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)
It was very exciting and fast-paced, which I really love in Audiobooks. I never wanted to unplug.
My extreme reaction was never unplugging from it! It never slows down, so I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next.
I just wish the other books in the series were as good in terms of story as this first book - they keep up the excitement but I felt like I was being lead through a maze if the person leading me kept changing their mind and suddenly switching to a different direction. Dizzying and not so great in terms of narrative.
This book is geared to young adults. If you liked the Hunger Games series, you will probably like this also. This is about a world where there are 4 factions, basically intellectuals, empathetic, protectors and workers bees. At the age of 16 the children decide which faction they will join and spend their lives with. Each group has it's own initiation and agenda. The one thing you don't want to be is divergent, if you're not careful, it will cost you your life.
The story we well performed.
Overall I enjoyed this book but only moderately. If you've read Hunger Games and didn't like it, you may want to save your money. Change a few names, adjust the districts 1-12 of HG to districts divided by personality types and it's almost the same story, at least in book 1. There was a little Ender's Game like training and hazing, there was some back story but not enough, there was the obvious teen-love story with the brain washing of HG book 3 hitting book 1 of Divergent. There was the good girl wanting to be bad. There was the person that was secretly smarter than everyone else (in this case just because she is the only character in the book that is supposed to have any personality depth). Really, not kidding she's the hero because she can be war like, sympathetic, thoughtful, fair. The whole dividing society by a Myers Briggs like model thing just felt contrived at times. There is some Orwell in the theme and if you take it like a parable, it's easier to enjoy. I suppose I enjoyed it, because I do enjoy Orwell and Card and Hunger Games, but I would have enjoyed a bit more originality with the series.
I love these kind of books. It kept me completely hooked! I was listening to it in the car even if it was a few minutes drive just so I could get more in!
I hate to say this because they are entirely different stories, but if you are a fan of the Hunger Games you will be a fan of these books too. I actually like these books better than the HG. It is an exciting story also with a bit of a love story as well. I think that is what
Her struggles she has with leaving her family and becoming her own person I can really relate to. She is a powerful young women and that is what I love to see scene after scene.
I would and have recommended to my friends! Can't wait to listen to the next book, but I also hate for them to end already!
As an adult, perhaps I am not exactly the target audience for this book, but that has not stopped me from enjoying any number of young adult fiction novels.
This book is great from the standpoint of entertainment, but I feel as though it may be lacking in some of the deeper thought and meaning that I have come to expect of such a high publicity piece. The characters can be one dimensional, and their development often leaving much to be desired.
I found myself speeding up the narration because the plot was more important than the words.
This story had some really good bones. But between the poor writing and the reader, I could barely stand it.
I enjoy books from this genre, just not this one.
She's the overactor. The one in the movie that you hope isn't in the next scene because they go overboard with emotion, gestures, etc. She's that one. She drove me bananas.
I don't really care.
This book is young adult fiction. I got this book only because a couple of years ago I read the Hunger Games series (also young adult fiction) when I had a lot of busy-ness in my life and it was a nice reprieve. Here I am again with lots going on, and I thought it would be a fun trilogy. This book (unfortunately I bought the first two at the same time, never do that again) is young adult fiction, but for a younger age group than Hunger Games. I didn't find the emotional themes, the writing, dialogue, even the insights to be much over an 11 year old's maturity level. Couple this with the overacting reader, and you've got yourself a waste of a good credit. Thumbs down.
I was looking for a new science fiction series to listen to, and came across Divergent. The story is an engaging story set in a dystopian future Chicago, and peers into the social conventions of future society. The story captures your attention, entertains your senses, and leads you through a maze of thought. The end is a bit disappointing, but the Journey is worthwhile.
The development of the characters is excellent - though some move in and out of the story in ways that make it a little difficult to follow. The development of the factions is also quite engaging, though I hungered for more description and storytelling about them.
Emma does a great job of bringing life to the story - her voice has many levels and nuances, and I found her quite easy to listen to.
I am not sure that books should naturally be turned into film. This book could have been longer and in more depth for my tastes, and that would not be very film ready.
As a 53 year old male (scientist and executive) I was concerned that this would be a book for a juvenile audience. I found it quite engaging and interesting, and though I would have liked some deeper development of the story - it was a great listen.
I usually like YA fiction, and it's understandable that the writing style and subjects targeting YA readers aren't really intended for an older reader. That said, a lot of the writing in Divergent was just bad, bad, bad... the 'romantic' scenes were especially cliche-packed and awkward - and not in the way that conveys the awkwardness of young emotion, but the awkwardness of poor writing.
I doubt it.
The performance was fine - it was the material that wasn't to my liking.
An assertive editor would have cut about 40% of the book. It makes me think the material was intentionally 'stretched' to fill (and sell) additional books.
No - - this will be a return for me.
Don't think I will use my credits to get the next in the series despite wondering where the story will go.
No. Loved "Hunger Games", "Harry Potter", and many others my kids introduced me to.
Sometimes difficult to tell if lead character is talking out loud or in her head.
Definitely made the time pass more quickly as I paint my house.
Bought this book having seen the movie trailer, despite trailer seeming VERY similar to "Hunger Games". I just thought it would be fun to read before seeing the movie. 'Might' still go and see the movie...
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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