It is a very rare thing to witness the beginning of a writer’s career and know without a doubt that the first little book is going to launch a worldwide craze, a la J.K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer. Such is the terrifying yet enviable position of Veronica Roth, who sold this debut novel to a HarperCollins imprint before she even finished college. She also sold the film rights to Summit Entertainment, owner of the Twilight film saga, on the strength of pre-publication buzz alone. The first in a planned series, Divergent is beyond question the best thing to happen to young adult literature in a very long time. More realistic than Harry Potter and less moony-eyed than Twilight, Roth has crafted a world and a protagonist that are easily engrossing and definitely worthy of our long-term attention.
Part of the credit for such charm belongs to narrator Emma Galvin, herself somewhat a newcomer. The young upstart has already garnered praise for her interpretations of Winter’s Bone, the first book spin-off from the Glee television series, and Stephenie Meyer’s recent novella. Galvin is genuinely edgy and emotive, not a trace of sugar to be found in the dialogue or her rendering of it. She captures the bold but conflicted spirit of the main character, Tris, with convincing personality and a real sensibility for the fast-pacing learning curve into which Tris launches the year she turns 16. After being raised in a clan whose primary characteristic is its devotion to selflessness, Tris defects, choosing a life of bravery from among the five factions that comprise her dystopic Chicago. She must pledge the faction, and go through several rounds of training eliminations before becoming a true Dauntless.
Tris is a complex, down-to-earth character with a lot of soul searching to do in a clan where hobbies include jumping from moving trains and tossing knives at small objects resting on the heads of friends, and there are no second chances. Veronica Roth has built a remarkable situation with strong potential for a longevity that will remain fresher than the sum of its parts, and Emma Galvin has this bull of a new series firmly by the horns. This book is confidently going places far beyond the fanatical mindlessness of young adult marketing, and in a hot minute, grownups will not have to feel one iota of shame for having fallen in love with it alongside their less discerning teenagers. Megan Volpert
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue - Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is - she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are - and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves.... or it might destroy her.
Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series - dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.
©2011 Veronica Roth (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers
"Though Galvin’s narration is concentrated on giving Tris the perfect voice, she never neglects the secondary characters. Poignant moments with Tris’s mother and Four, her leader and love, are subtly nuanced to let listeners hear the terror Tris often hides.... listeners will hold their breath waiting to see if she can survive the day." (AudioFile)
I'm an avid listener always searching for another good book and willing to share my thoughts with a pithy review.
An unlikely story, but one that kept you interested. The heroin was nicely developed from an average person to a somewhat gifted person who could make substantive changes in a tough system that lacked freedoms. Rooting her on becomes the readers purpose. People are tested and placed in living groups based on their test results. The groups are narrow in focus and interest so living ones life out in one of these groups seems both over controlling and highly unlikely. Accepting this assigned group premise requires a perverseness or an imaginative leap that I either did not have or could not make. Conflicting terms like interesting, weird, possible, unlikely, maybe, wacko... all rush to the tongue tip when I try to describe the read. In any event, if civilization ever comes close to the one described in this book...we will have regressed well beyond the nightmare stage.
I blame myself for not reading reviews (I prefer not to be biased by them and go in blind) as I didn't know this was a hunger games knock off YA love story about a girl in a dystopian society. I enjoy dystopian stories as it is fun to imagine society very differently but there were problems with how the premise was written out, I found myself frequently asking questions of the author in my head and not getting any information. The story needed more fleshing out as far as the society goes to be more believable.
I blame the author for not editing better. The terminology for weapons is totally wrong and it would have taken a tiny bit of effort to get it right. Every time the protagonist "clicks a bullet in the gun" I cringe, it's so bad. With some better editing this would have been much better. The word generic firearm term "gun" is frequently used where pistol or rifle would have helped the action and painted a picture better. Again I blame the editor not the author.
The book was voiced well, I enjoyed listening to Emma Galvin.
The basic story needed more fleshing out. How could children not be more curious about their parents choosing and initiation? I find the premise hard to follow. I enjoyed the Hunger Games so it's not the genre that I find fault with. Bad bad editing.
This was my first audiobook and it was a good experience.
