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)
The violence was over the top. It's not that I'm opposed to violence, but it is one example after another of gratuitous violence.
The lack of original thought.
It was a waste of time to read (book club choice) and money.
I'm not a young adult reader, but listened to this story to keep on top of what my niece is reading...she raved about it and loved it...some parts of this story slowed down...the middle of this first book almost got a little boring to me, and, I guess, were appropriate to what teens experience when they start developing feelings for someone. I did feel the author drug that out a bit, but, as I said, I am not the target audience. Once I got to three-quarters of this story, it picked up and kept my interest until the end.
No, I won't be listening to any more stories by this author, but at least I have an idea of how she writes, geared to young adult readers, and that's OK with me--if they like her, and it encourages them to read more, I'm all for it.
I did like the voice of the narrator...her voice lent itself well to this type of story and fictional time period.
Yes, the descriptions and characters are engaging. Another example of a society which somewhat reminded me of the giver. The narration is wonderful and I found myself relating to the characters and trying to figure out where I would fit.
It reminds me of The Giver in some ways because of the different roles and ceremonies. It also reminds me of The Hunger Games because of the action and the strong female character and the emphasis on using physical confrontation for elimination.
She brings a youthful voice that makes the character come to life. Her expression and emotion kept my attention.
I definitely stayed up in the wee hours of the morning listening because it seemed like there were no clear stopping points.
This book definitely had an ending that kept you wanting more.
Emma Galvin was a good narrator, fairly expressive, and a nice voice, so I'd listen to her again. Veronica Roth, probably not though, just too shallow of a book for me.
Almost no story really happened in this book, it had a lot of the main character noticing touches and brushes and what not.
Tris, the main character
Not really, I may or may not recommend this book to others.
I love suspense, murder mysteries, psycho thriller books most of all! I listen when not taking classes for my masters degree.
I really enjoyed listening to this book. In some ways Tris reminded me of Bella from Twilight which was a bit annoying but she had her moments. If you're reading this before you watch the movie....DON'T WATCH THE MOVIE. You will be highly disappointed in the movie, at least I was. They could have done so much better. Anyways, great book.
This is one that I wish I would have read in print. It's a decent, entertaining story. But the writing is just okay and there are parts of the story I would have liked to just skim over. I felt really impatient while listening to this.
I haven't. But even though I didn't love this audio book, it was more the story than the performance that turned me off. Listening to this has actually inspired me to check out more of Emma Galvin's performances because I think she is a great narrator.
I probably would have loved this book if I were 20 years younger. It's a great YA read. And while some YA reads can transcend ages, I found this one difficult to relate to as a woman in my 30s. So if you're a young adventurous person trying to figure out your place in life, read this book now while you'll enjoy it! If you're past that point in life and into dystopian future stories, seek out some Margaret Atwood or Octavia Butler.
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.
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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