It’s like The Hunger Games all over again. Book one hooks me, book two is my favourite, then book three is the disappointing part of the trio. But where Mockingjay was a bit alienating with the staged settings, but was ultimately disappointing in the conclusion, I spent most of Allegiant bored, then pleasantly surprised by the ending.
Surprised only because it felt like a twist. The epilogue, however, was unnecessary.
What happened? Petty squabbles. Factions v. factionless – it seems like a battle that will come to some reasonable resolution. But, it kind of moves on ridiculously easily. And the crux is that, while we know that there are others out there, they’re kind of even more prejudiced. Your personality and decisions aren’t the factors for consideration, but your genetic make-up.
And, I can roll with that, because I found the idea insane but interesting. But the battle just kind of shifts from one unresolved squabble to another. And there’s another fight: reader’s attention. You’re used to Tris’s POV, but here you flit between hers and Tobias’s. Tris remains herself: childish at times, but strong willed for better or worse. Tobias, on the other hand, just kind of falls apart as a character.
I expected the quality to dip a bit, but not this much. I just really disliked the book and felt constantly disengaged. It was definitely amped up by the ending, not because I found it a particularly great resolution to everything, more that I found it really unexpected, or assumed the last few chapters would turn things one-eighty, as most do.
There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself, or for someone else. […] But sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain, and the work of every day, the slow walk toward a better life.