Inevitable Chaos; ‘Insurgent’ by Veronica Roth

You know that moment in animations or films when the clouds part, beams of sunlight illuminate, and a choir belt out that heavenly ‘Ahhhhhh’? I have always been sceptical of that moment, I have never trusted it, until now. I have written many a word on how I dislike the second instalment of trilogies, however, I take that proclamation back for I have finally found second instalment that has (finally) not disappointed.

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth’s much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.Synopsis from Goodreads

I cannot say I enjoyed Insurgent more than I did Divergent, as in many dystopian trilogies the introduction of a new world is generally more interesting than its inevitable destruction. However, unlike Catching Fire in the Hunger Games Trilogy, Insurgent constantly kept me interested due to Roth’s marvellous character and plot development. My main gripe with Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy) was that is just felt like half a story of teenage angst and half a story mimicking the first novel; Insurgent was a completely different experience. There was far more development to the story, some questions where answered while more were asked, which all lead wonderfully to an eventual twist I was not expecting.

Unlike in Divergent, where I loved Tris as a character, in Insurgent I found her progression irritating. Probably due to the increase in characters to enjoy, Tris has gone from being my favourite to generally finding her rather annoying with all her emotional up and downs. However, despite this her desire to do the right thing, even against the opinions of those she loves, is endearing at least. Other sources of contention were caused by minor character details such as Roth’s basic characterising of Prior son taking after father and Prior daughter after mother; this was frustrating in its cheesiness and suggested a lack of deliberation or effort.

Minor gripes aside, while I felt Roth could have taken a few more risks her accurate representation of the casualties of war lead to several unexpected deaths and fascinating twists. You never really know who is loyal or who is likely to switch sides; I expected Susan to loosen up from her Abgnation chains, for Caleb to not be so Erudite, and for Four not to align with his mother, but this was not the case. Roth has created a world more complex (though, perhaps needing some tweaking) I did not expect from young adult fiction; Insurgent is worth reading just for this.

Without giving too much away, what interested me was even after all the controls, the Factions, are put in place their society still reverted to chaos; what does this say about our own society? I am not sure how I will wait till 2013 for the next instalment; patience is not one of my virtues.

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Brandi {not your average ordinary}
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Brandi {not your average ordinary}

I’m still not entirely sure what happened at the end of this book (I’ve been thinking about what the implications for the world would be), but I agree with you about the choices of some characters — at times they felt like Roth really wanted to shock you but never gave a complete justification for those choices. I’m still pondering Tris…

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