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)
Not as well written as The Hunger Games.
The story elements are universal. The character's experiences in this faction based world can be applied to all walks of life.
Universal, but not quite symbolic.
I can't stand it when books turn oo-ee gooey gushy, focusing on the chemical reactions and temperature of the girl's body due to physical attraction. The plot stops. Divergent does this a little.
I enjoyed it for the most part. I listened to it after I saw the film. The film connected more dots together, where the book kept things a bit disconnected and seemingly less significant.
I finally jumped on this bandwagon. I loved this book so so so much. I love the meaning behind the story and you can't help but fall in love with Tris And Four and their slow burning story. Also thought the narrator was an amazing fit.
Mother, wife, avid reader, cook extraordinaire!
Not really. Depends on the friend I guess. It's too much of a teen love story for me. It does not satisfy that Hunger Games type I'm looking for.
The idea is great. The beginning is good. I think this could have been really great in the hands of a great author like maybe JK Rowling. Or Christopher Paolini.
Average. Uninteresting. Inexperienced.
Yes I plan to. This may be the first time that the movie is better...
This book left me wanting for more. I wanted to be immersed in the world. I'm not interested in the teen mushy love story. There is major stuff going on in this world and they are worried about teen relationships?! I guess that's what 16 year olds are prioritizing. Still not something I will read again. I don't think I will read part two or three based on the reviews.... I've got 12 min left in the audio that I will at some point later today finish.
I really enjoyed this book from start to finish. It drew you in right away with a unique storyline and well developed characters. This was a "page turner" that made me wish my commute was longer so I could keep listening. Looking forward to the other two in the series.
Well to be blunt, its tripe. It’s clearly a Hunger Games imitator and a bad one. I enjoyed the first Hunger Games book even though I realized its really meant for kids. I didn't bother reading the other two books because I knew I would be disappointed. I purchased Divergent on the quick mainly because the movie was in the theaters and the trailer looked interesting - big mistake. The pretense for the post-apocalyptic setting is absurd, and the characters often do and say things that don't make sense given the circumstances.
Its hard to have a favorite character when you can't identify with them because they are unrealistic.
Audible should label this book "Warning not for adult audiences."
Mostly YA Book Obsessed!
Even though I’ve heard about these books being raved for the last two years, it was never really on my radar. As of a few months ago, I was not a dystopia fan and would most likely avoid dystopia books at all costs. When I firs heard that Divergent was going to be made into a movie, I was intrigued. Still not enough to want to read it…yet. When I saw that Shailene was cast as the MC, my curiousity went up a few more notches. When Theo James was cast as Four, I was like ‘well damn, I guess I might have to read this after all!’ Then Maggie Q was casts as Tori and that was what sealed the deal for me. I LOVE Maggie Q (Nikita!) and knew that any character she played had to be a good one. So yeah, I mostly read this because of Maggie Q :)
Set in a dystopian world, where everyone is divided into 5 factions (Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite). On the day of her test, Beatrice must take a simulation test to help her determine what faction is best suited for her. Unfortunately, since Beatrice can somehow manipulate the simulations, her results are inconclusive. When her test administrator warns her about keeping her gift a secret, Beatrice ends up choosing Dauntless as her new faction and renames herself Tri as a way of starting over. But, just because she chose Dauntless doesn’t mean she’s free to stay there. All new recruits must endure training and a series of tests to make sure they belong there. If they fail, they become factionless. Tris must prove herself while trying to hide her powers and trying (and failing) to fall for her mysterious (but hot) instructor, Four.
I loved how ruthless and hardcore the Dauntless people were! They sure made Tris prove herself several times. This was one of my favorite parts of the book. Seeing Tris go from a shy, timid and insecure girl to a kick-ass girl who is determined to prove herself and save the people she loves and cares about. The fear landscapes the charcaters had to go through in their simulations were so vividly written that I could easily visualize them in my mind. I can’t wait to see how these play out in the movie! Tris and Four! *sigh* I loved the slow building relationship between these two and thought it had the perfect pacing for the story. Now this right here I am dying to see in the movie! I thought I knew where the story was going but Roth included several twists and turns that surprised me. I loved the roles every single character played in this book. Even the villains are the kind that you don’t know if you should hate them, fear them or be in awe of their evilness. What I loved the most was how bad ass Tris was at the end of this book.
I’m so excited to watch the Divergent movie! I think they NAILED it with the casting. Shailene and Theo look, and judging from the clips I’ve seen (and I’ve seen them all!) and act like Tris and Four. I loved who they picked for Christina, Jeanine, Will, Peter, Eric and of course Tori. I’m so relieved to see that the special effects actually look pretty damn awesome, which is what I really think most (expect Hunger Games and Harry Potter) book-to-movie adaptations are lacking. I think Divergent is going to be such a visual experience! Excited to see Theo James on the big screen, woot! Divergent was a highly addictive and brilliantly imagined world.
Audiobook Comments: This is my first audiobook by Emma Galvin but not my last! I already heard Insurgent and have a few other books narrated by her on my audible TBR. I thought she did a brilliant Tris and maybe it was just me, but I think she sounded a little like Shailene. Which helped visualize her as Tris even more. Emma does a great job at separating different characters for us and giving them their own voice. My audiobook obsessed friend recommended I try the audiobook and I’m so glad I did! I did have a little bit of a hard time remembering which faction was which in the beginning, but this would have been an issue for me even if I were reading the book. After I write down the name of the factions and their qualities, it was so much easier keeping track of them. I would listen to this sometimes in the car and even my 7 year old daughter was keeping up with the story. If you haven’t read Divergent yet, I highly recommend the audiobook!
I don't know if maybe it was the persons voice but there was no variance to it. I saw the movie and was expecting greatness from the book. Maybe I just need to read the book. I didn't like the voice.
I want to read the second book, not sure if I want to get it on audible. I will try.
If the voices changed, it was so awkward.
I am wondering if all audible books are so boring sounding.
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
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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