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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Fantastic sorry. Great characters. Fascinating world. Gripping plot. Get this!
If you liked Hunger Games, Trudi Caravan books, Fire by Kristin Cashore, or Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, and/or Ready Player One, we may share tastes in audiobooks. And if we do, you will LOVE this book more than many of those!!!
Flat out my favorite book I downloaded in 2011. An excellent entry in this genre!