(This Review Contains Spoilers)
I was a bit late to jump on to the Divergent bandwagon, but did so dutifully. I read all three books in quick succession but did not overly enjoy the series as a whole. The series is often compared to the Hunger Games, which is fair when it comes to genre and style, but the two worlds are dramatically different from one another.
The first novel Divergent was actually quite good. You meet Tris Prior, a teenage girl living in a world where you must choose a “faction” to belong to. The factions are split along personality traits, the Eurudite value intellect; the Amnity value peace, Candor, honesty; Abnegation, selflessness; and Dauntless, Courage. Tris, an abnegation girl finds herself drawn to Dauntless and leaves her family to join them. There she discovers that her Divergence, the fact that she could belong to multiple factions, and just how dangerous this is.
The Second and Third novels, Insurgent and Allegiant, were not as stellar. The plot gets murky in a scenario similar to “the Village” where it is discovered that there is an outside world that has been watching and observing Tris’ society as a social experiment. There are genetically damaged and genetically pure beings and a war between the two seems imminent. Overall the series ends a bit depressingly not only because Tris dies, but simply because she went from being such a strong character to becoming a passive witness to the events happening around her.
This is something that the Hunger Games trilogy also struggled with, as in the third book, Katniss similarly loses some of her spunk and energy. In the Hunger Games however, this is more a realistic portrayal of Revolution. Katniss can no longer control it, and she instead becomes passive in the events happening around her rather than a catalyst for them.
I can see the appeal of this trilogy for those who love young adult fiction, but personally it didn’t really do it for me.