The end was bleak.
In the final novel of the Divergent Series we get to see what’s outside the fence. It is desolate, it is broken and in some ways it is no different then what is on the inside. Chicago, Tris’s home is no more then an experiment conducted by the U.S government to produce people with pure genes. Why? Because these people can supposedly save the world from the destructive mess it has become. Are people really divided according to whether their genes are fixed or damaged? Can they make a home for themselves among individuals that watched them struggle, fight and die but did nothing to stop it?
The scientists at the compound beyond the fence are uncaring. They see Tris as a genetically pure human, one that serves a purpose and the rest of her friends, Uriah, Christina, Caleb and Cara as expendable because they are genetically damaged. Tobias is an anomaly, he is neither fully pure nor fully damaged. It is interesting because in this last novel of the series we get to see into Tobias’s mind and realize how much his parents have hurt him. His father was abusive and his mother left him, they were both tyrants in their own way and Tobias was left floating in the middle, unsure of himself and his place in the world. Knowing that he is genetically damaged and not really Divergent leaves him feeling even more fragmented and dislocated from Tris and the world he once knew.
While Tobias struggles with his identity, Tris is struggling with the revelation that her mother once lived in the compound. She came from the outside world and integrated herself into the experiment to save people like Trish, the Divergent, who were being killed. If her mother found a home among the sterile walls and the genetic divisions maybe Tris can too but at what cost?
An interesting aspect of this series is the point of view it is written from. First person perspective is used throughout the books and I found it a little awkward to read at times. It was done well but it just felt too narrow for the scope of the story, there was so much going on with so many characters that it would have been nice to get a feel for it all (but maybe I am asking for too much).
Also, the perspectives in the novel go back and forth between Tobias and Tris. My main issue with this was that sometimes I would be reading a chapter and I would forget whose perspective I was reading. The two characters in my mind were much too similar. It was like reading a boy version of Tris and then a girl version, they both wanted the same things and they both were destructive in their desire to get it. Personally I felt that Roth did a disservice to Tobias. In the first two books we see him through Tris’s eyes and we imagine someone compassionate, level headed and not quick to pull the trigger. However, when we read from his perspective we see that he is easily swayed and more of a boy then a man in his decisions. Maybe I’m being too harsh but I think Roth rushed Tobias’s character, he deserved to be so much more dynamic and I think she fell short of living up to the expectations the reader had of him.
Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the series. I think a good way to tell if you really and truly enjoyed a book is when you find yourself re-reading certain passages. When it was all over, I returned to certain chapters where I felt the writing was beautiful. These were the moments where I found myself stopping just to take it all in. On the other hand, I wasn’t happy with the ending. I wanted it to be different so badly but then I guess that would have defeated the whole premise of Roth’s story. Life is bleak but love is strong.
Roth brought the world of Divergent to life through imaginative characters and a dark, rich setting. She reached into our souls, pulled out our best and worst qualities and put them on display in a way that makes you think, what if?
Have you read Allegiant? What did you think of the ending? Did you enjoy the dual perspective?