Her voice and the way she reads the story just brings it to light. She makes me imagine the story as a vivid movie.
I must admit though, I gave the other 2 books a try and I'm struggling. I bought the audiobook for Insurgent but I kinda just finished it because I had started. I really enjoyed this book because it gave the background to the story. I guess it's where the story actually goes is what I don't like. I know most people who intend to read this book will be expecting to read the others, but I don't think this trilogy isn't worth the hype.
The actual storyline in Divergent is very creative, and worth the read. Roth introduces you to a future world in which at the age of 16, children must choose their place in the world based off of their values. These places, or factions as they're called, consist of Abnegation, Dauntless, Erudite, Amity, and Candor. However, some people do not fit in just one category. These people are known as Divergents, and must be eliminated from the system in order for the structure which holds their society together to remain intact. Our main character, Tris, must learn to fit in with the faction she chooses even though she never quite feels that she truly belongs while trying to figure out how to stop another faction from overthrowing the government.
The narration was my main problem with the story. It was difficult to remain in touch with the story with Galvin's reading of it for the majority of the time. During the beginning, I found her pronunciation and elongation of words to be both annoying and distracting. However as the book went on, I noticed it less and less. Some parts, such as when two characters are conversing are quite well done, especially towards the end. Overall, the narration was decent even if a bit distracting at the beginning.
I wasn't particularly moved by anything specific in this book other than the overall idea of having to choose a place in the world at such a young age. It seems like something very realistic that many young readers can relate to. I do quite enjoy the way that Roth fleshes out her background characters, but think that it's still lacking in that something that makes a book truly great. However, I would definitely recommend this book to young readers out there.
It is a fast paced, very exciting and fun listen :-)
The Fear Landscape
No. 1st one and I liked it.
How many fears do you have?
Yes. Harkens back to all things I loved about hunger games.
Hunger games. Duh.
Look all the best voice actors do the same thing. They create a world with distinct voices for each of the characters.
Spoiler******when the mom died.
Nope just if your going to buy this one you knight as we'll buy all three now.
For all the hype, I expected more. I understand why young folks are so captivated by these books, its because they are written for elementary students. I have read better much better. The book was not bad just not worth all the hype. In short very predictable.
The best word for this book is forced. It's well written but style if only part of a book. It is not internally consistent and the societies are too unbelievable and the populations described in the acceptance trials are not consistent with the overall population numbers of each clan. I liked the book enough to finish it but I'm not wasting my money buying the next in the series.
I didn't look at the print version but the audio is very convenient.
The author's explanations of what was going on inside the thoughts of the main characters.
Gallup Strengths: INPUT ~ LEARNER ~ ACHIEVER ~ RESPONSIBILITY ~ DISCIPLINE
Descriptive details help to visually imagine the scenery.
Mother being shot.
An unexpected villain.
It made me think of how judgmental society has become and how it is perceived or can be perceived.
Young Adult books nowadays usually leave me with a longing for more Harry Potter :). Suprisingly this one didn't. I really enjoyed it, and I will wait for the second one with eager antecipation. It's good to know that there are new writters with potential out there! It's light enough for your readers, the story is well thought, and the characters, specially the main ones, are likeable and believable. If you're looking for some light fiction, this might be it.
"One of my favourite dystopian works."
I love Divergent and have it in paperback, kindle e-book & Audible audiobook.
The writing is well developed and the story gripping. The characters are very easy to identify with and you find yourself wanting to learn more about them.
I know i am stating the obvious here but this is a Young Adult/Teen genre. It is light enough for the younger teens but deals with some very important social issues such as bullying, domestic violence,
As many people have said there are similarities to The Hunger Games, such as segmented society within a city, but they are their own stories.
Being the first part of a trilogy, this book sets the scene in this dystopian world and establishes the characters, political issues and power struggles from the outset.
The reader/listener is kept guessing throughout the story with just enough revealed to fill in the gaps and solidify the story by the end, but leaves enough questions to keep you guessing and wanting more.
This book is very well narrated by Emma Galvin, i think she would be suited to many other YA stories and if she had narrated the twilight audiobooks i would have bought them too.
