Insurgent (Divergent Trilogy) review

Book: Insurgent (Divergent Trilogy Book 2)

Author: Veronica Roth

I was a little apprehensive before reading this book because I had been told that it was not as good as the first one but I actually found it better-I feel like after this book, I understand the dystopian world of Divergent better and it didn’t fall into the usual pitfalls of a second book in a trilogy by becoming too slow, as the action often slows down in the second book to build up to the climax in the third. The second book does jump in straight where the end of Divergent left off, so it is probably more easily enjoyed if you have read the first book recently (since I read Divergent in April, the story was more fresh in my mind than it otherwise might have been). Here is a short synopsis of the story:

I have done bad things. I can’t take them back, and they are part of who I am.

Tris has survived a brutal attack on her former home and family. But she has paid a terrible price. Wracked by grief and guilt, she becomes ever more reckless as she struggles to accept her new future.

Yet if Tris wants to uncover the truth about her world, she must be stronger than ever… because more shocking choices and sacrifices lie ahead.

In my review of Divergent, one of the things I said I wanted for the sequel was to be able to see more of Candor and Amity and thankfully this did happen in Insurgent, we got to see both Candor and Amity which I think helped me understand all the different parts of the faction system better which I liked. We also got to see more of the factionless and how they fit into the world which I thought was good because now I have a better sense of how their world works, and how everything fits together. One of the main parts of this book which you learn quite early on is that Marcus is keeping a secret that will affect the entirety of the world and it makes the Divergent Trilogy different to the same old dystopian formula of a female heroine rebelling against the corrupt government and actually helps you to understand why the factions were put in place which was another thing I said I’d like to see in this book in my review of Divergent.

I found Tris kind of annoying for most of the book-I thought her grief of losing her parents and killing Will was portrayed realistically but I didn’t really like who she became-she’s impulsive and rash and doesn’t seem to think things through, essentially she’s attempting to be killed. I thought this was believable since she had lost one of her closest friends and both of her parents but I just didn’t like it very much. I far preferred it when she was back to being her old self again because that is the Tris we have come to know and love.

I also liked that we found out more about Tobias (Four) in this book which was another of the things I was hoping for. We meet his mother and find out about his relationship with her and his relationship with his father continues to develop and I feel like I understand him more after this book than I did after the first book which was great. I liked the way Tris and Tobias’s relationship was developed in this book, because even though this is a dystopian world they are still like a normal couple who do fight but ultimately understand and love each other which was great. I love the way Veronica Roth manages to integrate their relationship into the plot rather than having their relationship overshadow the plot and that there are no sex scenes with them, it’s just nice sweet moments.

There was far more action in the plot of this book as in Divergent it seemed that the exciting stuff all happened at the end, but there was plenty of action throughout this book which I liked. I did feel like I saw some of the twists coming, especially with what happened with the factionless, I worked out what was going to happen with them pretty quickly but this didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the book in any way and there were other twists that totally blindsided me (for instance the person who betrays Tris and I won’t say who but it is really shocking). The first part of the book was a little slow but that was okay because I felt like I needed to slowly be brought back into the world before being thrown into the action and it allowed us to learn more about Amity, a faction that was mentioned in Divergent but we didn’t really know much about. One of the best things about the book once it gets going is that although it is fast paced, it never feels rushed which I loved.

In this book the role of the divergents becomes even more important and I felt we got to understand better why there are divergents and the true meaning of what it is to be Divergent which I thought was good.

I also liked the development of the relationship between Marcus and Tris, I mean she obviously hates him for what he did to Tobias but I felt I gained respect for her when she sided with Marcus to reveal the secret Abnegation had died for trying to reveal because she knew it was the right thing to do rather than just go against it because she hates him or side with the Dauntless just because she wants to take down Jeanine.

Jeanine as a villain is incredible, because you hate her and admire her at the same time, because she is so clever and I find myself constantly intrigued by her and yet I hated her for what she was doing to Tris. I thought her lab security was so cool!

I do feel like Veronica Roth is a little trigger happy, she kills off a lot of characters just when you are starting to like them and feel like you are getting to know them. I wish she would stop doing that, it’s unnecessary. I know it’s a war and people are of course going to die but she just seemed to go a little overboard for my taste.

We got to see a little more of Tris’ divergence in this book and whilst we had seen her aptitude for Dauntless and Abnegation featured heavily in Divergent, her aptitude for Erudite was not explored as much. However it was in this book which I quite liked and in the scenes with Jeanine and Tris, I found it kind of spooky how alike they were, and how Tris’ aptitude for Erudite allowed her to work out what Jeanine would do, and it was nice because we got to see another side of Tris.

Overall I felt this book was very strong, the characters and their relationships are developed well, not only Tris and Tobias but also her relationship with other characters (eg I thought the development of her friendship with Christina after Christina learns she shot Will was very good), new interesting characters are introduced that I want to learn more about (examples being Johanna Reyes, leader of Amity and Tobias’ mother Evelyn) and the Divergent world is explored more which I loved. The end was a real cliffhanger which I think sets up for the third book quite well and I can’t wait to read the third book now. I can only hope it is half as good as this one was.

My Rating: 4/5

The next book I will be reviewing is Hate List by Jennifer Brown