I’m not going to lie. This is not a book I would have purchased naturally but it came as a ‘free’ Kindle option. (Also not a pro for me as I don’t really like e-books. I can’t flip through the pages at random and start and finish as I wish, and don’t tell me you can put electronic bookmarks in, it’s not the same thing at all.)
It was the best of the bunch offered on some random ‘deal’ as other options clearly included what was a ‘female fluff romance’ option, a historic novella of sorts, a ‘dark thriller’ and a ‘comedic’ option. Basically they took a broad sprinkling of mass readership and decided to promote about six authors.
It turns out Divergent has actually been made into a blockbuster movie. Something that I missed. And it turns out the third instalment of the movie is due out this year so I obviously live under a rock somewhere. (I am not going to see the movie, the girl is described as petite and blonde and interesting looking, the lead actress may be amazing but she is none of these so I’m annoyed already.)
It turned out to be a fairly fast paced read. Dystopian settings are very much the setting for both novels and movies at present and this fits both categories. Given the author is under 30, it’s actually amazing the pace she seems to be writing these books. Clearly there is a lot going on in her head.
The storyline isn’t exactly unique – the world blew up and now different factions rule the city, with 16 year olds obliged to pick the faction that best suits their personality type. The lead character is ‘divergent’ in that she could fit into three of the five categories and people always land in one in their aptitude tests. (They clearly never met me, there is no way ONE would have worked with my indecision) She threw in some interesting twists in developing this and for the most part writes well. The issue is really that some questions aren’t really answered in the first book and after being really naughty and wiki’ing the sequels I’m not sure they are really answered at all. Like who is in charge of the rest of the United States. Whether there is a great overarching authority. What genetic damage actually means.
I also find it a bit one dimensional to assume that one would grow up to be a tattooed freak just because one was born into the Dauntless crew and had to be fearless. Or automatically be an academic if part of Erudite. She does explain that the aptitude tests would allow you to determine a change of faction in your teens but it seemed nurture definitely won over nature as most people stay with their factions and if this is the case the gene thing didn’t make sense.
Maybe I just need to read the sequels. But I don’t have the energy to go through another e-book on my phone or search actively for second hand copies of the next two books either.
(I believe there is a’free’ ebook that explains many of my questions but it seems to be only available in the States. Like that’s not discrimination.)