review by MARISA
[may contain spoilers for Divergent]
I think my friends might be a bit sick of hearing me talk about the Divergent books now. But, yeah. I started on Insurgent right after finishing Divergent (despite telling myself that I should wait for the next day), even though the first book ends pretty neatly – most of the Dauntless faction had been used by Erudite to attack Abnegation, and the world as Tris knew it would never be the same again. Insurgent picks up pretty much immediately after where Divergent left of, and is a lot more action-packed and angst-driven. It also offers a closer look at the factionless as well as Amity, Erudite and especially Candor, which I appreciate.
As I said, it ends nicely enough for me to not need a sequel, but it was definitely appreciated. Because one of the flaws of Divergent was that the dystopian society it depicted was never really quite believable to me. I liked what I saw of Abnegation and Dauntless, and the differences between the two factions. But still – a society divided by factions?
Placing the blame of everything that went wrong on one thing (or the lack of one virtue)? I’m not sure I buy that. Not that I need to get, or even believe in, all of the YA dystopians I read. I didn’t quite with Divergent, and I still loved the book. But one of the things that made Insurgent a far better read was that it explored the idea further. When Tris first heard Dauntless’ manifesto, and thought about how things might have started out differently than what the factions have turned into – it tied in with their discovery later in Insurgent about why the factions were first created. It’s still not exactly plausible (maybe even less so) but somehow I enjoyed it anyway, and enjoyed it more, so I guess it worked.
I wasn’t as excited about the fact that there’s more Tris/Four romance (seriously, NOT one of the reasons I follow this series), and all the teen angst that comes with it, so I can see why some people might not enjoy Insurgent as much as the first book. But going by how engaging – and fun! – it is, and how much I craved for Allegiant once I reached the ending and it’s cliffhanger, I would still recommend this to anyone who would listen. – Mari