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.
the story has a lot of potential with this very acute society she dipicted and the characters are moderetly developed, simple but easily identifible and a few of them are even wrought with the nipping moral dilemas that come with teenage and mid life agnst. OHHH the suspense! the dynamics of the story are so few to begin with, the thrill of the book is waiting for it to open up to limitless... comparitively limitless.. possiblities. no idea when tho
she could of weaved it into a story, that would of been nifty. It felt drawn out for dramitic pause, the tension and anxiety were almost painful...doesnt have the feel a master storyteller but more like chopped and screwed of twlight and hunger games. Im unfamiliar with the author so im hoping she carefully designed the story with some clever qips and foreshadowing and a few surprises for the reader not just a straight at you there are a few twist, lots of stick and small carrot
I'll try anything twice
It gave me another opportunity to try out listen to a book on x2 speed. Insurgent maybe x3
This showed up on "best of the year" lists on Goodreads and Audible, and I'd heard a lot of good buzz about it, but I was very disappointed. The reader is part of the problem, I think, but also the romance, politics, and action all feel really shallow and the plot has more holes than Swiss cheese. There are some exciting bits, and the overall message -- dare to be different, think outside the box -- is good, but it's oh so heavy-handed. I guess it's trying to be a successor to the Hunger Games, but I think it's probably more like Twilight. If you're desperate for more books in that vein, you'll probably like Divergent, but if you prefer your sci-fi to make sense and have a bit of subtlety, I would recommend skipping it.
Incidentally, I *assume* the author is not trying to make a statement that intellectuals are the enemy, but then again she might be.
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.
I wouldn't read another one of them or even finish this one. Hope the movie is better
Maybe with a different performer
She sounded like a snotty know it all 14 year old. I couldn't liste
Disappointment. It's so much like Hunger Games, but far less creative. I trusted the hunddreds of great reviews, but even the premise was immature and not thought through.
The story just wasn't that believable. There was no back story to explain how society ended up how is does, nor could I believe human beings would actually accept the situation. The characters seemed a little shallow, just a touch cliche, but they were much better than the story.
I should have listened to the preview, then I would have not purchased this book. I am just not a fan of 1st person stories, much less 1st person stories told from the point of view of a 16 year old girl.
This is a weak story. The story line is fascinating, but the book never delivers. The characters are not well developed, way too one dimensional. The action is not plausible. Granted this is SF, but even then the reader must feel that this could really happen. Trish takes a bullet in the shoulder, and about the only problem it causes her is some pain as she continues to perform amazingly. Doesn't work that way.
Listen on dog walks, commutes and around the house. Welcome virtually any genre but southern fiction holds a special place in my heart.
I stumbled upon The Hunger Games trilogy last year, reluctantly read the first book despite the genre being one I generally don't tend towards but fell in love. It felt different and I was open to something different. I searched for recommendations on the next book to read and the lovers of The Hunger Games consistently recommended Divergent. They were right! I read it in less than a week and was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn't a regurgitation of The Hunger Games but something else fresh and new. I'm wondering if I'm now a true convert to this YA dystopian genre. Next up: Uglies.
So I often try not to review trilogies until the whole thing comes out and has been read and digested, because I think, "What could be worse than recommending a first book to someone only to have the successive two books suck the life and happiness from the little thrill left by a great first book?" Then I finished this trilogy and had an answer: worse? 2 fantastic books finished with one that makes little sense and ends wholly unsatisfactorily.
I will try not to give spoilers here, so please bear with any vagueries. I try to understand that not everyone will agree with me and refuse to read the series. So...
There are serious plot wholes in the last book. The ending makes no sense. If you think about it too hard- by which I mean almost at all beyond letting action scenes enter your brain and then leave again unrelated to anything- your brain might explode. At the very least, you will be frustrated.
Also, I don't care who you are (and I won't say who), but nobody's death should getmore than a chapter. It's maudlin. It's depressing. It's old.
Even Dobby didn't get more than a chapter, and that was one of the best written death scenes in YA fantasy. It didn't need it, because more than a chapter is maudlin and depressing and all the rest.
The absolute worst part of all of this is that the first two books were excellent and interesting and beautifully done. They are not complete in themselves though, and so can't really be read without the final book. It's like Ms. Roth had this fantastic idea, butdidn't bother to develop the world prior to writing the books, so she just ended up making it up as she went along. I know, it's fiction, and, by definition, made up as she goes along, but she didn't seem to think out the end at the beginning, so the world lacks consistancy, and overwrought scenes of heart-break and radical personality change resulting from said overwrought heartbreak are there to distract us from the knowledge that the Wizard of Oz is just a sad guy behind a curtain. O.K., I'm not sure that analogy works entirely, but I can't think of anything more frustrating than going down this whole road in pursuit of some grand goal only to discover smoke and mirrors and little of substance (O.K., maybe it works as an analogy ).
There is no Wizard at the end of this yellow brick road. There's only road work ahead.
Seemed like an interesting premise at first, and I always like my dystopian/post-apocalyptic fiction. Not this time. Started out interesting, then it seemed like the author was running out of steam about 2/3 through the book, and so was I. There seemed to be a lot of action, it was very fast-paced, but not a whole lot of substance. More like an adolescent stream of consciousness. I wasn't even interested enough to finish it, having listened most of the way through it.
I also very quickly got tired of the one-dimensional characters, and all the abnegation nonsense. Actually, none of it made much sense. This book is nothing like The Hunger Games, even if it's trying very hard to be. It is much, much worse.
Having said that, I thought the performance was excellent, the narrator kept it more interesting than it would have been otherwise.