"Potential that was never fulfulled"
This book had such wonderful reviews that I dared hope for a brilliant new series. Not a chance! The characters remained flat and unconvincing. The challenges they faced were not real but in simulations and dreams and these unreal experiences fell flat and sounded fake. I don't understand why the Dauntless faction was considered the brave, if all they ever did to prove their bravery is jump on trains, get tattoos and go through simulations and imaginary challenges.
All in all, even though the book had a couple of promising ideas, overall it sounded hollow and extremely disappointing. I will not be bothering with the second book of the series, despite the fact that many questions remained unanswered.
"Ends with the beginning"
Well, I must start by telling you that I'm probably one of the few who has NOT yet read the Hunger Games trilogy (I'm working on it...) Even so, I understand that there is quite a few similarities. A young girl trying to figure out Who she is. In doing so, finding hidden strengths (both physical and mental) within her which is good since she needs all of them in the initiation process she's going thru.
I listened to the novel vary well narrated by Emma Galvin and I listened as soon as I had a chance (in the car, walking the dog, cleaning the kitchen).
It is well written, the characters are plausible and easy to like (or hate). The main character Beatrice, later Tris, is someone you want to get to know and learn more about.
But, to me it seems that this, the first in a series of three, is very much an introduction to the rest. I don't know if I'm right, but there is something missing. There is a lot of questions you don't get answers to.
Why has the society changed into this very rigid form? What has happened to the world?
For me this lack of background made it difficult to understand and accept Tris'and the other initiates change and behaviour.
Non the less it's a good read. Love, hate, good, evil, morality.
I do hope to find some answers in the next book. I would have given it one more star if I've gotten some more answers from the start.
The story ends with the beginning...
Enjoyed listening to this daily. The narrator portrayed the characters and the told the story. I'm looking forward to insergant
Divergent is an original, clever story. Great characters and performed brilliantly by Emma Galvin.
My favourite character is Four. An intriguing individual with a great backstory.
Emma Galvin does a great job reading this. She gives a very believable performance and is very easy to listen to.
When Tris learns more about her mother's past and the dramatic climax ( no spoilers!).
"Stand aside here comes the DIVERGENT"
I have listened to better but listened to much much worse ... the fact taht the narrator is in a constant state of fear allertness terror means that you do not get a rest from this frantic drama. But She does a good job of making your heat thud.
The Hunger games is the same type of book and this is a compliment. Tris is not the same she is harder and less confident than Catness however the story is edgier in my opinion.
When Tris was saved from the other transfers by 4.
"Quite an enjoyable listen"
I was looking forward to reading this, the initial blurb seemed good, but at the end I felt a little disappointed. There are lots of unanswered questions, but I know there are two sequels to come which I assume will tie up these questions. However, the lack of any information about the history of Chicago, and how this society came to be this way, means that questions are continually popping into my head - for example, who are Dauntless protecting their society against?
Overall a good story, and reasonably well performed - Emma Galvin has a pleasing voice, though at times it was difficult to distinguish which of the characters were speaking initially. The characters were whole and rounded, Tris was brave and curious, Four moody and deep, and all the requisite baddies were in force.
What is a little disappointing though is for the continual presence of strong similarities between this and books such as The Hunger Games and The Host. Maybe most stories set in a dystopian future will have similar themes, that echo over and over again, but I would have appreciated some original twists to distinguish one from another.
"A great new writer to the fantasy pantheon"
I welcome her to the list of fantasy and science fiction writer that I really like. Robin Hobb, Orson Scott Card, George R.R. Martin and Diana Wynne Jones to name a few. The story is told in first person and we are given the perception of the protaganist to the strange surreal environment she finds herself in. We are all brought up in the belief systems of our families and Tris is no exception to this. The five faction construct is obviously just that, a strange construct. I was worried that this would be another Hunger Games pseudo reality story, but I was very pleased it did not turn out like this. The world is very like a computer game with real players and not avatars. I look forward to Veronica Roth honing her craft and producing more wonderful stories in the future.
"Excellent story, but average performance"
The story is imaginative and enthralling. A bit too much Mills and Boon at times but overall very good. Performance is not the best, difficult to distinguish between the different characters.
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