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)
Just the long narratives of longing for the opposite sex. Some of it's ok. But over done in this series.
book yes audio no
I only review the best and the worst. Mediocre is left to the listener.. Follow me on my quest of the best epic series and narrators!
The Divergent series (which I will sum up in this review instead of writing a separate one for each book) helped me decide that I do like Dystopian Fiction. (If Brandon's Steelheart didn't push me over the edge). The books follow the story of a girl named 'Tris' and her friend 'Four'.ion These are nicknames, of course, because in this society, you are tested at 16 via injected with a serum that puts you in a trance induced simulation and you are offered scenarios. How you react will eliminate certain factions from your choices The factions are Abnegation (Selfless), Erudite (Intellect), Dauntless (brave), Amity (Peaceful), Candor (Honesty). I found it odd that 4 of the 5 are virtues.
But low and behold, sometimes the tests are inconclusive. The testee makes choices that don't narrow down your faction choices. These people are known as Divergent, and since we are in a dystopian world, that must mean that Divergent people must be hunted and killed, and why? Well It's a secret.. If you're lucky, the person who tests you knows the Divergent secret hand shake and will help hide your results.
While the story was good enough to make me chug through all 3 books in 2 weeks, the writing style did not lead to a good translation of Audiobooks. It was told in first person... First person that hits you like a Mack Truck Her's an example
"I walked down the hall. I saw Four. I told Four hello. He said "Hello Tris". We walked down the hall together. We saw a computer. Four went to hack into it. While I waited, I watched him. He is hansom'.
You get the picture. The third book, which is told from both Tris and Four's perspective, helps with the problem, but it's the major flaw in the series. This didn't chafe me as bad as the "He said She said" problem that some books have, but it did become distracting to me. Luckily, Emma Galvin did a great job with the narration.
The pacing of the series is rather nice, and by the time I got to the parts that started explaining what was really going on, it was predictable, but I honestly didn't mind.
The characters stay true to their natures throughout the series, and for me, that's important. They are all young, and they all mature through the books, but I never felt like any of them did things against their nature
So, I'll rank this one high in the dystopian fantasy genre, and if your looking for a dystopian series that does not include Zombie Outbreaks or apocalyptic events, then this will satisfy you
I enjoyed this story, the beginning of the Divergent series, setting the tone for the rest of the books. Emma Galvin does an amazing job of portraying Beatrice Pryor, her inflection and tone draw you in and keep you entertained. My daughters were reading the book, and wanted to see the movie, but before I would allow them to read the books and see the movie I had to preview it, and after listening to the unabridged version of the book I was drawn into the stories and have now listened to all 3 books. Very Enjoyable stories with a great twist.
Emma Galvin's performance made this book truly enjoyable to listen to.
The whole book was very enjoyable.
Umm No, I am a man.
A lot of pop culture is popular for good reason (Gone Girl, Harry Potter) so I give everything a try. But with this and the Hunger Games series, I just don't get it. The writing is so bad - SO BAD - that the world's best plot could not make it palatable.
I was sucked in to the world of "Divergent" from the very beginning. I will not deny that I enjoyed it thoroughly. However, I only gave the story an overall three stars because, in the end, there were several "teen fiction-esque" moments and story lines that reminded me that I was not listening to a book written for adults, but rather teenagers. The love story was a bit too campy and unrealistic for me (given, I know it's fiction!), but the overall idea of the book was, without a doubt, enthralling! I do wish more aspects of the story had been fleshed out and written about in greater detail, but, I cannot deny that the author did do a good job.
Acquired at a whim because friends said they liked it, I thought it might be another thinly veiled attack on things that are not popular these days. Instead, it seems...quite other. For me, narration is key so let me say that it was well-done, in all. REALLY nicely done on the portions that demanded loud yells or cries - often, it just isn't executed well. Not in this case.
I am eager to get the other books, to hear the tale played out. Not your average dystopian future...it touches on many areas of concern these days and I hope it moves into terrain I expect and not veer off into that which I abhor...we'll see and I'll let you know!!
A wild ride!
I liked the action that took place in the story.
She tells a story very well. Her inflection and cadence helped keep me interested in the story.
Don't let anyone know your divergent!
Addictive, original, entertaining
The description of the various environments, the detailed explanation of a futuristic society
She just made the book reading smooth and flowing and kept me company during my long road trip the past weekend.
I totally recommend this book. I don't know why people compare it to hunger games, it is very different... actually I believe it is way more applicable compared to hunger games and could indeed become a future way of life in order to avoid conflicts. I also watched the movie last night. It was interesting to compare and contrast visual details and thanks to the fact that the author was also co-producer in the movie they were similar to what I had imagined (this means the descriptions in the book were excellent) however the movie was sooooo disappointing.
Therefore, please do not judge this story on the movie as there are several differences and the movie story line was very rushed and sketchy.
I enjoyed this book, but there were parts that just bugged me. It's hard to believe for one thing, but just the sheer number of times she had to announce "I am Divergent!" Really started to bug me. I doubt I listen to the next book in the series.
It was a little too much Twilight and Catching Fire. A young girl, stronger than she thinks she is, can't believe the handsome boy(s) find her attractive, making bad choices which cause extra drama to those around her. (Let's not forget all those DRAMA conversations in her head)
All that said, I don't regret buying it and still enjoyed the plot and story-line. I was still trapped by the story and looked for breaks so I could listen some more. The next 2 seem to get the whole "teenage girl in trouble making bad choices" worse which just like Catching Fire I bought all 3 and listened anyway. Once I post this review I am planning on buying the next one. Yes I must be a glutton for punishment. :-D
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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