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)
former nuclear scientist
This quick and diverting novel is best enjoyed after the reader suspends all logic and decides not to ask questions. The protagonist is a self-unaware 16-year-old in a world that is an unlikely combination of callous brutality, strict order, and SAT words.
Written in an urgent present tense, we follow Beatrice, renamed a naughty "Trix" to symbolize her rebirth from confused, repressed Abnegate to confused, oppressed Dauntless. As she frets whether the hot guy likes her and is maybe too old for her at a ripe 18, she successfully navigates a deadly, take-no-prisoners initiation process because she has some weird brain wiring that she has to hide because, um, well let the author fumble around for awhile to justify why it's so extremely important and life-and-death that she can't really be herself.
As far as young adult fantasy goes, this is a decent, but not great, example; complete with self-doubt, quick moving and sometimes contradictory events (if the new faction doesn't accept all of its recruits, and it only recruits a couple dozen per year, and they like to do stupid things where a lot of them die, how can its halls be filled with hundreds of people?), the romantic teaming up with the guy who secretly liked her all along, and a new parallel universe to provide distracting morsels of interesting scenes, the book is interesting enough to pass time with, but for me not compelling enough to necessitate buying the sequels evident from the ending.
It seems like all young adult novelists nowadays are aiming for that cash cow: a popular series that can lead to riches and Kristen Stewart playing your gawky lead. Some storylines just aren't strong enough to sustain across more than one novel, and this is one of the weaker ones.
Yes, listening to this book was time well spent. It was a good and interesting story
Probably, even though I was not overly impressed with this one.
Emma Galvin provided a very credible voice to the characters in this story
Yes, since I feel that it was time well spent.
I feel that this book would appeal to younger, even beginning reader. I am a little awed by the rave reviews this book received, especially from older listeners. The foundation of the book was unique and very sound, but the story built on this foundation was mildly enjoyable, but not very impressive. The idea that at some age we are segregated by our dominate personal traits which are then cultivated and directed to the greater good of society is a unique and interesting idea. It would seem that a society built around this advance thinking would itself be advanced and complex. However, the small glimpse we get of this society indicates that it is rife with petty jealousy and primitive competition. The disenfranchisement of the masses not suited to one of the five dominant groups is unworthy of even the most basic and ancient civilizations. The story precedes along the common line of good guys and bad guys, villains and heroes. And no surprise, the good guys win. Again, for a younger mind I can see the value and appeal of this story. I can also see why so many listeners who liked "The Hunger Games" also like this story. And though I found them both mildly entertaining, I am was not overly impressed by either.
i drive a truck on the night shift. i love hearing interesting stories, i need some action to keep me awake :)
the story of factions and choice. growing up and the decisions we make. all relevant stuff.
not sure, maybe huckleberry finn?.
trist. she was great.
not really. it actually kind of fell apart at the end for me but i thought it was worth the time.
In the pursuit of great entertainment!
Yes, I would recommend Divergent to my friends. I found it very entertaining even as an adult listener.
I would absolutely listen to it again! And I plan to listen to it and the 2nd in the trilogy immediately before the 3rd book comes out to return me to the world and power found in the words written by Roth!
Quick, thought-provoking, pulls you in
The discovery of hidden identities
Capture the flag, the uniqueness of Trice
I love the mother
Toward the top. I thought the narrator did a good job.
When she decided which Faction to go to.
Yes. She didn't overdo it like most narrators do.
No extreme reaction.
The main character was young and impressionable, The book as a slow start but once it gets going hold on for dear life.
Aragon, like the girl in this book he has to come of age quickly in an odd world.
She make the characters come alive and seam very real.
All and more. The bad guys I wanted to beat their heads in with a bat.
Divergent is yet another story in the dystopian style of teen novel. I found it less interesting that some of its competitors into that genre, but I was STILL thoroughly engrossed. The characters are well fleshed out and the plot moves along with a few nice surprises. The narrator on this project is very compelling and distinguishes herself from other teen novel voice talents. Despite the flooded market of dark-world novels, Divergent makes for a good listen--especially if you listen for long stretches.And yes, I'm already in line for the sequel.
I would have liked a little more blurring of the good guys and bad guys. I didn't completely buy the all-bad aspects of the antagonist. What made him so despicable?
Absolutely. She has quite a different timbre to her voice which distinguishes her from other readers.
Yes, but if they don't hurry, this genre will be "so last year." It's a crowded field out there.
Yes, I would enjoy listening again to pick up any little nuances I missed in the previous listening.
I loved the "Hunger Games" trilogy and was looking for something similar when I found this series.
Jumping off the building into the hole
The story provides new meaning to the caste system and stereotyping that modern day society has.
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.
"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.
"A have to listen to audiobook!"
I haven't listened to many but it would rank about 3rd or so..
SPOILER!! When she lets her blood drip onto the coal, the tension that is built up in that scene is amazing!
Was good, used different tone of voice for different people.
There many different parts where I smiled, laughed and have to admit cried! The book is written and spoken so well that you feel like you are with Tris on her journey, you experience what she experiences! That is one of the things I love about this book you feel involved!
I read the book before I bought the audiobook, and suggest that you read the book as well as you remember alot more, its more exciting, I think to read it and its just a totally different experience altogether when you read the book!
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