One of my goals for 2016 is to get back to my roots and read more books. As the great Frederick Douglass said, ‘Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.’ Books are a passion – nay, an obsession of mine and always have been. I grew up in the library and my parents fostered my love of reading and learning. With books I have lived a thousand lives, found myself absorbed in different worlds, and learned immensely more than I could have otherwise. I have a goal of reading 100 books this year, along with me!
‘Allegiant’ by Veronica Roth was an interesting one for me. I read the first two novels in the trilogy years ago, but held off reading this novel prior to now because I heard one of the main characters dies near the end. Turns out it was a different main character that died than I thought- but I can’t wrap my head around why it was worth it. I can think of so many things that could have happened to prevent [this character’s] death. [Their] death doesn’t change anything- what they were able to do does and the world is a better place for it- but even that action seems like a cop out to me. This is really hard to explain with no spoilers- ready for them?
So in this novel Tris, Tobias and crew escape the confines of Chicago- believing that there are still people on the outside who may need their help. It turns out there are people on the outside, but they are running experiments on different cities. Some people were even planted in Chicago, (like Tris’s mom!!) or removed and have ‘come back to life.’ Based out of what used to be O’Hare Airport, this large group of people are running what they find out is the country’s longest running experiment in Chicago. They literally watch the citizens’ every move and make monitor how many divergent or people with ‘clean’ genetics there are. The GD’s (Genetically deficient) and GP’s (Genetically pure) are the new face of discrimination and the reason behind all of the experiments (and the trilogy). For 3/4 of the novel it was very interesting learning more about the world these characters live in along with them, watching them fly in an airplane for the first time, seeing them figuring out the social structure. Then (for me anyway) it all goes downhill.
Tris comes up with a plan to save everyone in Chicago when they hear that the city will be ‘reset’ – as in their memories wiped because they are about to do battle. The problem is that it involves stealing that same memory serum to set it off in what used to be O’Hare- so all of the people there will be reset instead. Without the passcode into the weapons lab (which they do not have) a trigger will set off an aerosol version of the death serum. Someone will die, and Tris’ brother volunteers. She basically holds him hostage last second and takes his place in the plot. My question is- why did Tris’ character have to be killed when she survived the death serum and was able to reset everyone’s memories in time? It makes no sense in the grand scheme of the story.
Loop hole #1: Tris’ brother was still out in the hallway right? He should have been able to stop David from coming in the room behind Tris. Even if he was injured he should have had a gun and could have prevented Tris’ death. What a great lookout. Loop hole #2: No explanation is given as to why David would want to kill Tris. What made the circumstances different than their normal ways of dishing out ‘justice’? One would think he would never kill her as she was her mother’s daughter. Loop hole #3: If I was up for erasing everyone’s memories I would sure as heck have an extra memory serum syringe with me to get someone like David in the case that I met opposition. This seems like something Tris would have planned for. Final thoughts- the memory serum method seems like such a cop out. Yes, that type of thing is in this world- but that is the sort of thing they were fighting against. Just because Tris was killed in the process of the plan doesn’t make it ‘harder’ or ‘worthwhile’- I believe the same results could have come about with Tris’s quick thinking and guts. She has led an uprising before.
That’s book 5 of 100! Read all the reviews here.
Click here to see my goals for 2016
Book 5. Allegiant by Veronica Roth