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)
Identity. Bravery. Enthralling.
The Hunger Games, Enders Game, Brave New World...
Distopian literature is one of my favorite genres. I read this book after finishing the Hunger Games trilogy and looking for more along the same lines. The pace of this book is fast and exhilarating. Never a dull moment. I was hooked from the first listen and finished over 3 days (really fast for me!)
I read *(and listened via Whispersync) to this book on the recommendation of a 10 year old relative who was so excited as she explained the plot I couldn't help but be intrigued. I found myself mesmerized by the story line, delighted at the great narration (that felt to me as "perfectly matched" with the book), and quickly became hooked on the series. Sixteen year old Beatrice "Tris" lives in a world where different types of people live together in factions. "Faction before Blood" is where loyalties must lie. Some children chose the same faction as their parents, some become 'transfers" into other factions. They must chose at age 16, and that choice is forever. They are given a serum and placed into into a simulation that seems as realistic as life. The simulation creates scenarios that require them to act, make choices and react to situations. It is designed to identify in which of the factions their personality fits. These factions are very rigid, everyone in the faction is expected to act and react the same. Amity, Abnegation, Candor, Erudite, Dauntless.... and they are to fit into only one of these......
But what happens when the test is inconclusive... What happens when a subject has more than one faction match?
Hang on to your seats! Enjoy the ride! Be Sixteen again!~
Science fiction, fantasy and mystery listener. Love anything with a good plot.
Beatrice Prior lives in Chicago. A Chicago far into the future where the city is divided into five factions based on virtues - Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). She has grown up as Abnegation but she doesn't feel like she is selfless. On her sixteenth year she will undergo a aptitude test to determine where she belongs and what faction she will live the rest of her life. However her aptitude test shows that she is "divergent", meaning she doesn't lean towards one particular faction but to three of them. It will be her choice which faction to choose and she chooses to leave Abnegation behind and join the Dauntless. Becoming a Dauntless member though seems like a test to the death as she has to fight with her fellow initiates, survive attempts on her life and face her fears. And the end of her initiation could well just be the beginning of a war.
I think you'd have to have lived in a cave to not have heard about Divergent. There is a movie coming out in 2014 and the final book in the trilogy was released last month. I'd previously avoided all the hype and concentrated on other books on my shelves, but decided it was time to see if this debut lives up to the hype. Guess what? It does!! Divergent is a powerful YA dystopian book and I'm really hoping the movie will do the book justice because the book was amazing.
Beatrice "Tris" is a great character. She's young and determined. She knows that leaving her family and Abnegation behind will be difficult but she wants to find out where she belongs. Even though she's the smallest of the initiates she's determined to make it, even if that means fighting her new friends. I also really liked Four, our male protagonist. He seems tough on the outside but he isn't fearless and has his own issues. I don't want to give too much away but his past and how he got the nickname "Four" is really interesting.
I really liked the dystopia Chicago. It is clear at the end of Divergent that this Chicago is on the brink of war and I can't wait to start Insurgent to see what is going to happen to all the factions and where Tris and Four fit into this. I'm also curious about what is outside the outskirts of Chicago. They only mention a few times outside of Chicago so I'm hoping we learn more about this in the next book.
I listened to Divergent on audiobook and I loved it. It was my first time listening to Emma Galvin and I really liked the narration. She narrates the next two books and I'm looking forward to listening to her narration.
My daughter picked this out for our 8-hour car ride at Thanksgiving. She liked it. Kind of boring and obvious for me. Definitely not for mature adults. Not the charm of that Harry Potter had for adults. Dystopia = dyspepsia for adults. OMG.
The storyline. Needless to say, it messed with my sleeping schedule.
Defiantly Four, his whole bad-ass persona just makes me "fan girl". Every time he pulls Tris closer, it makes me which I was Tris.
There's been a lot of moments where I'd just start saying "oh my gosh!" out loud. And this book made me laugh, definitely.
This is my first Audiobook experience and I'm so glad I was introduced to Audible with this book. I'm going to continue to use Audible for while, I can already tell. The narrator was good. Defiantly give this book a shot, it's one of the best books I've ever read.
Full time college student with some reading on the side
I loved Trish! Finally, a strong, smart female protagonist who does not stand by and let others define who she is. She's stubborn, butt kicking, and clever, but is bound by reality and does not always win. I have to admit, some of the violence was cringe inducing, and maybe even a bit frustrating? But I can appreciate the realistic nature of her emotional and physical struggles. What I really enjoyed about the book is how perceptive Roth is to human emotions and the driving forces behind their actions. Trish does not always make to right choice, and more often than not, knowingly turns away from the socially right things to do, but it resonated because I could understand why she made the decisions she made. There are layers in this story that touch upon social and personal themes that I would love to explore more of. I'd definitely check this one out! The narration was one of the best I've heard in my limited experience.
The voice actress was amazing and the story was well written. Very fast read. BUT I'm worried about the rest of the series. I've heard from so many people that the third book is a let down. I loved this so much that I'm afraid to keep going.
Four for sure! I found myself near skimming to get to scenes with him.
No, but I liked her voice, pace, and inflection.
You can just listen to or read Hunger Games......... I've just completed the 1st book and cannot believe how many parallels to the Hunger Games. Has no one noticed this? It's actually a good listen but geez Veronica Roth, how about some originality?
not really for the reason it seems a rip off of Hunger Games.
Brings it alive (although I haven't read the books).
As a visually impaired person, it has always been difficult for me to read books in print, but Audible makes books enjoyable again!
I loved the whole idea of the factions, each one representing a virtue. Dauntless is a really cool faction!
I liked Four. He is a strong character. He is usually calm, cool, and collected. He is stern, but can be sensitive and affectionate at times, too. He's tough, but not so tough that he's forgotten to be human.
She performed really well. She portrayed Tris' emotions really well.
Was much better than i expected at first. Great book. Looking forward to reading "Insurgent".
If the friend wanted to get into Sci-Fi for the first time and hadn't read The Hunger Games, yes. This is clearly derivative of The Hunger Games, but it does have some differences. I love Sci-Fi and I also really liked The Hunger Games (although I recognize the books faults). I consider this book 'Sci-Fi with training wheels.'
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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