The benefit to waiting until a series of books is all released, and then shelling out the cash for a matching hardcover set, is that one doesn’t need to wait impatiently for the next book to be released. I did that with JK Rowling and it wasn’t fun. So I was smart and didn’t jump on the Stephenie Meyer and Suzanne Collins series until all the books were released. Veronica Roth’s trilogy is my first matching set, though, and I’m happy about this.
Very much worth the extra money they no doubt charged me to get the books in a flimsy cardboard box.
So as soon as I finished DIVERGENT, I dove headfirst and happily into book #2 – INSURGENT.
The title is a tad misleading because Tris and Four don’t willingly become actual insurgents until very late in the book, and even then they aren’t the ones who come up the realization that it’s what they are. But hey, I get the “ooh, no one has made her titles rhyme yet” theory of book naming and money-making.
In INSURGENT, I got to find out more about what makes Tris and Four tick. And I do think the book, and now the series, are as much about Four as they are about Tris even though she’s still the narrator and the eyes of the story. It’s in part because he gives her a new way of looking at things and she makes him become things he never trusted himself to be … all things and reasons that would be serious plot spoilers if I told you about them here, so I won’t. You’re welcome.
A thing I really liked about the book was the expanded looks at the other factions aside from Dauntless and Abnegation, and even at the factionless – which is a faction onto itself, if you think about it. And you do think about it.
I realized too that I very much like the gritty nature of the world Roth created. It’s too easy to compare YA series to one another so I’ll make this comparison – everything was sparkly (literally) and perfect in Meyer’s world and even in Panem, there was the fancy and wealthy Capitol. In Roth’s world, which doesn’t have a name (at least in the minds of the characters), things are dark and gritty. Another comparison I can make is the 99% vs. the 1% debate that’s going on in the media. Tris’ city is what the 99% would be if the 1% in our society threw their hands in the air and said “screw it” – something they may be doing.
But book reviews shouldn’t be political so let me get back on track.
The fact is that I read INSURGENT faster than I read the first book. It has a broader scope but it’s still focused on the people guiding me through the world. It never strays from that. I feel like I’m traveling with them, not just listening to them tell me what they see. It’s the way a book should be.