall, it was a disappointing conclusion to the trilogy, the story was mess and there wasn’t enough room to develop the characters. It was just so lacking. As for some of the reasons I gave this 3 stars:
- The last 200 pages were still exciting and entertaining to read despite my frustrations.
- I really liked Christina.
- There were some beautifully written paragraphs and some particularly creative symbolism.
- I liked the glimpses of friendship and how important it is. I liked that males and females were shown to be friends, good friends, without it turning into romance.
- I’m still holding on to what I loved about the characters; Tris’ courage and steadiness, Four’s support and love, Christine’s loyalty and frankness.
- I really liked those last few chapters, when everything ends and there’s just the aftermath. Because that grief and pain makes the character seem genuine and human again.