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)
Another YA Dystopian story. Each one we read has the same premise, collapse of current government, cut of from the rest world and other cities within the current country, some people live outside these strict and standard rules, ridiculous concepts and notions, and some super young individual taking on everyone for the sake of humanity.
Now, as far as this story goes. I really enjoyed it. Tris was strong, but not unbelievably strong. She had to push herself to survive her circumstances, and (most of the time) when she was feeling like a typical 16 year old, she would swallow down what she thought was weakness. She also had uncontrolled outbursts which were to be expected. I'm glad she was unsure of Four/Tobias in the beginning, and questioned his motives throughout, because if she was a giddy boy-crazy teenager, she wouldn't last two minutes in Dauntless and therefore there would be no story. I'm glad they came together fully in the end.
I enjoyed that Veronica Roth wrapped up the story enough that us readers don't have to read the next in the series for closure, but left enough mystery to drive us super fans further in. I'm super excited for the film production of this now that I've completed the book.
I find myself running into a lot of "remakes" of popluar themes. This is not the case with Divergent. I've read the Harry Potter series, Hunger Games, and Twilight and can safely say this book stands on its own and I am not sure how people make those comparisons. I am starting the second this afternoon and urge everyone out there looking for a great read to pick this one up!!! *Hats off to Emma Galvin, I LOVE LISTENING TO HER*
I did laugh out loud a few times!
I’m going to start this review by saying I’m a 26 year old guy, so if you’re not in my demographic you can take this review with a grain of salt.
This was my first, and probably my last, venture into the dystopian/science fiction genre that is geared towards young adults. I had never really considered reading/listening to this type of book until I was dragged to the Hunger Games movies and enjoyed them more than I thought I would. I also saw the trailer for Divergent at the movie theater and thought it looked like something worth seeing.
The 5 Faction concept that the book is centered around was interesting to me at first, and the fact that it takes place in Chicago (where I currently live) made it easier to picture some of things that happened in the book (e.g. climbing the ferris wheel on Navy Pier). As the book progressed, however, the story started to seem a little silly to me. The personalities of the main characters are pretty well developed but aside from the beginning and the end, the story seems to meander a bit and lacks depth in the plot line. It almost feels like the author just started writing with a general concept in her head and never stopped to put thought into where things were going until she quickly connected everything to a predetermined conclusion at the end.
Usually when I start a trilogy or a series of books, I feel like I have to finish it so I can find out what happens at the end. This time I think I’ll set this one down for good after book one. Maybe it's just not the genre or writing style for me.
Becoming invested in the different characters and feeling like I know them and could see what I was hearing.
How Tris becomes who she is meant to be.
The different voices and cadences and enunciations were awesome.
I don't want to give it away!
I would recommend Divergent to a friend. At first I thought it would be like The Hunger Games but at no time did I ever notice any similarities, and that's good since I wanted a fresh story. I'm not a big reader and I still found myself wanting to continue to listen to know what comes next. I think the author provided just the right amount of character development and description without getting all Stephen King on me.
My wife read all three books and with the movie coming out I decided to try listening to this book on my new tablet, party because I just wanted to try the experience of an audio book.
My favorite character would have to be Beatrice, the main character, for the simple fact that she had the most development, so I felt like I knew her better. Plus her personality was likable. She wasn't too timid or too aggressive and reacted to many things in a believable and interesting way. Just for fun the worst character was Four, or Tobias. I did not like how he was written, although after a revelation at the end I can understand what the author was going for. I just couldn't relate to several characters from the various factions as they did not react in a "human" manner so it took me out of the story.
Monotone, slow, soothing.
Divergent was definitely worth the listening time. it's a great listen and easy to get involved in.
Honestly, Emma Galvin didn't do a bad job. I think she was just a bit too monotone and paused just a hair too long between sentences. I tried to read along with the immersion experience but gave up after one page as I am just a natually faster reader and it was throwing me off.
I love this book series. It's easy to read and follow. I love the strength of the main characters and their strive to overcome all obstacles that the government throws at them.
Radio host who loves photography, his family and films.
It was well performed and really immerses you in the story. That said there are a few lines from time to time that pull you out and remind you the book is being read to you. Whether that's the performance of the reader or the writing I can't say.
Being my first Audible story I don't know if I can attribute my liking of this novel more because of the fact that I listened to it or if it's solely because of the writing. I do feel that you can feel for the characters. In two sad parts I actually just about cried and could feel tears trying to escape my face. That doesn't happen often at all. In fact I've never had tears while reading but you feel apart of the story quickly when listening to it.
Both Tris and Four. They seem like great characters. Tris brother, although only a part of the story for short periods of time, was also interesting.
I wish I could have listened to it all in one sitting. I breezed through it in four days or so and couldn't wait to get to the end because I was enjoying the story so much. In fact I used my other credit this month for Insurgent and will begin it as soon as I finish this review. Speaking of...
I enjoyed Ender Game, Game of Thrones, and Star Wars. I didn't enjoy Twilight, Hunger Games, or this book if that gives you any idea.
Ending was fine.
This was the first book I've listened to with a total female narrator, but she did a good job.
Yes. No idea, I don't keep up with that type of news.
This wasn't a bad book, nor was it great. I might read the next one, haven't decided yet. If you enjoyed Hunger Games or Twilight, this book might be for you. Regardless, I would recommend you read it, then decide whether or not you want to finish the series.
This book is a fun and interesting enough book. Definitely intended for young adults, but if you like Hunger Games, for the story, then you should like this book.
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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