As I am writing this review as part of team Candor I should be honest. After all Candor’s own manifesto is “Dishonesty is rampant, dishonestly is temporary, Dishonesty makes evil possible”. So without a will to make ‘evil possible’ I shall tell you a secret…this is my first proper review. Yes shameful I know for a bookseller, I mean I’ve written small reviews on cards but nothing like this, so you may have to bear with me while I ramble on. But what a book to ramble on about! I loved insurgent!
For those of you that have read Divergent by Veronica Roth, (and if you haven’t, why not), and are like me, always a bit tentative about a second book in a series, you have nothing to worry about. I always am nervous about the next in a trilogy if I have loved the first so much, and with my extreme passion for Divergent, Insurgent had a lot to live up to, but boy did it do just that.
Unlike a lot of series where they may explain a bit about what has gone on previously, this one does not, which makes for such a great opening chapter. I hate it when you have to trawl though pages of details about characters you already have been told before, but with this you literally fall back into the same scene where Divergent left off, straight slap bang in the middle of the action. So naturally as a warning to future readers, if you read Divergent a year ago and are a little hazy on some of the finer details, it might be a good idea to refresh up a bit before starting this one.
Without telling you what happens in the book, as half the brilliance of it are the twists and turns that it takes you on and the excitement of not knowing where it will lead you next, or in what faction, I’ll tell you a bit more about it. Like I said this one takes on where Divergent left off, Tris has just been through a huge ordeal when the Dauntless, under the simulation drug and the rule of Erudite, slaughtered her original faction, Abnegation. Her fight through this, especially watching her mother get blindly shot and herself having killed one of her close friends Will, plays closely into the general vibe of Insurgent. The book focuses on how she struggles to cope with the overpowering guilt of what she has done and how this starts to eat away at her usually perfect judgement of situations and her relationship with Tobias.
We see a lot more of her and Tobias as a couple in this book compared to the last, but it is not written in the soppy romantic ‘he loves me but I can’t be with him’ way that we so often see in teenage books. Instead it shows, I think, a truer depiction of how two people can really be around each other and how little things can either push them further away or bring them in closer together. In most cases, due to Tris having a ever growing blanket of guilt and shame hanging over her, it is at most part the former, but it is written in such a true way that we manage to learn so much about the characters, who they are, and what they stand for. We are even introduced to Tobias’ family and see a whole side to him the first book never had the chance to show.
Like I said before, I don’t want to tell you what actually happens in the book for risk of giving away things that I didn’t see coming but I will say that you are introduced a lot more to each of the factions, how they think and how they operate and how Tris, Tobias and other characters react to their way of life. The book has so much heart thumping action and devastating revelations, especially when Tris reaches her lowest point that I just can’t wait for the third and final book to be released. Why oh why is it so far away?!
I know I will not be doing this book the justice it deserves, but, as a bookseller, I will say that I haven’t been as excited about a trilogy as I am with this one for a very long time. And boy does it feel good.