Hey, readers. Cheri here with the penultimate installment in my Divergent trilogy series (make sure to check out Chebk’s review of Divergent, and my reviews of Divergent, Insurgent, and the first two Divegent movies) — which, yes, there will be one last post even though this is the review for the final book, Allegiant. It seems Veronica Roth has got a deeper hold on me than I would like.
As much as I thought finishing the series would be a relief, it was actually more of a trial than the first two books combined. I was blissfully ignorant of the shitstorm that occurred when Allegiant was first released and fans everywhere notoriously disagreed with the series’ end (and you can read Roth’s response to them; big spoiler alert), but now it seems I have become legion because this last book disappointed in every way possible. Please note that this is the calm version of my many emotions. The rest comes later in bullet form, rest assured.
SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT STARTING WITH THE NEXT SENTENCE.
Insurgent left off with the big reveal: The city of Chicago and its five-faction structure is actually a large-scale social science experiment being conducted by the US government. You may now find yourselves asking, “But why?” And that would be an excellent question…for which Roth has concocted an answer so poor SO AS TO SET MY ENTIRE SOUL AFLAME WITH FURY.
In their time of “great peace,” the government decided, “What the hell. Everything’s going so well we should fix what made things wrong in the first place when we weren’t peaceful.” (We later find out that there was never a great peace, but it doesn’t matter. The damage has been done when pretty much an entire national scientific community accepts this as truth.) The solution is to genetically modify humans to select for specific personality traits that will help perpetuate peace. Obviously this goes wrong. But let me tell you why: Because they conduct this experiment on an entire population from the goddamn get-go.
Veronica Roth, if you are reading this, please know that there is a world of scientific research with standardized processes ready for your perusal. All legal research starts with a small sample. Not half the nation’s population.
In any case, this leaves a lot of people “genetically damaged” and they wage a war against the still-remaining “genetically pure.” Death and destruction happen, evidently across the entire country because this is how Roth measures everything, and the remaining government decides, “Nah, not gonna help our actual citizens any more. Gonna set up these new experiments to return everyone to genetically pure status.” Which, okay, sometimes even I think this is how our government works, but come on. Essentially everywhere outside these experimental cities becomes tent cities and dog-eat-dog hobos.
Outside the city walls, Tris, Tobias, and a few others are taken in by the Bureau of Genetic Welfare who monitors the city experiments. It turns out that Tris, as a Divergent, is one of the “genetically healed,” and made to reintegrate genetic purity into the greater population. Oh, good. Also, meanwhile, Tobias’s mother and father (leaders of the factionless and Allegiant, or those who want to return the city to the five factions, respectively) are planning to wage war in their small experimental city.
The good, the bad, and the silly behind the cut.