Friday, 29 November 2013

Insurgent by Veronica Roth (Divergent, #2) - Book Review

4/5 Stars


Edition: Paperback
Pages: 525
Chapters: 47
Publisher: HarperCollins

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Author's Blog


'I have done bad things...'

^ One of the sentences from the second book in Veronica Roth's Divergent trilogy, and it's true. One of this book's main themes is the guilt that follows the characters around; think of the guilt like flies around poop. (Edit, several years later: What was I thinking with that poop comment? Jesus... I'm just gonna leave it there for added cringe. I apologise...)

Now, Insurgent in many ways shines brighter than the first instalment, but then again, there are a lot of things the first book gets right that Insurgent steps back from. I still feel book two is the better book, it incorporates more of the dystopian Chicago than its predecessor, making the world feel more real and solid.

The plot continues on almost straight away from the ending of the last book. I'll try and give as little as I can in regards to spoilers, so here goes. The book continues the struggle of Tris and her Divergent status, and while she has met more people in the same situation as her, there still isn't a lot known about them, other than if found out it can mean death. In this book, it gets expanded on, we find out a little more about it which is refreshing and should really have been covered in the first book. The same goes for the world, it is an amazing world, with so many rich and unique details scattered around, but in the first book we don't really get to see a lot of the inner workings of the factions, other than two out of the five.
The novel has a strong plot, even if a bit scattered, I enjoyed the world-building and the future that Tris and co are fighting for.

The characters are fifty/fifty. Most of them improve. Characters I feel suffer from the Tris-and-Four limelight in the first book really step out on their own in this one. Tris, however, feels as if she has taken several steps back. The first book shows us how she grows into this strong, sassy, and brave woman, and the second book delves into the guilt that remains from the actions she took to be that. While I enjoy the almost Post-Traumatic Tris, I feel it encompasses most of the book. She stays guilt-ridden and almost unable to fight back for most parts of the novel, and it's a little bit of a let down. Another thing I enjoy but feel drags on too long is the gap that appears between Tris and Four. It brings a new dynamic to their relationship which is needed, but lasted up until the end of the book, casting the two of them in a sort of identity-crisis shadow. They feel radically different in ways from their first-book counterparts, and it sometimes gives you a headache.
Mostly, though, they are fun to go on this journey with, especially Tris and her Amity adventures on 'happy serum', one of the most enjoyable chapters in the book.

The writing, as with the first, is excellent. Veronica Roth is a great writer, with detailed and great worlds full of awesome fiction. A great eye for the little things and brilliant writing to set it across, it keeps you hooked throughout, and I found it quick and fun to finish.

Looking forward to Allegiant ;)

Previous Instalment: Divergent
Next Instalment: Allegiant

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