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)
This audio book moves really quickly. The story is well written. It is descriptive, but it does not bore the reader with mundane details. I found myself wishing for a longer commute just to see what would happen next. The combination of action, suspense and romance mixed with a message that rings true here in the present makes for an excellent listen. Hopefully, the next book in the series will be just as good.
Everything! I'm jealous of people that haven't read it yet because I'd love to experience the story again for the first time. Can't wait for the movie!
She wasn't overly dramatic. She changed her voice and inflections a bit for each character but it wasn't too extreme.
My eyes teared up multiple times both in happiness and sadness. The book is so well written that you truly feel as though you know the characters.
I enjoy mysteries. I have little time to actually read. I love listening while driving much better then the terrible North Florida radio.
Absolutely. It was really good. it drags you in and you become captivated by the story.
Four was my favorite character simply because he uses his head. He is everything I like about Trice without the naive girl person one point of view. Trice is not a bad first person either. Although she doesn't know it she is stronger and braver then she may seem. She doesn't wait on the boys to get the work done for her.
Fours fear landscape was really good. figuring him out finally. Alll the stunt sequences i really enjoyed though.
Yes! i did it in 3-5.
As a fan of the Hunger Games this is as close as i've gotten to finding something that measures up. and it does a good job so far.
I'm generally not a huge fan of YA fiction, but this book was highly recommended so I gave it a shot. I have to say that I enjoyed this book a lot.
Although first books tend to be slow-paced for me, this novel held me captivated with the clever world set-up and the interesting characters introduced. The female lead is fascinating. Brave and selfless, albeit in her own way, she is determined and smart and quickly jumps to the top of her initiation group. She snags the interest of her instructor, Four, and soon finds herself swirling with emotions for him that she is unsure how to handle. The romance was believable and I felt my heart flutter alongside Tris whenever Four was near. A great male lead, Four is strong and courageous. He understands more than he leads most to believe and isn't quick to reveal his true emotions. When he finally opens up to Tris, their pairing is lovely and heartfelt.
The other characters in the book provide a great supporting cast for the leads. Because of their positions and personalities, the story could have unfolded any which way. The ending left me feeling content, but curious.
Filled with dread, deceit, courage, love, trust, and loyalty, this book had me spellbound. It was as if Roth was dropping red velvet cake crumbs luring my sugar-addicted-currently-on-a-diet ass to the end of the book.
Narrator: Emma Galvin
Emma is perfect for the Divergent series. Her youthful voice matches that of what I would imagine Tris to sound like. Her male voices are good enough that I don't dwell on the fact that a female is trying to mimic a male's voice. Her words are clear and I was never confused about whose voice she was trying to represent.
She does wonderful emotional voices, e.g., sarcasm, yelling, etc. Almost like you're listening to a movie.
I listened to this one because I loved the Hunger Games books. I thought this one was even better, since we see more warmth from the main character.
Yes! Captivating story line. The Author does a good job of painting a picture of the story location and creating characters that you can see in your mind and truly feel their personality. Veronica Roth did a good job developing this story. I am interested to see what other books she writes in the future. As for this book, I devoured it and the sequel in just three or four days.....now waiting for the third book....hurry Veronica!
Some compare this story to Hunger Games. There is a feel of hunger games in it, a lot action and personal interaction. But, it is different, not a knockoff or copy, it is a good story and was well worth the time listening to it.
My first time listening to her. Good job, I was drawn into the story and the voice of the book. Nothing is worse than a good book and a poor reader, distracting from the story. Emma didn't distract, that is my highest praise.
No extreme reaction, just captivation.
Tris is a very compelling character as you follow her decisions and reactions. I personally like her cognitive processes and motivations.
Emma's performance is top notch and helps the listener envision the environment and characters in beautiful emotional detail.
Survival of the odd.
I am an avid reader! (Zombie and YA mainly) I am pretty much depressed if I don't constantly have a good read lined up!
Another great recommendation from my sister I loved the concept of the factions!! It does remind me of Hunger Games but less intense and more concepts and facets to the story. I will definitely be reading the next in this series!!
Everything. Great plot and character development. Keeps you interested from the very start.
Triss and Four.
I like her voice a lot. I think it fits the character of Triss very well.
I did cry a little at the end... But I won't explain so I won't give away any spoilers.
If you liked Hunger Games you'll probably like this one.
The main character isn't as annoying as much as I found the main character in Hunger Games to be, but her naivete in the romance department was a little childish. Overall though following her through her discovery of her new faction was fun and I was definitely rooting her on.
I really liked the premise of the governments and their factions and how the revolution is unfolding, looking forward to the next book.
Nothing mindblowing, a little predictable but definitely grabs your attention and keeps you entertained and wondering where the ride goes next.
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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