Genre: Young adult, dystopia
Narrative Style: First person from two points of view
Synopsis: The faction system is broken. Tris is surrounded by violence and nothing seems to be any better than before. Tobias is caught between his warring parents. Perhaps they can find a better life outside of the city?
Reading challenges: Full House Reading Challenge – Genre: Favourite series.
First of all, I should point out that I don’t really have a favourite series but this is a series that I needed to finish. I thought the previous books were ok -certainly enough to decide that I needed to know how it ended.
I really wish I hadn’t bothered.
I’ve had some problems with accepting the idea of the factions in the previous books. It just doesn’t hold water for me. Discovering that it was all a giant experiment to try and return the world to genetic purity didn’t help me suspend my disbelief any. In fact, it made it all seem a bit more false.
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate that Roth was trying to make a point about the use of genetics as an excuse to treat some people as second class citizens. Definitely a point worth making. However, Roth spoils any political point she may have been trying to make by the way that Tobias and co. win their freedom.
Instead of a realistic battle with the government, Roth settles instead for allowing all the government’s memories to be reset by a serum so they could be given a new history and would no longer be obsessed with genetic purity. This seems to me to be a slightly more grown up version of ‘and then I woke up’. Had she run out of ideas? It certainly seemed a lazy way out of the problems the city was in.
This wasn’t the worse thing though. No, that was the death of Tris who happily sacrifices herself for the rest of the group even though there is no reason for her to. This annoyed me so much, I nearly didn’t finish the book. (Especially the whole scene with her hallucination of her mother which was needlessly sentimental.) Why bring a character so far through a story, make her battle so much, to not have her survive and enjoy the victory?
Finally, the epilogue made everything just too perfect. It was too easy. Real political battles are much more hard won. I admit, I don’t like uncomplicated happy endings and so I was never going to be pleased with this. However, I know I would have been happier if Tris had been in the final picture.