Saturday, December 28, 2013

Allegiant, Veronica Roth
Third book.  Best-selling series.  Fun first two -- oh, how I wanted it to be good.  
I was looking forward to it. 
And just lack.

Things Allegiant sadly lacked:
  • Distinctive voices for the two first-person narrators.*  Tris and Four return as protagonists, and take telling their tale in turn.  Problem is: I always forget who's doing the telling because they sound exactly the same.  I'm rudely awakened to mistaking one voice for another when the person I think I'm inside the head of suddenly walks up; "Wait a minute, I thought I was you right now."  Hate.  This then leads to me scanning previous paragraphs/pages to reabsorb the information as happening to the other character.  Unfun.  Especially since the pages weren't that fun the first time.  Which brings me to it also lacking...
  • An absorbing narrative.  Although things happen, I didn't feel riveted by them.  In fact, I felt very aware of how much talking was going on, and then suddenly I felt thrust into some action...but I wasn't excited by the leap.  I remember half-way through I found myself disappointed that there was still so much to go.  Never a good sign.
  • Complex characters.  I felt next to no connection for these people.
  • Beautiful writing.  I don't find there is anything particularly pretty about Roth's words.  I chomped through Divergent because her ideas served for an excellent dystopian read.  Book 3?  I get the dystopia, I've processed these ideas, and so now I'm relying on some really good writing to keep me there.  Nope, not much to be found.
  • I liked the ending.  See how I can comment on it without commenting about it?  Spoiler-free, always.  But once you've read it, we must discuss this. About 4/5ths of the way into the book, I was relieved with the turn the book took.  Delighted, even.
  • Sensuality is kept warm not hot.  Phew.  I'm not a fan of a play-by-play on teenage frisky business.  That said, if you like things to be cooool, you'll find allusions are a-plenty and Tris is rather...interested.  There's a little foreplay too.
Overall:  I am glad I finished the series, but I was disappointed it didn't go out with the bang I was sure it was packing for later delivery.  Fizzle.  I wasn't the only one disappointed; read Stella's words here.

 *It certainly didn't help Roth that I paused mid-Allegiant to read a book that executed the very same devices with such finesse.

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