November 27, 2019

Allegiant: A Rambling Review

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Okay, I finally read it. I don't even know how I managed to go this long without getting totally spoiled for the ending (spoilers, highlight to read: although the way people talked about it, I was pretty sure one of the two main characters was going to die... I kinda suspected it would be Four, though!

Anyway, my thoughts: for a final book in a trilogy, I found this strangely boring and uneventful. Like, it's 526 pages, and for about 400 of those, nothing much happens...? It was also less epic than I was expecting, like it felt surprisingly small-scale to me. Usually in the final book of a dystopian series everything gets dealt with on a larger-scale (I mean, look at the Hunger Games series). 

I was kind of annoyed about the Tris/Tobias drama that crops up in here (didn't we deal with that enough in book 2?), although it did provide some interesting glimpses into the psychology of their characters and relationship. But the tension between them felt rather manufactured, as though it was a substitute for the lack of tension in the rest of the story. I didn't feel like there was really a "big bad guy" in this book, an enemy to root against. The Bureau, I guess? But they just seemed sort of lacklustre and bland. 

And don't get me started on some of the plotholes here. I mean, for starters, the explanation for how the world became this way doesn't seem scientifically feasible in the slightest. Spoilers: genetic manipulation of huge numbers of adults? And then correcting them all? But not really correcting them, I guess, and then relying on behavioural modification to address this? Like...what??? How would that even work? It really didn't make sense. But even putting that aside, there are still basic plot points that seem very weak. More spoilers: like, um, if David is clever enough to figure out that Tris and the others are planning something, wouldn't he be clever enough to inoculate himself with the antidote to the memory serum ahead of time? Also, what is the expiry date on that stuff? Because it sounds like it wears off fairly quickly...? And also, why would the Bureau store the memory serum in such a way that a simple password and the press of a button would release it INTO THE BUREAU???? Like why is that even a possibility??? They would, one imagines, never want that to happen. Yet it sounded like it was built right into how the stuff was stored. I mean, the Bureau was seriously really bad at its job, because it was way too easy for Tris' group to rebel.

I liked some of the realizations that various characters in this book came to about life, as there were some kernels in there that felt authentic and true. But most of this book just ended up seeming pretty pointless. I know a lot of readers were upset by this final book (even more spoilers: I'm assuming because Tris dies? Honestly, I felt like that ending that was very true to Tris' character -- the sacrifice for her brother, anyway. The part about being shot to death by David, a man we barely got to know during this third book, did not lend it particular significance), but overall I just felt irritated by the execution of the majority of the storyline, especially given that it's the final book in the series. It feels like it went out not with a bang, but a whimper.

2.5 shooting stars.



No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments, so post away!

Related Posts with Thumbnails