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Publisher's Summary

One choice can transform you - or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves - and herself - while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable - and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

Motion Picture Artwork TM & © 2015 Summit Entertainment, LLC. All Rights Reserved

©2012 Veronica Roth (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers

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  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Story

good writing and voice, but story is lacking

The narration is very good in the book and the appeal that the reader gave to the different characters kept my interest more than the story did. The author is not a bad writer- she does well with dialog and has some interesting ideas. But the actual story was lacking for me. Many things that were supposed to be big 'reveals' were so blatantly obvious from the beginning that it was just annoying to sit through. This book takes place immediately after the first one, but what I had hoped were just 'first novel' mistakes kept happening here. Tris continues to do things that are so just dumb, that I lost interest in her as a character. It isn't a terrible book, but I think it could have been a much better one.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Enjoyable but not completely convincing

I'm slightly above the young adult age (around twenty five years plus), so consider my opinion taking that into account. You may ask why I read YA books then. Why not? I'm curious.

I enjoyed Insurgent. And I didn't.

The setting is quite compelling, the basic idea is really interesting. How could a society work if people are divided into factions based on their mental attitude? And I arrived to the first point I have problem with. I'm not a sociologist nor psychologist, but I'm sure it cannot work. Humans are not black and white. Humans are not of four clear colour, they cannot be put into boxes. It just doesn't work like that. The idea of creating a society based on this is born dead. But it still could be interesting to see how things can develop in a scenario like this, so I suspended my disbelief and I wanted to know, you know, "what if". It reminded me of religious cults suppressing general truths worshipping only one (often false one). I continued listening as it was an experiment on one possible way to solve the society's serious issues. I put my doubts aside and flowed with the story, and I did enjoy it more. By the end of the book I learned that this environment didn't evolve, but it was established artificially. That helps a little to believe the scenario. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

In the factions individuals start to pup up as divergents, (of course they do, if they didn't the story wouldn't exist), and this society cannot handle them. They blend in pretending having one aptitude or get hunted because they cannot fit in the system. That creates a lot of tension, and gives the floor for the action.

The action moved the story forward, and kept me listening. I really liked the action scenes, those were the best parts of the book. Unfortunately in between there were scenes when the heroin agonized over exaggerated dilemmas. Maybe I've a very simple personality, maybe it was too long time ago when I was teenager, maybe being a man I cannot understand the girls (who can? :) ). Maybe Tris had mental issues. But some of the whining should have been cut out.

I would have enjoyed more world-building. There were some explanations about the supporting equipment like power supply, but I missed some technicalities how they could sustain the supporting services. It was a closed environment after all.

By the way, can somebody tell me who drove the train? People died, factions fought each other, but that damn train still run no matter what.

As I mentioned I'm not in YA age anymore, that may explain my disbelief concerning the hands off love between Four and Tris. At the age of 16-19 teenagers are much more interested in the hands on stuff of sex. It was annoying how the circumstances (or their fears or anger) "accidentally" stopped Four and Tris to get into it more deeply. I don't say there should be explicit sex scenes, not at all. But their love would have been more believable if there were scenes like "Four pulled Tris' shirt off, kissed her on the mouth and... Cut.... Tris smiled at Four and nested herself in his arms with satisfaction". Like in an old movie ;)

The character of Tris is well drawn, we get to know her deepest secrets and fears. She had a special power, she could resist the simulation. Awesome. She is mentally off balance in my opinion, but I gather that was the author's intention. But it didn't help to like her that she made stupid decisions. I mean stupid. For example when she joined Marcus. She loved Four, she knew that Four hates Marcus, she didn't trust Marcus, and didn't have evidence that it was true what he was saying, but she went with him instead of being and fighting on Four's side.

I'm sure my daughter enjoyed the book more, because she already told me she hardly can wait for the third one to come out. She is at the right age, I suppose.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • GG
  • New York
  • 02-19-13

Out of Imaginary Fuel?

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

This second book was a little of a let down after the excitement and novelty of the first one (Divergent). It felt like the author was searching for a neat way to end and kept going around in circles until she finally ran out of ideas. The end was definitely anti-climactic and somewhat confusing (for me anyways). Overall it was still entertaining, but became less believable as the author stretched each character's personality in every which way possible. Narration was excellent.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Girl with the dragon tattoo

What three words best describe Emma Galvin’s voice?

Urgent, young and pleasant

What character would you cut from Insurgent?

Tobias' father

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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An okay sequel

While I found Insurgent to be an overall enjoyable experience, I think it ultimately suffers from Middle Book Syndrome – the trap a lot of #2-in-a-series books fall into. There’s a lot of moving pieces around the board without much consequence, which allows the author to save the fireworks for the finale. Our heroine, Tris, sheds a lot of what made her such a unique and compelling character in the first book (her independence, her decisiveness, her straightforward approach to problem solving) and spends most of the time wondering what her on-again, off-again, brainwashed-again boyfriend is thinking about her and their relationship. There are some pretty decent main-story-arc reveals throughout, which keep the plot twisting and turning satisfactorily, and narrator Emma Galvin again does a fine job, but apart from a rather surprising and intriguing final chapter, the book didn’t hit the high notes of its predecessor. I do feel invested enough to see how it all pans out in the final book.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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The wait for book 3 is going to kill me!

