Thursday, December 26, 2013
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
The post-apocalyptic world in which Tris and Tobias must now live is one divided between the divided Chicago that they knew, where groups or factions were determined by one personality trait, and one they never knew existed. Those who showed proclivity for more than one trait were considered "divergent" and therefore dangerous - that is until now. Tris and Tobias find out that there is whole other world where the government watches the city, researching their lives as part of a huge "experiment" to see if people with "damaged genes" can eventually get back to their genetically ideal or divergent state. Divergence is the only good state to be in, according to this government which wants to abolish the factions altogether. While this seems liberating and just to Tris and Tobias and their rebel friends at first, the means by which genetic purity will be obtained is not so liberating. The labels for people are changed, but the outcomes and civil strife that result are just as damaging as the "experiment."
This is the complicated moral landscape that the characters in Roth's world must navigate. Real-life societal issues come into play when one talks about genetic purity, cleansing, war, and human experimentation. When does the end justify the means, etc.? All of this fascinating stuff is wrapped up in a band of very interesting young characters, Tris and Tobias's love story, and their ongoing family battles over power, love, and acceptance.
The intoxicating combination of these elements is what makes this series one of today's hottest tickets, soon to be a ticket at theaters everywhere. So before the first movie comes out in March, do yourself a favor and get lost in the Divergent world. Read the books. You won't be able to put them down until they're done.