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)
I thought the narration was excellent in this book. I liked the premise of the novel, but the actual execution was too juvenile and unbelievable for my tastes.
No - I think this book wouldn't be enjoyed by someone in my age range.
No. Her narration was excellent.
Yes, it's left quite open ended.
Divergent is equal but very different to the Hunger Games.
Overcoming and dealing with fear is he big takeaway.
Emma gives a very comprehensive depiction of all of the characters. Emma handles the characterizations of older and younger men well along with creating distinctive separations between the girls who share Tris's age group. In addition, Emma brings the appropriate intensities and emotions to the events that make up the overall story.
This is the type of book that makes waiting 30 minutes for an oil and filter change an experience to look forward to.
I think the narrator was really well chosen for this book. Tris is a younger character and her voice fits perfectly and doesn't struggle with sounding whiny (which many narrators do when trying to sound like a young character). I think the Emma Galvin did an amazing job with the narration and made the book even more enjoyable then it would have been for me if I read a paper version. She does a really great job of expressing Tris's strength as well as her vulnerability with her voice. The story itself is pretty amazing as well. I couldn't stop listening. It's a really engaging story. I'll be buying the second novel today.
You won't regret picking this book.
THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE AUDIOBOOK
Beatrice Prior lives in a dystopian version of Chicago (which is cut off from the rest of the world for unstated reasons) and populated by five factions. All citizens are born into a faction and, at age 16, can choose a faction according to their personality and interests. Although born into Abnegation (who value selflessness), Beatrice has always struggled with the tenets of her faction. She finds herself drawn to the Dauntless (who value courage). [The other factions are Erudite (who value learning), Candor (who value honesty) and Amity (who value peace).] As her choosing ceremony draws near, Beatrice has an unusual result during her aptitude test (which helps identify the faction that best suits you). She is Divergent—a result that she is warned not to reveal to anyone. After choosing Dauntless, Beatrice (who rechristens herself Tris) finds herself in a strange new world—where proving your bravery and courage seems to take a backseat to sadism and cruelty. With the help of a sympathetic instructor named Four, Tris tries to make sense of her new faction, the uncomfortable things that are happening around her, her feelings for Four, and the discontent that is rumbling under the surface of a world she always felt was placid and safe.
As you might suspect, this is the first book of a planned trilogy, and Roth does a good job of getting the series off to a running start. I dug the whole faction thing for some reason and liked that Roth didn’t feel she had to explain everything right off the bat. In addition, the relationship between Four and Tris felt believable and wasn’t too whiny. The book is pretty violent, and though it isn’t quite Hunger Games brutal, it is up there. People die or experience really nasty “accidents.” If you’re a fan of YA dystopia, this was one of the better ones I’ve read, and I look forward to the next installment, Insurgent.
About the Narration
Emma Galvin did the narration and she was a good fit. She sounded like a teenage girl who had some backbone yet was still filled with uncertainty (just like Tris).
A book can get you out of your house, your town, even out of the country. I'm an avid reader believing reviews help find the good ones.
I went for this one because alot of the reviews compared it to the Hunger Games, one thing straight it is no Hunger Games (can't even touch it). The story line is along the same but it doesn't have the passion or characters Hunger Games had. This book was 100% geared toward young adults (which I am alot older) With Hunger Games I was sitting at the edge of my seat and could not put the book down this one I could and I was not sitting at the edge of my seat. I knew what was going to happen before I even got there. I even read the second book in this series just to give it my all but like I said I could of walked away at any time. I am glad I listened to it because it was on my list. I would however never listen to it again. Its just not worth a re-read! I do see young adults liking this although there is alot of killing, murder etc... It your 30+ I would skip it!
Yes, the storyline had so many details that I'm afraid I missed something and because it is such a possible scerino for the way things could really be in the future. The narrator sl make you feel the emotion of each specific character.
When they were at the choosing cermony.
The end, when "four" and Trish got together.
Yes, when there was a realization that people could in fact belong to many different factions.
Loved the storyline, I give it "Must Listen" catagory
The narrator was great, made a terrible, ridiculous story bearable enough to finish. The only reason I did finish it is to see if it was redeemable in any way and to be able to give a whole and honest opinion.
No. Not at all. The genre isnt the problem. Its convoluted stories trying to jump onto a popular trend in fiction.
the idea and premise of the story could of been amazing...
Yes, one of the best.. 2nd to the hunger games series
Made me feel for the characters..
I enjoyed it thoroughly! At first I was skeptical of the narration by Emma Galvin, but that quickly changed and thought she did a wonderful job. Get this, you won't regret it!
I mostly wanted to listen to the audio book so that I would be able to understand the words that Roth had written that I was probably destroying in my head. The names of the characters and factions I really wanted to be sure I was saying them right and I can visualize the book better when it is being read in an audio book rather than reading myself. Worth reading through twice!
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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