Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere
The world is divided into personality-type factions and at age 16, Triss must choose to stay in her family's sector, or venture on her own path. Action-centered drama unfolds with teen love story and fight to save the world. Not as good as the Hunger Games, but better than "Matched," by Condie.
Narrator, Emma Galvin is fantastic. Sounds 16, has confident, strong voice and nice inflection with changing tone.
In Comparison with other Dystopian YA Novels:
Hunger Games: A
Divergent: B- (action)
Matched: C- (girly)
The Giver: D (creepy)
Um, yeah. This is just not a good book. It's fairly clear that the author just thought she could rehash bits of Hunger Games (post apocalyptic U.S. focused on kids suffering through a dystopian world) and Harry Potter (different houses with different reputations/skills). Not only does the author fail to do a good job in creating something new and interesting, but the writing is mediocre leaving the listener waiting for a reason to keep listening. In the end, I decided to just stop listening and give this one up.
Dystopian society set in Chicago, Illinois, in the future. Most roads have holes and need repair. Very few have cars. Most travel by bus. The Dauntless are the only ones who travel by train because they are willing to jump on and off while it’s moving. Society is divided into five groups. At age 16 every teen must choose a group to join. If they choose a different group from their parents, they will no longer live with their parents and rarely see them. The groups are personality types. Erudite are brainy. They research and teach. Dauntless are brave and learn to fight and shoot. Abnegation are self sacrificing and work in government. Tris’ parents are Abnegation. She chose Dauntless. Most of this book is her experience at Dauntless. The new recruits sleep in one large room with many beds. She must compete against other recruits in contests. At the end of training the weakest performers will be kicked out of Dauntless.
Four and Eric oversee the training for recruits. Eric is a sadist. He enjoys putting recruits in danger where they could die. He requires Tris to fight a big boy who beats her bad. Some recruits try to kill each other to eliminate the competition. The leaders don’t seem to care about recruits getting killed and don’t investigate. The recruits can’t look to anyone for help.
I loved Hunger Games and was hoping this would be as much fun. But it wasn’t. It was ok, but I was not excited to keep reading. Four times a drug is given to Tris causing her to experience frightening dreams about fears. Dreams can be ok, but in this book I saw them as a weakness. The dreams were “the easy way” to provide conflict. The author doesn’t have to develop characters, motivations, actions, and solutions surrounding the dream conflicts. Just have a dream, wake up, and it’s over. Weird things don’t need to be explained.
CAUTION SPOILER: Outside of the dreams, twice some bad guys outnumber Tris and try to hurt her. She survives when someone else saves her, which wasn’t as good as saving herself. END SPOILER.
The result of the bad guys and the dreams give a helpless victim feel to Tris, rather than a character taking action. Her main skill was her brain’s ability during a dream. The heroine in Hunger Games was placed in bad situations and used her skills, smarts, and other character traits to out think, survive, and win. Tris wasn’t doing that, although in fairness, twice she came up with a good idea. The book ends with a success for Tris, but bad things have begun and will be continued in the sequel.
The major crisis at the end was too contrived for me. The bad guy in charge wanted to kill two good guys and should have shot them. Instead the bad guy put them in situations where they could be rescued. Also what happened with the computer was too convenient for me.
Overall, the characters were predictable and formulaic which can be ok. You can have a good story with stereotypes. But it might have been good to see more development around the bad guys and their motivations. There is the beginning of a teen romance, to be continued in the sequel. There is unsettling sadism and cruelty.
The narrator Emma Galvin was excellent. She has a pleasing voice and style of speaking. I would enjoy hearing her do other books.
Genre: young adult dystopia romance.
This was not time well spent - even though I was multi-tasking. The book dragged out horribly - especially in scenes where the action should have been fast and cutting - the author moved at a snails pace. The editors should have addressed this.
No, and I won't be buying or reading any more.
The narrator was not my favorite female narrator (Kate Reading)- but I think she did a good job with what she had to work with.
I was inspired to complain vocally, something I reserve for only the worst books I make the mistake of buying.
It would be nice if there were a clear indicator (warning) that a book was for the teenage market.
Yes. I don't say that often, but the performance added so much to this one.
When Trice was the first to jump off the building without knowing what was below her. It was the first peak at her bravery.
There are so many great scenes. The description of each was meticulous.
Yes. When both Trice's parents gave their lives for her and exhibited such bravery.
A Bookstore employee recommended this to me and I was very pleasantly surprised. It's a great book. A perfect read for Hunger Games fans.
Paranormal-urban fantasy book lover!
I was hesitant due to the comparisons to The Hunger Games because I loved that book, but I gave in and I finally found another series to read between my current ones. This book is definitely NOT the hunger games but it is a great book on its own. I am definitely moving on to the next book.
The narration is perfect! They did a great job finding a narrator for this book.
This is a definite "you've got to read" book for all ages!
I would only recommend it to a female friend in her teens.
The required choice of faction was most interesting.The major part of the book was slow moving with little excitement 'til the end, perhaps because it is a trilogy? There was not enough appeal for audiences of more mature ages; the focus was on the teen girl heroine. This book did not have enough character development and the secondary characters did not become "real" to me.
Hearing the first person narration by someone who seemed to fit the age of the heroine was great. I think Emma did a wonderful, convincing job.
This book should be more riveting to younger teen girl audiences. It was an easy listen but just not memorable enough for me.
The dialogue was spot on and the character's reactions natural. This book has effortless tension and carries forward with excellent suspense, there's no down-time or obvious parts that could be cut out without effecting the story.
Hunger Games is the obvious choice, because of the similar approach to storytelling, but those of you worried that the books are too similar, rest easy -- the characters are drastically different as well as the themes of the books. The atmosphere of Divergent was much its own.
I have to say the scene when her "enemies" (don't want to drop any spoilers) were trying to throw her to her death. It was so vivid and horrible and I was very seriously concerned about her survival. I thought their cruelty was spot-on. All the villains in this book are excellent.The scene of gliding off the roof with the Dauntless members was gorgeous, as well. There are many scenes that thrilled me.
"When everyone's path is predetermined, what would you sacrifice for freedom of choice?"
This book will appeal to a large range of audiences, it has just enough action, character development and beautiful scenes to make for an engaging read.
As a connoisseur of dystopic, YA Sci-Fi novels, I can say that after reading many similar novels in the past, this one really stands apart from the crowd. There is something special about the way Roth portrays her strong female protagonist. You find yourself worrying about Triss and wanting her to succeed. I love the underlying themes of this novel, about identifying and acting-upon the qualities each of us values most in our dealings with our fellow man, and how those values can be warped when taken to extremes. It is both a mature and introspective novel as well as a thrilling, action-packed sci-fi. The romantic elements feel natural and engrossing. I would definitely recommend this book to all lovers of young adult fiction.