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)
Fresh, evocative, fun
It's probably a tie between Tris' mom and Four. Both have interesting backgrounds and add richness to the plot.
Emma Galvin is Tris in my mind now. I was going to give the audiobook a chance before I got a paper copy, but now I just want to hear the next book in her voice! She brings a lot to the narration.
The scene with Al and the chasm really affected me. I wasn't sure how "adult" the book was going to be but Roth addresses serious, darker topics with ease.
While painfully reading through The Hunger Games series I felt like I was being forced through a school reading assignment. Utopian society books with constantly depressing undertones like 1984 or Hunger Games just don't do it for me. Thankfully, this book is fun and the main character is strong and seems to be enjoying her journey most of the time. As far as Utopian society books go, this is by far the best I've ever read.
Utopia not perfect
The Hunder Games as it is similar teen novel with a fight to survive and find one self
Trish - the main character, good solid realistic person, far better than the irritating hunger games lead Katniss who could never make up her mind, Trish on the other hand may struggle in life but doesnt have the yoyo character of Katnis.
Life not as you know it - Phycological thriller.
I found listening to this book while Congress debates emigration reform an interesting experience. Roth's concept of segregating population by personality tendencies translates well into our history of religious intolerance, racial prejudice, gay bashing and emigration "self-deportation". The story moves quickly enough to keep one engaged and slowly enough to fuel thinking on all of the above mentioned real-time issues facing us. It is a story that walks the line between the fantasy of the future and our prejudicial history and is incredibly entertaining while doing it. More than once I sat in my garage, unwilling to stop the audio long enough to walk in the house and stick the ipod in the Bose! It also made me wish we had politicians with even a particle of the humanity and bravery of 16 year old Triss.
I have listened to several of books Emma has read, and she is great. I have to say this is my favorite however. Emma is capable of portraying hostility and tenderness or anger and fear all in the same scene, and be believable portraying them all.
Sure...only it is never a possibility, but waiting for the next "listen" is part of the fun.
I imagine this book is written for the same age group as Hunger Games...but I left that age so long ago, I only vaguely remember it (!)...but loved the book and am excited to read the next one. I hope someone is writing the screen play.
I can't help but to compare it to The Hunger Games trilogy, and I have to say that this is not even close. Of course the bar is very high, it doesn't mean this is a bad book. For some reason, it doesn't keep me engaged, I find my mind drifting off somewhere and when I pull myself back, I'm missing a chunk of the story, but I don't bother to rewind and find out. Of course this might be just my problem, as I find other books would do the same for me too. However, there are also some books that will keep me on my toes at all times, "Gone Girl", "14" and "The Hunger Games", to name a few. All in all, I can easily see one can enjoy this book very much, if you like this Si-Fi teen book genera.
Sure, lots of suspense and plenty of characters to get into.
Finding out what faction Mom comes from.
I really believe her as Tris.
Which Would You Choose?
Loved this book... well written and always kept me fully interested. Excited for the next book. Narrator was very good... Great job!~
Social sci-fi, vampires, and modern detective thrillers, oh my!
Tris, she was the main character. Very relatable.
Well rounded book, action, suspense, violence, and romance. I couldn't wait for my me t credit to arrive to purchase the sequel!
In my top 5! Just buy the books, listen and then cry. ...since the 3rd book isn't out yet.
Divergent series goes quite along in the line of The Hunger Games and Delirium, post apocaliptic society with a strong female character telling the story, pretty much those are all the similarities those 3 series have. But at least for me, a 33 year old that did not have this kind of books in my teens, is all I need to take the leap and try it, I have to say had no regrest from getting it and as I have done with The Hunger Game series, I will listed more than once, because every time there's new things to find in it.
Emma Galving is amazing in transmiting the emotions and feelings the book builds with the story. I have always love reading becauses of how my imagination creates images from the text, and both Veronica with the story and Emma narrating it made me feel those images even more real.
I listened this book and the second one, Insurgent, in about two days each, every moment I had both at home and at work, just wanted to know what came next and now I'm waiting for the 3th, supposedly to be release on October this year.
I highly recommend the book for all of those who like a good and new story, with all the hand-holding and love story in it, makes a great entertainment and enjoyable time.
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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