I hate big cliffhangers and planned to read this book after the final installment came out in 2013.. However, after reading so many good reviews I finally gave in and decided to read it now instead of waiting. WOW! I'm so glad I did. This was just as good as the first if not better. So much more of the story is revealed and the ending is well worth the listen. Of course now the wait for book 3 is going to kill me!

If you liked Divergent then you will definitely like this one too. Definitely worth a credit for me!

4.5 stars - minus a half star for the long wait for book 3

13 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Cassandra
  • Grapevine, TX, United States
  • 07-14-13

Emma Galvin is Insurgent's Saving Grace

Insurgent, the second novel in the Divergent series, has its flaws.

I entered this novel hoping to gain a sense of progression and justice within the broken world that Roth has created--and yet, as I (slowly) crept towards the ending, I was left feeling dissatisfied. Relationships are drawn out. Characters feel static. The plot has little progression. (I think you get the idea.)

All of that being said, whatever scraps of excitement, joy, and/or intensity this novel has; it is amplified to the fullest by the narrator. Galvin's performance is truly what saves this mediocre sequel.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Eoin
  • Kilcullen, Ireland
  • 06-07-12

Needs severe editing - disappointment after Book 1

I'll start by saying I'm not into the romance side of things, but nevertheless I enjoyed Book 1 of this series. Unfortunately, it would seem that Ms. Roth was paid for X-thousand words, and by golly she was going to deliver them.

The dialogue is circular and repetitive (which renders once-likeable characters as now extremely annoying), and there are continuity issues. It would seem that the editor, if indeed one was employed, has done poor job with the continuity and pacing of this book.

Sadly, I don't think I'll be listening to the 3rd.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Not as good as Divergent

My recommendation: re-read the last chapters of Divergent before listening to Insurgent. I didn't, so I spent the first part of this book wondering who was who and what was going on. Insurgent expects listeners to have all the events and everyone's names fresh in mind. That did not happen with me. I don't need a complete recap, but it would have been nice to be reminded which one was the brother and which was the love interest. Those little hints to help jog the memory just aren't there.

I enjoyed Divergent, but I realized a big part of my enjoyment was the school/training aspect and learning about the world. Insurgent focuses on the war between the factions, my least favorite part of book 1. I liked learning more about Amenity and Candor, but I was expecting to discover what's beyond the wall, and that's saved for book 3.

Insurgent is a middle book in a series. You have to read it to find out what comes next, but nothing really happens. Hopefully the next book will be more interesting.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Nothing Out There Will Ever Satisfy Me Again!

Wow! I literally have no words to describe how great a book Insurgent truly is. I just finished listening to it a few minutes ago and I'm still reeling from the amazing storyline. I didn't want to write this review because Insurgent is too emotional and personal for me, but I'm writing it anyway because I feel like I have to, and even though I'm a total book fanatic, I have never been so obsessed with anything before!

I love everything about Insurgent. I love its brutal honesty and its lack of sugarcoating. I love the dystopian world Veronica Roth has created. She gave us a peek at how all the other factions operate along with the personalities behind the people. I love the depth of this book, which seems to be absent in most YA novels nowadays. I love Tris. I love Four. I love their relationship. The characters are very flawed, very human, yet this is exactly what makes them so perfect. I also love the fact that Veronica knows more about the true meaning of love, loyalty and sacrifice than probably any author I've ever known.

Insurgent is just as good as Divergent. Seriously, they are both so excellent it's impossible to say which is better. In this book however, the twists came as huge surprises. I never saw them coming. There are a lot of heart breaks in this story. Having to deal with the grief and guilt of losing Will and her parents, Insurgent is about Tris trying to regain her inner strength and how she embraces her Divergence.

I have very mixed and raw emotions after listening to Insurgent. There are some books which you just devour like a candy and forget about it in a few short hours. However, there are some books which you simply cannot get over no matter how hard you tried, and as time passes, that book eventually becomes part of who you are. Insurgent is one of them. It celebrates humanity under the most difficult of circumstances. It is powerful stuff.

Sometimes a bad narrator can ruin a good book, but Emma Galvin did a fantastic job! She is exactly how I picture Tris would sound like, fierce, determined and direct. I can't imagine anyone else doing the narration.

My only complaint about this series is that I'll have to wait about a year before the third book comes out. This is sheer torture and it's going to drive me insane! I am positive that I'm not the only person feeling this way. Just buy it! You wouldn't want to miss the book of the year.

23 of 32 people found this review helpful

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  • Deanna
  • Lake Dallas, TX, United States
  • 06-04-12

Continued Excellence

I thought this book was fantastic, it really developed the other factions and gave you a taste for their lives. I wasn't always agreeable with Tris' choices, but I won't give any spoilers. Also the author made a few mistakes in the book that left me going "what?" until I realized they were mistakes (noted on the author's blog) and not my comprehension of the story. Most notably she says Zeke instead of what I assume would be Uriah once, which left me completely confused.

My husband wasn't as thrilled about this book, although he enjoyed and couldn't put it down. He said his issue with it was that it is just a really long and round about way to get to the original mission. I can understand his point of view, but I felt that because the action never stopped and I felt like it developed a lot of characters and gave a start of a new story line that it was a worthwhile read.

Both my husband and I finished this book in 2 days, independently, as neither could put it down.

10 of 14 people found this review helpful