Divergent by Veronica Roth

Review - DivergentIn the world of Divergent, society is divided into five factions – Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity and Erudite. Every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice Prior, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is. Her choice shocks everyone, including herself.

During the initiation that follows, Tris and her fellow initiates undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them, Tris must determine who her friends really are – and whether she can trust the man who both threatens and protects her.

Because Tris has a deadly secret. And as growing conflict threatens to unravel their seemingly perfect society, this secret might save those she loves… or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the scene with the first book in the Divergent trilogy – dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences and unexpected romance.

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Reviewer: Gina

Rating: 4 1/2 stars

Oh, my. A book FULL of PROMISE. I love clever and detailed world-building, and I found plenty to love here. Of course, comparisons will be made to The Hunger Games as we have a some-what unlikely female protagonist—an underdog, even—in a dystopian world, but I don’t feel that either book is lessened because the other exists.

Divergent probably breaks a lot of the accepted rules on pacing, and possibly even with regard to ‘info dumping’ but it woks because the author and readers are at play in a fantasy world, where a lot of words are required to set each new scene and stage. Also, the book is part one in a trilogy so the story arc will span right across the three which creates additional time to dally. That said, there is still a proper story with a beginning, middle and end, although it is clear the further instalments of the trilogy cannot be read as stand alone books.

I almost don’t know what I want to say about it, except I found myself caught up in the world and really enjoying it. I cared less for the more dramatic parts as some of them read in a choreographed way and were a little telling but, for me, so much of the strength of this story lies in the rich detail of an imagined world that I will forgive almost anything else. The city becomes a character in its own right – a place I’d visit if it weren’t quite so dangerous to be there.

The blossoming romance between the main characters was very sweet, and I hope they make their way through the following two books unscathed. I stumbled across a couple of things I didn’t like, or that seemed unlikely – such as when Tris switched to calling Four by his real name with little second thought. This should have been more difficult for her (as it was for me) and I also found Tris borderline unlikeable at times. She acted both as a selfish child, and therefore a possibly believable naive sixteen-year-old but she also conformed to that richly mined trope of the orphaned (if not dead, parents for this trope are removed from the child by some other means) child in an adult world whom adults defer to for leadership decisions. A lot of the characters in the story are stereotypes, or tropes, but there are two further books to further define them and round them out, so I am happy for now.

I am happy to be able to move straight on to book two in the Trilogy (Insurgent) and learn some more about the world, and maybe even get some of my unanswered questions taken care of.

I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley from the publisher in return for an honest review.