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)
AKA King Caspian II of Veritasia. (507) 344-0981
Divergent is one of those books definitely worth a second listen, as the listener will catch things not noticed the first time.
The ending struck just the right note with me, Clear character growth, drama, more to come, hope in the middle of dystopian despair. Details, of course, are left to the individual listener to find out.
The book held my interest from beginning to end, not always easy to do.
There was a particular intervention between Tris and one of her new friends. Again, I can't give specific details because I don't believe in leaving spoilers.
Rated PG-13+ for mature and sometimes violent themes. Brief but respectful mention of religious practices is particularly noted in this book.
Avid reader all of my life! Favorite author: Stephen King. Favorite book: Hyperion.
Twilight, Hunger Games, The Host.....Divergent. I think these are stories being retold in different forms and shapes. The story is interesting enough and the writing is well done. Emma Galvin is a convincing Tris. But I found it hard to believe that the society would so segregate people into such factions. I just never quite bought into that concept. The level of violence certainly surprised me in some parts of the story. Just not sure the book is good enough to make me want to continue the series.
What a wonderful book! I enjoyed it and finished it far too quickly. Originally, I wanted to read it because I knew the movie was coming out this year, now I am only hoping that they will do it justice! The story was great and very well narrated by Emma Galvin, and I found myself caring deeply about the characters and analyzing the meaning behind the book. (It didn't seem that hard to do.) Overall a great read!
Yes - really good story, entertaining and lots of detail about the different Factions - would listen again to properly sort them out in my mind.
I would say, like many people, the Hunger Games of course, but also a little bit of the Matrix. Hunger Games because they do share some similarities and the same premise (16-yr old female heroin, futuristic, post-apocalyptic American setting, tyrannical government wanting to control the masses, too-similar-looking book art - ha). The Matrix because it also has a similar premise of post-apocalyptic American setting, tyrannical "government" (or, computers) wanting to control the masses.
Beatrice, or, Tris (her nickname).
Well, I couldn't imagine sitting and listening to ANYTHING for 11 hours straight, but if I could, this would be one of those books.
Like the Hunger Games and Twilight series, my wife got me on to this book series, and I really enjoyed it. I think I liked it just about as much as the Hunger Games. If you go on to the other books, Insurgent and Allegiant, they feel less and less like the Hunger Games series so you should not get bored with this.
Audible fan!...Why didn't I discover audiobooks sooner? I would rather listen than watch.
I'm a dad that reads the books his thirteen-year-old daughter reads so we can have discussions and just to be informed. Keep that in mind as you look at my ratings. I find the main character in this novel to be more likable than the main character from the HG novels. At least I didn't want to strangle her midway through the first book. It is well read and entertaining. My daughter has devoured the books and that always makes me happy.
Such a shame. This book had such potential. Intriguing premise, appealing characters, brisk pace. But then, about a third of the way through, it suddenly turned into a harlequin romance. The main character spends half her time mooning over her love interest, and the rest of her time in paroxysms of self-loathing about her place in the world (or, faction). I got a few sidelong looks on the street during this listen, as I'd suddenly groan, "you've got to be KIDDING me" aloud, as Tris starts melting into a sonnet over her love interest's deeply-set blue eyes. I also found the emphasis on her romantic yearnings while she's in the midst of some awfully dark circumstances to be jarring and not particularly believable. I don't usually write reviews, but the combination of potential and ultimate disappointment in this book brought me to it. Ugh. Can't help but root for Tris, but no book 2 for me.
Too many teenage girl emotions going on.
All of them.
Wasn't my favorite listen, didn't even finish it.
Probably not. Tris/Beatrice was to whiny for me and I didn't care for any of the characters.
I didn't finish the book so I don't have a favorite scene.
Occasional Reader that listens to audiobooks during my daily commute. Thanks Audible.
While this book was decent, it was very similar story line to hunger games meets sci fi.
She was fine
None - The setting was unique, but didnt get it rolling from the first book.
Again, it was unique but story line was the same - at least by the end of the book I was not wanting to read the next one. Perhaps I may in the future, but I am not rushing out to buy it.
I would recommend this to anyone who likes futuristic books about dystopian societies. The storyline is intriguing and easily captures and keeps the listener's attention. However, this is a young adult novel, and includes a lot of awkward teenage sexual tension, which is the only thing I did not like about it. If you can get past that, the story itself is excellent.
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.
Report Inappropriate Content