Anyway, this is the next installment of Veronica Roth’s trilogy, and when it was released on May 1, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Big thanks to Bobby for making that possible.
Insurgent picks up right where Divergent left off. In fact, there is very little “recap” like what you might find in other book series where they try to rope the brand new reader in by explaining what happened in book one in the opening pages. I really respected Veronica Roth’s decision to leave this part out. Of course, there are plenty of details from the first book woven into the second, but by not having a full-blown summary, the reader is able to jump right into the action.
I won’t go into too many details about plot, especially for those of you who haven’t read Divergent yet. But I will say that I think Insurgent was right on par with Divergent in terms of how much I enjoyed it, and even stronger in terms of the writing and overall story.
In short, why haven’t you read Divergent yet? 😉 Only kidding, of course, but I do highly recommend starting with book one before picking up a copy of Insurgent. As I mentioned in my last review, this is essentially a dystopian series (think: Hunger Games) that takes place far into the future.
And not just any future…a Chicago future! Insurgent has a lot more detail with regard to Chicago landmarks. I could picture where everything was in relation to the Sears Tower, Merchandise Mart and Millennium Park. Granted, most of them are described as hollowed out versions of what they are in the present, but it was cool to feel like I could imagine the scene, the weather and everything else that is familiar because I call it home.
As is the case with the first book, there is plenty of action, drama and jaw-dropping revelations. Plus, the romantic storyline continues – without a love triangle! – which is always fun.
One of the things I think Veronica Roth does best in her second book is her character development. We learn an amazing amount of new and important facts about the main characters that impact the choices they make and their interaction with others. This is especially true in the character of Tobias (Four), but also exemplified through the protagonist, Tris.
After enduring quite a lot more than the average 16-year-old in book one, Tris has even more to grapple with. The problems are now much bigger than her – they impact the society as a whole and cause her to question everything she’s grown up knowing and believing in. I think Veronica Roth does a fantastic job of showcasing Tris’ internal struggle. She matures a lot in this book.
What’s interesting to me – without making too many comparisons – is how she is seen compared to someone like Katniss in the Hunger Games. After the first book, Katniss essentially becomes a celebrity, and the people around her use that celebrity to their advantage.
In Tris’ case, she did some very brave things in book one, but in the grand scheme of things she is not really seen as the “leader” among rebels. She’s important to us, the reader, because the story is told from her perspective. She’s certainly important to a number of other central characters in the book (Tobias aka Four comes to mind first). But she doesn’t really command the awe and admiration of an entire population. At least, not yet. Which is why it makes it even more awesome that by the end of Insurgent, she has made quite a name for herself – literally. That’s all I will say, other than that I have no doubt that her growing notoriety will be a theme that carries over into book three.
Veronica Roth’s attention to detail is also a huge reason why I love these books. Her writing style gets to the point quick, but in doing so unearths a slew of interesting information, not to mention a wildly creative world that actually seems possible. Nothing is too crazy or unrealistic. And the big reveal at the end of the novel will have you sitting on the edge of your seat and sad that you have to wait at least another year (or more) to find out what comes next.
Have I convinced you yet?
These Amazon reviews say it all. Divergent was good. Insurgent was AWESOME!
Congrats, Clare! Send your mailing address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org!