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
I'm a retired teacher with "spastic" eyes. Audio books seem made for me! For the first time in my 65 years, reading is fun!!
After seeing Hunger Games, I have no interest in reading that series. Divergent, however grabbed me and won't let go!!
The premis on which this seems built reflects the way we, as mankind, must choose to live our lives. In essence, we choose between "factions" on a daily and sometimes, even hourly basis. We constantly use our own personality traits (both weak and strong). The author gives us streaming access to Tris's thought process and I found myself comparing it to my own! So Divergent became a psychologically charged adventure with characters that could age nicely both in print...and on the screen.
Sure, I'm far from being a "young adult" but, who gives a rip!!! Thanks to Veronica Roth, my hunger for a terrific series is being fed!!
Entertaining and an interesting thought experiment. Not quite as well done as The Hunger Games, but still worth it.
316 audiobooks in my library and counting. I'm an addict but I'm not sure I'll ever seek help.
After finishing the a hunger games series I was left tight that familiar feeling of now what? Luckily, I came across this title. If you enjoyed the characters of the hunger games and could handle the brutality of that world, try Divergent. It starts a bit slow, but don't worry. It'll pick up soon enough. Then, just like me, you'll be waiting, if not very patiently, for the next installment.
The Villian. Frankly, you cannot achieve a great series without a great Villian. This series starts off on a great note because the Villian and crew have all the perfect mix of frightening motivation and will do do what needs to be done to make their visions a reality.
The performance gives greater depth to the voice of the main character than I think just the written work would.
I've listened to more than 120 audiobooks in the last couple years, this one is somewhere in the top 30.
When Beatrice leaps into the pit and becomes Trice.
When Four and Trice are together before the Induction ceremony
Selflessness isn't that different from bravery
The transformation of Beatrice unfolds in an enjoyable way. I love these strong females, like Katniss in The Hunger Games. All the action is exciting. I can't stand books that naval gaze too much, this does not! If you like Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian Fiction this is a good one. I sort of wish there was more explanation of the history, perhaps in the later books.
Overall I thought this was a great book - excellent narration, interesting story! The only thing that I wasn't a huge fan of is that the teenage romance was a bit excessive for my taste. Aside from that, great, great listen! I just downloaded the second book :-)
Loved Hunger Games, Ender's Game & Michael Vey. Looking for similar books.
What a great book. Worth a listen. It grabs you and won't let go. Great story, great charactors, and great action.
Avid reader, now listener since introduced to Audible. Love suspense, sci-fi, futuristic stories, and thrillers. I love reading reviews.
Yes, I would. I've actually posted about the book on a message board I belong to and there was another person actually reading the book at the same time. So, hopefully others will read this great beginning of a great story.
I enjoyed the complexities of Tris's life after the choosing ceremony. Her confusion of her brother choosing a different faction, her not knowing who to trust, the realness of Al's feelings for and rejection by Tris, etc. There's just so much. The characters, while some are still shrouded in mystery, their roles in Tris's life played out well. I love Tris and Four's relationship and how it played out, and like someone else's review said - thank you for it not being a triangle. I did know before it was revealed who Four was, but his mysteriousness was enjoyable as well. I also knew what Al's outcome would be before it played out, though that didn't take away anything from the story for me. The importance of what the transfers had to face is a parallel of what we all face as young adults in our transition time was told in a great way. Tris and the others had to make adult decisions and deal with the consequences of such. Facing pain, separation, and even death - how many young adults can really get through that alone? Tris was given support in various forms and her being divergent shows that it is within us the ability to do anything. Overall, I feel that the book carried a realism that is missing from many books. While most are filled with fantasy characters, this book is telling a story at a time that could very much be a future reality for our world. Food shortages, separation by abilities, this is something we can see happening, which makes the book a much better read. It's not just entertainment, you can actually imagine what it would be like, how you would react to situations. I loved it.
I believe that she read the book with great feeling. The emotions carried out well and she gave life to the words as needed. For me, she read the book just as I would have in my head. LOL..
Sometimes we need to change to discover who we are.
I think Veronica Roth is off to a great start and I am eager to read the second book - Insurgent.
this is a really good book cant wait to read the second book
im not done reading yet but holy crap i cant stop reading it cant wait to read the second title
when she chosse her new home
this is a great read read if you didnt get ebnough from the hunger games book
Audible is making my commute to work much more enjoyable..
Move over vampire hearts and flowers, dystopian romances are here to stay. This was a great story about a girl discovering who she really, learning a lot of herself and love. The book kept me intrigued. There were times I didn't want to stop listening. There was action, sweet romance, and a few heart wrenching moments. Overall a great book.
Very well done, couldn't stop listening! Great character development and good story line.
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...
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.
"A have to listen to audiobook!"
I haven't listened to many but it would rank about 3rd or so..
SPOILER!! When she lets her blood drip onto the coal, the tension that is built up in that scene is amazing!
Was good, used different tone of voice for different people.
There many different parts where I smiled, laughed and have to admit cried! The book is written and spoken so well that you feel like you are with Tris on her journey, you experience what she experiences! That is one of the things I love about this book you feel involved!
I read the book before I bought the audiobook, and suggest that you read the book as well as you remember alot more, its more exciting, I think to read it and its just a totally different experience altogether when you read the book!
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