I was pretty excited when Insurgent by Veronica Roth came out. Divergent reminded me of Hunger Games in so many ways (see review here), and I could hardly wait for the sequel. When this book came in the mail, my daughter and I debated who would read it first. Since I was in the middle of a book, she got it. At last my turn came. I hopped in, full of eager anticipation. So the blurb!
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.
Hmmm…. I guess I’m a bit shocked. I am beyond astonished I didn’t like it nearly as much as Divergent.
I’m really not sure what happened to this book. It’s like the manuscript came back from beta readers with LOTS of suggested changes. Then the changes were made, but no one read through it to make sure everything made sense in the end.
For example, [View Spoiler][Hide]
***Tris is about to be executed via injection. She gets injected with a purple substance and fades… loses all feeling in her body (paralyzed). Peter rolls her away on a stretcher then when he’s out of sight of Jeanine, he picks up Tris and runs with her to Tobias. Apparently, she wasn’t injected with death. I get that. But when she asks how she survives the injection, Peter explains that he switched the death syringe with a syringe filled with a water/purple food coloring solution. Okay… when does purple colored water paralyze?***
Anyway, the entire book is filled with plot holes and inconsistencies. The Erudite are supposed to be geniuses, or at least logical, but they spend more time asking questions everyone knows the answer to than applying their logic to important tasks… like not letting people with questionable loyalties guard Tris.
Character analysis. I was so not fond of Tris this time around. She was so intent on killing herself, I’m not sure why she didn’t run back to the Dauntless compound and throw herself into the pit. It certainly would have been more effective than risking her life, so others felt obligated to save her and risk getting killed themselves.
Even my beloved Caleb fell through. There was a point I was so proud of him. I thought, now here’s a hero. Resourceful, dedicated, and level headed. Then I found that Caleb was just a simulation in Tris’s head. Talk about your major bummers. He turned out to be the biggest liar of all. And Tris continued to fawn over him until the end. I would have kicked his butt to the curb and never looked back. “To the left, to the left. Everything in the box to the left.”
The ending. I hit it and found it terribly anticlimactic. I think it was meant to be a cliffhanger… end in a way to make me eagerly anticipate the next in the series. But when I hit the big reveal, it was more with a shrug and an “oh.”
This book had so much potential to be good. Unfortunately, it dragged and most of the real story didn’t start until the last 100 pages.
So how did I come up with this rating. Despite my many complaints while reading Insurgent, I clung to a three star rating. I kept telling myself, this had to be at least three stars. After all, Divergent was pretty decent. Every time I hit one of those plot inconsistencies, which were many, many, my rating plunged to 2 stars. Then I’d read on and convince myself Insurgent would pull out of the slump… we had to make it to three stars. Then another plot hole would hit a page later.
I truly wanted to give this 3 stars, but this book was so poorly executed, it seemed dishonest to give it anything more than 2 stars. When I looked through other books which have earned 2 stars from me, this one didn’t even rank that high. I’m totally bummed and feel awful this book wasn’t better. I wish there was a way to take this book off the market and put it through a developmental editor before rereleasing it. Cut the filler, fix the plot screw ups, and make Tris more like the survival Tris in Divergent. This might inch its way to a 1.5-star read, but I hesitate to even go that far.
As it is, I don’t see myself purchasing the next book in this series. I feel like something went horribly wrong, and the people the author should have been able to trust to tell her the truth fell through. I read Divergent and know the author can do better. I’m just not willing to bet my money (or time) on more of the same I got from Insurgent.
I am Candor, hear my truth!