About a year ago I posted a review of the book Divergent by Veronica Roth. The second book in the trilogy, Insurgent, came out the first of this month. I just happened to be at Chapters the day after it was released, and, naturally, had to pick it up.
To be honest, I had completely forgotten about the series. I had some reservations with the first book, and as such was quite blase about the release of Insurgent. But I have rarely been known to put down a book once I've picked it up, and one must finish what one starts, and so let's get crack-a-lackin' on the review, shall we?
Quick plot summary:
(also: minor plot spoiler if you haven't read book one)
Tris, Tobias, and a handful of other Dauntless and Abnegation have survived the simulation uprising. As they are unable to return to Dauntless headquarters, they seek medical attention and temporary refuge from the Amity sector. They are offered sanctuary, but not for long. Tris and Tobias know that they must break out and find out as much as they can about the Divergent and why they are being targeted. Meanwhile, Tris overhears Marcus telling Johanna, unofficial leader of Amity, that there is a great secret that was being stored by those in Abnegation, but he cannot reveal what it is.
When an unexpected raid of traitor Dauntless break into Amity, those who are willing to fight escape the compound and spend a night among the Factionless, where Tobias is confronted by an unexpected ghost from his past. They quickly leave and seek alliances with the Candor faction, where Tris learns what she must do in order to save the rest of her society.
I don't know what it is about trilogies and series, but it seems like there has to be at least one book of the bunch that a little bit sucks. This book isn't awful. It isn't great, either, though. A large part of the book is spent telling you that there is information to be found, but they keep not finding it. There is a lot of walking, a la The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, and Roth keeps introducing characters without really giving them enough qualities for the reader to get a firm grasp. And while the book seems to move quite quickly - everywhere people move they are running or punching or frantically searching for something, by page 400 you realize that nothing has actually happened and you've still got 100 pages to go.
I will say this for Insurgent, though: the ending is definitely gripping. Up until the last two pages, I was thinking that I probably wouldn't give book 3 a whirl, and then WHAM! Roth broke out her first interesting twist of the book, and now I must find out what happens.
Insurgent isn't bad. It definitely fulfills the seemingly necessary YA elements of unconsummated yet passionate young love, a young protagonist who is the intellectual equal - indeed, superior in some cases - to her adult companions, and a lot of not-particularly-violent fighting. I think Divergent is definitely better than this book, and I can only hope that book 3 is best of the batch.
Number of books read in 2012: 6
Current TV series: Firefly
Today's nail colour: L'Oreal's "Penthouse Pink"