Review: Insurgent, Veronica Roth

Title: Insurgent (Goodreads)

Author: Veronica Roth (@VeronicaRoth)

Rating: ★★★★★

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.

 

Details

Series: Divergent #2
Genre: YA Dystopia
Published: HarperTeen, May 1 2012
Pages (hardcover edition): 525

Paper copies: Amazon.com • Amazon.co.uk • Book Depository
E-copies: Amazon.com • Amazon.co.uk • Barnes & Noble

Review

*WARNING*  There are spoilers for the events of Divergent here. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest skipping the rest of this review!

The hype leading up to the release of Insurgent has been pretty full-on, but as it turns out, Veronica Roth has outdone herself.

I read and reviewed Divergent only a few weeks ago, so thankfully the events at the end were still fresh in my mind. The story of Insurgent picks up just a few minutes after the end of Divergent and dives straight into the story with little reminder of what happened previously. The factions are splintered and chaos reigns in the city. Tris and Four have stopped the Erudite from using mind-controlled Dauntless to kill members of Abegnation, but they are now on the run. Who can they trust?

Some really horrible things happened to Tris and her friends during Divergent. Most of the storyline of Insurgent is spent with each of the characters trying to deal with grief and guilt in the midst of a war situation.

If you’ve read my review of Divergent you may remember that I had a few questions about the world building. In Insurgent, some of those questions are answered, although we are only given a tantalising glimpse right at the end of the creation of the factions and what may lie outside the city. With those questions taken care of, I loved the non-stop action and angst of Insurgent.

In a lot of fantasy books involving conflict situations, characters will kill each other, get grievously injured or lose their companions without batting an eyelid and carry on with their quest as if nothing has happened. Not so for Tris – she carries her grief and guilt with her all through Insurgent and tries to deal with it in what I imagine is quite a realistic way.

There are a lot of secrets and lies between characters in this story – they bury their problems deep inside and get on with the tasks at hand rather than dealing with them in the open, and this creates a lot of tension between them, especially Tris and Four. I found this very refreshing in a young adult book, where traditionally the tension comes from a love triangle. There’s no dubious polygons to be found in this story, just one couple struggling to hold it together in a difficult situation.

While Insurgent is quite a dark read, it is extremely compelling and definitely one of my favourite reads in a while. The as yet untitled third book in the series isn’t due until 2013 but I already can’t wait to find out what happens next.

Warnings: Mild sexual references and strong violence.