In this final installment of the Divergent trilogy, Tris and Tobias (Four to the Dauntless) and their group of friends venture out of the dystopian Chicago that has been their world for all of their lives. They finally discover the truth behind the faction experiment, and must decide where their loyalties lie. Woven into the difficult decisions they face is the ongoing romance between the two. Much of what they are to face will test them and push their relationship and loyalties to the edge.
I listened to this as an audiobook, and since it is read by both a male and female narrator, the point of view switches between Tris and Tobias were quite evident. I know some felt that it was difficult in print versions to follow the shifts. For that, I would recommend the audio.
As for the plot, the main idea of the manipulation of the people chosen to live in the world of the factions and the reasons why the experiment was done, were an interesting device. The problem was that it failed to pull together in places. One of the things I found particularly problematic was how strongly Tris, Tobias, and the others felt that manipulating the people in the faction experiment was wrong, and yet, to “fix” the problem, their solution is to do a similar thing to those running the experiments to stop them. A case of “they are wrong because they are the bad guys” and “we are right because we are the good guys.” I missed some of the gray areas in there.
The action was pretty well done when there was action. There were a stretches of inaction that got a bit long at times and slowed things down a bit too much. Characters were pretty static here. Most of them don’t show a lot of development. The bad guys are bad, and the good guys are righteous and doing “what we must.” Even Tris and Tobias don’t show a lot of growth and change from the second book. For all their agonizing over keeping secrets and lying to each other in the past, they haven’t learned much here. There are a couple twists that keep things interesting. The ending isn’t a happily ever after type, either, and, while it was a bit of a shock, it was somewhat refreshing to see a YA story with a less than perfect ending.
It wasn’t a bad book, nor was it a terrible ending to the trilogy. I think it missed some potential in favor of a bit of moralizing, and went for shock value in a few places. The back-and-forth point of view shifts were a little strange to get used to even with the clear change the audio provided, since it was a complete change from the first two. Of course, if you have read the first two, you will want to find out how it all fits together. And you will, but it may not be as satisfying as you might wish.
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