Published by HarperCollins Children's Books on May 1st 2012
One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.
Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.
New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian DIVERGENT series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.
Oh dear. Following up after the mass success that was DIVERGENT, the second book INSURGENT does not live up to expectations. As a teenager I remember liking this book but rereading it as an adult I can see where this series started to splinter a little bit. Admittedly when I was younger and had not read as many dystopian type novels I was easier to please and perhaps that made me more forgiving. These days, with a more discerning taste and many more books under my belt I’m more hesitant to accept this sophomore slump.
The biggest, and to me, most important issue I had with INSURGENT this second time around was its pacing. INSURGENT moves slow, slow like molasses. There’s a lot of sitting around and waiting for things to happen. They wait at Amity, they wait on a train, they wait back in the city, they wait at Erudite. Wait, wait, wait. It’s boring. This is a problem I see pretty often in second books. They spend all their time trying to build tension by letting nothing happen. They travel, they sit, they speculate. That’s all well and good to a point but something has to raise the stakes. Until about halfway through this book I don’t see what much to keep my interest.
Maybe the first time I read this I was riding high on how good DIVERGENT was. After all I did marathon them when I read them for the first time, long before ALLEGIANT was released. But now, knowing what this is all leading up to I don’t see much use in all the waiting. It doesn’t enhance Tris as a character, Four gets a little bit more interesting with the surprise twist, and Caleb becomes even less likable than he was before.
What this book does have going for it is all of the stuff back at Erudite, as info-dumpy as it sometimes is, and the incident at Candor. Even some of the time at Amity has some merit, as we get to see how each of the other factions we haven’t seen yet function. It’s all the waiting in between I find aggravating.
What this book really needs is some tightening up. A little editing, a little shifting stuff around, and the pacing could be on point. It just feels like it wasn’t given the time it really needed. Still, it’s not wholly unenjoyable, mostly just frustrating.
I do recommend this book for readers new to the series, but for old fans you could probably just skip and and move on to ALLEGIANT with a quick refresher from one of the recap sites on the web.
What do you think of INSURGENT? Share your thoughts in the comments.
From my shelf to yours,