Saturday, 14 December 2013

Review: Divergent (Divergent, #1) by Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent, #1)


In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.



I had high expectations for Divergent, since it's pretty popular and under one of my favourite genres: dystopian. Imagine what happened when I found that it nearly borders 'meh' (at least for me).

Unfortunately, I didn't find anything about Divergent that was original and distinct that differs it from the other books of the same genre. Sure, the faction idea was a little unusual and new but even that, I still couldn't understand why it was necessary.

There are 5 factions: Abnegation, Erudite, Dauntless, Amity, Candor. Basically, an aptitude test'll determine which faction you're most suited for and blah, blah, blah. The story goes from here.
These 5 factions were meant to 'uphold a particular virtue of humanity' as Wikipedia says. Each particular faction will produce a leader of its quality, something like that. 

The main reason for not really liking is this: Why, exactly, is there a need for factions?

I get that each faction trains its initiates with whatever virtue it is but really, is it necessary?

For example, Erudite can have a leader that's smarter than Einstein but without other qualities like honesty, selflessness, bravery, peacefulness, and vice versa, what good will the leader make? He's smart, but if he lies a lot, is a coward, fights and stuff like that... Well, to put it simply and bluntly, he's no better than trash.

Beatrice is a fairly likable character but compared to characters like Katniss Everdeen and Hermoine Granger, she dims in the shadows. That doesn't mean she's a dull character, infact she's a pretty decent one. That means there are better characters from well-known books. Even though Divergent isn't as acclaimed as The Hunger Games yet, it'll gain more popularity in the future.

Four, well, let's just say that he isn't exactly a distinguishable too.

For most of the plot, it mainly consist of training which was kinda exciting admittedly but I thought could be cut shorter because c'mon, where's the real action? The one the involves real conflicts between the leaders and Divergent? The fighting and opposing and blah, blah, blah? That finally happened in the ending but all I could think of then was 'bleh, that's all you've got?'
It mainly centers around the training in... whatever faction Tris chose (I'm trying really hard not to give spoilers). And maybe the aptitude test a little... 

Overall, I thought Divergent was an engaging, fast-paced read but a little bland too, lacking in some areas. I do agree it has potential and maybe, it'll get better in Insurgent.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Bundles of thanks to all that comment!