This is the (IMO) weakest of the three books. As far as I’m concerned, it went off the rails as soon as they left the city and ended up in the ‘compound’. I guess I missed the premise of the ‘experiments’ because I didn’t see how isolating people and putting them into these factions would make a genetically pure person (and I’m not sure I even understood what it was that made a person a GP) I mean, obviously, mankind has ALWAYS had wars and fighting, even isolating these people/this community didn’t change that. (Why did the community have guns in the first place?) And how was it kept isolated? I mean, didn’t planes still fly? Couldn’t the inhabitants of the city see them sometimes? (Or maybe it was restricted airspace or something…who knows?) And if the members of the compound were always observing, how come they didn’t know that there were so many divergents in the factionless population? AND…it should make sense that the factionless would actually be growing faster than the factions, right? And it sucks that Tris died. I guess Ms. Roth was trying to be a little Tolkien-esque here – civilization was saved, but not for the savior of it. (Like Frodo couldn’t rest in the world he’d helped free from Sauron). J.K. Rowling was smart enough to not kill Harry (though I’ve heard the original intention was to kill him) and Katniss lived at the end of the Hunger Games, Tris’s death was sort of…unneccessary in my mind.
Spoilers included – beware…
As the second installment in the trilogy, I don’t think this one was the weakest (as trilogies seem to go). Still lots of action and adventure, but Tris was starting to wear on me a bit. I had to keep reminding myself that she was only 16 and therefore, was bound to make lots of errors in judgment – then I started thinking that the author maybe should have made everyone a little older, as the situation did call for the characters to be awfully mature. In this book, we find out a little about the beginning of the city and that the people there are not alone, and in fact, are supposed to leave and help the outside world. And that’s where it ends – another cliffhanger. And not a subtle one either. (Now I’m starting to get annoyed with the whole series!)
Read this soon after I read the Hunger Games, and just recently re-read the whole series. I’ve also seen the first movie so I now have the actors faces inserted into the roles…particularly Kate Winslet as Jeanine and Ashley Judd as Natalie Prior. As the first book of the trilogy, it’s a great start, very action-oriented and exciting. I like the characters (at least the ones I’m supposed to like!) and I have a little trouble picturing things, but that’s more likely due to the fact that I’ve never lived in a big city, so I can’t quite comprehend the number of people we’re talking about here, or the size of the area they all occupy. This would actually be an okay stand-alone novel if the ending hadn’t been a cliff-hanger. In fact, it might have actually been better if it hadn’t been a trilogy – but more about that in my next reviews. Let’s just say I enjoyed this one enough to read it twice and see the movie.