So. Prepare for the fangirl.Divergent, Insurgent, by Veronica Roth.
First, on the matter of Four and Tris: I liked them. The relationship works
within this world. They were both wrong. They were both right. They were both in character.
Four was not overprotective: he was perceptive enough to recognize that the girl he loved had a death wish and that he didn't feel he was strong enough to put himself through watching her commit "selfless" suicide and be left shattered to pick up the pieces.
Tris was not whiny, self-centered, or in any way immature. She was grieving.
Do you know how long that normally takes to deal with? A lot longer than the passage of time in the story. She was dealing with her whole family torn away from her, her whole world going to you know where in a handbasket, and her sense of self being completely shattered. All in all, I think she handled that very well.
Second, on Caleb: I was so, so right not to trust him, but
... This works. Within the framework set up through the entire book, his actions make sense. He was always better at being selfless than Tris. Tris is selfish enough to ensure her loved ones stay safe (sounds oxymoronic, but bear with me), regardless of who else had to die to make that possible. Caleb is selfless enough that if he thought it would save the world, he would sacrifice his loved ones. Mournfully, but nevertheless. I hate it, but I get it. Okay?
Third, Jeanine. Well-drawn. Everything fit perfectly in the whole story, except...
Well, it wasn't really her. It was:
Fourth, on the matter of the endpage reveal: dismal. Total logic failure. That
brief message makes everyone who sees it lose their moorings, their sense of foundation, and willing to go to war to protect or destroy it? I'm not seeing it. Here's why.
1) The Message
Let's parse this for a moment.
- There's a horrible world outside the fence, which they already knew; now, they just know what kind of horrible.
- Their great-grandparents or great aunts and uncles willingly had their memories wiped. Weird, but not very personal to the current generation.
- The Divergent are supposed to be able to help stop the horror outside the fence. Great, but who says they want to?
- The Divergent are the whole point of the factions. Okaaaaaay. Weird, but processable.
- The fence should be opened permanently. This is mind-bending how?
- The person who recorded the message is probably Tris' great-aunt and Andrew Prior's aunt. (Women don't pass down last names, and it's doubtful that she just entered the city as a wife to be his mom.)
There is only one thing in that message that would truly unmoor me:
- Those who are not Divergent have something wrong with them and cannot learn to live in or create a society without horrors. Follow the logic. If the Divergent are the Cure, who is the problem?
2) The Response
And this is where I start getting logical here. Jeanine is a genius. She stated that this message would "unleash hell on the city." How did she come to this conclusion? Maybe because she feels the city should be protected from the horrors outside. Okay.
- Jeanine was still a kid and the Divergent were already in danger of being killed off. Natalie Prior's Dauntless mom shipped her off to Abnegation because of it.
- The leaders of Erudite, Abnegation, and Dauntless knew about the message. Erudite probably handled accessing the message, due to their technological bent. Dauntless is unclear.
- Guess: The Dauntless were daunted by the idea of opening the fence or dealing with the outside and decided to kill off the Divergent so they wouldn't fulfill the requirements of "readiness."
- Jeanine grows up and decides to solve the issue of potential societal breakdown by creating simulation serum. Or else, she was just planning to oust Abnegation because she figured they would open the fence.
- Jeanine figures out the Divergent can't be controlled. Revert to killing them off.
- And then, here goes genius: In order to prevent unleashing hell on the city by allowing them to go outside the fence where horrors await, she unleashes hell on the city by bringing all those horrors inside the fence. Epic fail.
Finally, on the whole book experience: I'm willing to give Roth the benefit of the doubt because she delivered everywhere else but the end. The story is intense, gripping, well-put-together. The characters are perfect. The reveals have otherwise been satisfactory.
Book three better do something with the logic though. Until it rolls around, I'm going to remember all the pages but the last two.
Next week: Awake, Season 1 (and only :cries: ).