Review has spoilers for Divergent.
Veronica Roth’s Insurgent is one of the most anticipated titles this year for Team Teen, as we were all so blown away by Divergent last year. I couldn't put down the pulse-pounding, adrenaline-spiked story of Beatrice "Tris" Prior. Her future Chicago divided into Factions who embody five different virtues captivated me. It made me wonder where I'd end up: Amity (peace), Abnegation (service), Candor (honesty), Dauntless (courage), or Erudite (knowledge.)
While the oddmakers may be wondering what the next Hunger Games will be, I'm telling you that you can bet on it being The Divergent trilogy.
In Divergent, Tris chose to leave her native Faction of Abnegation and join the Dauntless. She also learned that she is a Divergent—someone who has affinity for more than one virtue. She survived the intense and ruthless Dauntless initiation and then uncovered an Erudite conspiracy to turn her fellow Faction members into simulation-controlled slaves.
But stopping the simulation comes at a terrible personal cost to Tris, and we watch her struggle with the fallout in Insurgent. Divergent built her to be a strong character capable of amazing sacrifice, but in Insurgent we see her knocked down and broken. Both the stakes and the body count in Insurgent are higher than they were in Divergent, as Tris fights a divided Faction to try and save her city.
Also, there’s her relationship with Tobias “Four” Eaton. Four and Tris are a pair of flawed characters struggling in a conflicted world to be better for one another. That's one of the things I really appreciate about Roth’s Trilogy: NO LOVE TRIANGLE. Finally, an action-packed book that knows a single relationship has enough struggles and triumphs to keep it interesting.
Roth expands the our view of the Factions in this second instalment, as we only really saw Abnegation and Dauntless in the first book. With Insurgent, we visit Amity and Candor. So much thought has gone into this world—everything from how conflicts would be resolved, to the architecture and jobs of the Factions reflect what they do. I love it.
The trick with a second book in a series is that it either has to be bigger or it has to dig deeper. I like that Roth chose to expand while keeping the events centred in Chicago. One of the biggest questions at the end of Divergent for me was what happens next? And Roth balances swift pacing with a sense of time passing so that things happen in a realistic manner. Character grieve and suffer as people would, which adds to the realism of her book.
If you adored Divergent for Tris and Four, its world and its didn't-see-that-coming-plot, then get to one of our stores on May 1 2012 and ask for a copy of Insurgent. Read it in a day, and then we'll countdown to the epic finale. together.