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)
this is a good series and hold your attention all the way through. You cant just read Divergent and not want to read the next 2 books.
I had hoped for more. It was understood the books target teens but so did Hunger Games, and that trilogy was excellent. So I took a chance as I am drawn to dystopian tales. The faction concept was compelling but the concept could not make up for weak writing and a story that did not feel fleshed out. And please, enough of the teen romance angst already. Inclined to pass on #2 and #3 books.
Not likely. Maybe when she has grown as a writer and more fully develops her characters and their story.
No. She sounded very young so perfect voice for a 16 year old.
Checked out the movie costumes to see how the factions dressed.
Disclaimer, I'm an over 40 male and my favorite sci-fi/fantasy works are in the vein of Frank Herbert and Robert Jordan, so I am likely the wrong demographic for this book. The plot was thin and implausible, although the world created was interesting and fun. The protagonist is a teenage girl and a lot of the sub-plot is based on teen relationships. This book would likely be enjoyable for teen girls, or some pulp fiction to pass the time. I read the entire series though... I'm a sucker for needing to hear the end of a story once started...The book seems written more as a screen play. I could see this being a fun movie for the high school crowd, similar to Hunger Games.
A scientist in training with her head in the clouds. With no time to read but plenty to listen, audible has changed my life forever.
Divergent was absolutely entrancing. Roth has introduced an interesting society that could reasonably occur in the far future, that is intriguing and captivating. I couldn't stop listening, I just wanted to know what would happen next! Even the teenage love story was far from typical and exciting. The characters were really fun and you could watch them grow. And it introduced some fun thought experiments such as "what would your fears be?" So far it's tied for my favorite dystopian future novel.
I dislike reading - I lose interest in books very easy but being able to listen to the book is wonderful. I would encourage others who dislike reading but enjoy story telling to try this out.
Hunger games - due to the teenage nature of having to choose and fight.
I am not very fond her Emma's performance - it seemed a bit robotic and dry.
Over all the book was good - it goes into a little too much detail at times but it has a good story line. The movie was even better.
I don't know that the audio is better, but it's more convenient and allows a person to walk or drive while taking in the story.
Similar to the Hunger Games, Ferenhite 451, Gatica, they also are about a society on the edge, a disenfranchised group of people and the resiliency of human nature
Emma had a great voice for the characters. Her portrail of Trice was spot on allowing the listener to imagine that she was the character.
There were moments I laughed, cried, and lots of tension
A great start to this trilogy allowing the reader to know the characters, lifestyle, and experience the joy and fear of coming into their own as Trice. Well worth the read
I liked the message of the story, I might recommend it to my girls when they grow a bit. The book encourages non-conformism.
I did not like the plot so much. I felt it was following a text-book plan. I expected more complexity of characters. I had to read it to the end, so it wasn't that bad.
Really great science fiction, rich story line, has the feel of 1984 written with the perspective of having lived into the modern age
I've read a lot of reviews comparing this book to the hunger games and let me just start by telling you this first book is SO MUCH BETTER. I have not finished the series so at this time I can not comment on the whole, just the first two books.
The character development is strong, no one just suddenly changing personalities to save the day or going into a melt down because the author doesn't know how to transition. This author has very involved characters, fast paced, action filled, isnt afraid of some sadness, big choices or death. While very predictable, so far no surprises, I can see where she would have done a wonderful job leading a YA reader to the conclusion. I will admit it still has some annoying teenager august but its not unbearable and its not around every corner.
Really fast read! Finished the first two books in just a few days so off to read the 3rd!
Story: I bought this book before I would saw the movie. It is teen book, which it means it does not rely language, drugs, alcohol, and sex to sell. Yes, I know that real people do all these things but they do not make it the focus of their lives. People wash cars, eat soup, and watch TV but there few writes who write books focus on those activities because their publishers tell them to do it to make a marketable product. Thus, the good thing about the teen books they have less crutches to use in building a book. In any case, this is book, versus Hunger Games, has less technology and the story line is more predicatable. The book is more of a coming to adulthood. Some of the story is strange with the leaders of the groups being young; most trainer in any group will be the older members who survived, still competent but losing their competitive edge but I assume this is an adaption for teen book. Overall, it is slow parts but the author paints interesting characters in this semi-dystopia.
Production: The effects are good and the read is good though not excellent. But, then, again, this is a teen age girl speaking.
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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