It’s been quite a while since I finished Allegiant by Veronica Roth, but truthfully I was so completely underwhelmed and disappointed that I could not be bothered to write a review. Allegiant commences where Insurgent left off. Tris and co, not satisfied with the new status quo, joins the rebellion and sets off to discover what lies beyond the boundaries. They discover that their city is embroiled in an experiment conducted by the Bureau of Genetic Welfare. Following the Purity war which resulted from attempts to genetically remove negative behaviors from societies, the Bureau was founded to use selective breeding to repair the genetic damage they caused, over several generations by forcibly isolating several populations, including Tris’ home. These populations were organised into factions to better monitor certain behavioural traits. The divergents turn out to be genetically pure individuals whose DNA shows none of the genetic damage caused by previous genetic tampering. The divergent’s importance was however vastly overstated in the video made by Edith Prior (an indication that Roth had no idea how she wanted to end the series at the time she wrote Insurgent). Tris, Tobias and friends ultimately discover more secrecy and manipulation by the Bureau and take it upon themselves to right to wrongs of past and present.
Sadly, this was a very disappointing conclusion to the Divergent trilogy. It felt like completely different authors had written Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant. The author just didn’t have the same voice. It felt like the Roth had no idea how she wanted to end the series and ultimately just grabbed at straws and rushed to release the final product.
Tris dying felt absolutely unnecessary – and I don’t say this simply because her death disappointed me. I truly don’t see why she had to die. It makes no sense and in no way enhances the story. It felt… superfluous. It felt like Roth threw it in there for shock value. She wanted Tris to sacrifice herself for the greater good (I suppose this was meant to be ironic since Tris had finally decided that she didn’t want to die), but then she needed a much better crafted storyline to justify it; because it fell flat. When a character death falls flat, it’s a massive disservice to that character and the audience. Tris deserved a better ending, or at least a better death - something vital. Uriah’s death upset me more than Tris’ death did because (he was a favourite of mine, yes, but more than that) it was relevant and believable and necessary for the plot. Tris death was none of those things.
I was curious as to how the movie would portray the events and watched it the very evening I finished the book. If 10% of the movie is based on the book, it’s a lot. They made massive, massive changes; the largest of which is having Tris survive. Granted, at the time they were planning another sequel (which is also evident by the ending), but while the movie is in no way a masterpiece, it is a vast improvement from the book. Either way I’m sad to say that while Divergent was thrilling and Insurgent was entertaining, completing the Divergent trilogy now feels like a complete waste of my time (too much time and energy I’ll never get back) and the utter disappointment that is Allegiant will prevent me from recommending this series to those who have not yet experienced it.