Tuesday 1 May 2012

Book Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth.

Product details:
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Release date: May 1st 2012
Paperback, 525 pages.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Ages: 14+
Series: Divergent #2
Other books in series: Divergent.
Source: Received from publisher for review.

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.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

Please note: This book is part of a series. There may be spoilers for previous book in the series in this review.

With the same intoxicating blend of action and romance the made Veronica Roth’s debut novel Divergent such a thrilling read, Insurgent, the next installment in this addictive series is a rollercoaster ride of a book that will leave you shocked, horrified and enthralled in equal amounts as you flip through its pages.  Take a deep breath, guys. This is one intense read!

 Insurgent picks up immediately in the aftermath of the mayhem filled final pages of Divergent. There is barely time to catch a breath as we survey the carnage that surrounds Tris and Four, survivors in a world that has changed forever.  For Tris, who lost so much when her former faction, Abnegation, was attacked, things are especially difficult. And she is hiding a terrible secret too, one that consumes her with guilt and grief, one she can’t bring herself to tell anyone, not even Four.  

We loved watching them fall in love in Divergent.  Here though, while Tris and Four share a couple of pretty steamy moments, the focus is not on romance.  Insurgent is all about survival in a world gone mad. Tris is a survivor, as is Four, but sometimes the strength that enables them to internalise their worries and fears and fight in the face of all adversity also pulls them apart. It’s not all hearts and flowers for these two.
Insurgent brings us out into the world of the Factions. While we got glimpses of Abnegation, Amity, Candor and Erudite in Divergent, the bulk of activity was centered on the initiation process Tris underwent in Dauntless HQ.  Here we get to see a whole lot more.  We follow Tris and Four as they seek refuge at peace loving Amity, find out the importance of the truth at Candor and discover that knowledge really is power when they see the true extent of Erudite’s hold on society.  Insurgent also introduces us to the underground world of the factionless, and what we discover there is very interesting indeed.

In a world built on a secrets and lies, it is only the truth that will release the remaining factions from the seemingly iron-clad grip of Erudite leader Jeanine Matthews and her methods of mind control.  While the truth sets you free, it often comes at a price, as Tris and Four discover when they find out that the secrets of their society are more life-changing than either of them could ever have imagined. This book is all about trust, and honour, and truth, but there is also a whole lot of carnage as factions are ripped apart, friends and family lost, and allegiances challenged.

What I loved most about Divergent, besides the characters of Tris and Four, was its relentlessly fast pace.  Unlike a lot of YA dystopias that I find to be slow-moving plot wise, Divergent never once slowed down.  Insurgent is similarly action-packed, but at certain points I found myself overwhelmed by all the characters in this book as the action moved from faction to faction. For me, the inclusion of so many characters was a little disorienting, especially as certain minor characters from Divergent are re-introduced here and I found myself flipping back through the pages trying to figure out who they were. This only happened once or twice, but it was enough to slow down the book for me and I felt that because of it, my attention waned at times.

 That feeling didn’t last long though, because the ending of Insurgent is an awesome action-packed montage of surprises, revelations and plot twists that will leave you wanting more already.  The countdown to book 3 begins now!

ETA: So, a couple hours after I wrote this review Veronica Roth posted a very helpful recap of Divergent and its characters.  The characters I had trouble remembering are mentioned here, so I suggest if you need a recap, that you read it - especially if its been a whole year since you read Divergent. :)


  1. This is a great review Leanna, wonderfully written! I did get a bit disorientated with the characters at first, but thankfully managed to remember who they all were eventually!! I totally agree about the pacing, much faster than a lot of dystopians and this definitely worked in its favour.

    The Cait Files

  2. Vivienne_dacosta1 May 2012 at 13:52

    Fabulous review Leanna. I shall add it to my post. 

  3. Awesome review, Leanna! I loved how action-packed and fast-paced it was, and *definitely* can't wait for book three to arrive!!!

  4. I agree about the characters - I did struggle to remember a few of them but it started to come back to me as I got into the story. So glad you liked Insurgent! I just love this series so much - and I really liked that Tris and Four didn't sink into an easy, lovey-dovey relationship, but actually had problems that needed to be worked out. Fab review, Leanna! :)

  5. Great review, Leanna! I loved the action in Divergent too and I'm glad that Veronica Roth kept the same pace in Insurgent.  I was holding off reading Insurgent, because it has been SO long since I read Divergent, but the re-cap seems really helpful. Thanks for sharing that!  

  6. I'm so thankful Veronica Roth put up that post because I would have been SO LOST without it. I definitely had to go back through it a few times while reading Insurgent! Secrets and lies are right, this book was teeming to the brim with them. I'm not exactly sure how I feel about this book yet but I enjoyed reading your review! Really interested to see how Roth wraps this all up. 

  7. JessHeartsBooks2 May 2012 at 11:31

    This has to be one of my favourite reviews for Insurgent that I've read so far! I agree with you on everything 100% I too had trouble remembering the secondary characters so thanks for providing the link to the recap I wish it was up when I read the book as I know it would have been really helpful and am sure that it now will be to everyone whose just started Insurgent! Total love for this review! <3

  8. daisychainbooks3 May 2012 at 22:17

     Thanks Cait! Most dystopians are too slow moving for my tastes, but definitely not this one! :)

  9. daisychainbooks3 May 2012 at 22:18

     The recap is really helpful! I think all authors should do them for people like me! ;)

  10. daisychainbooks3 May 2012 at 22:23

     Aw, thanks for the lovely comment, Jess! I agree - that recap is SO helpful! Can't wait to see how this series ends! :)

  11. I'm glad I'm not the only one who found it a little disorienting at times! It's definitely multi-layered.

  12. I had the same problem with keeping track of secondary characters!  I'd only read Divergent a few months ago, and am traditionally very good with names (I'm a teacher and learn all 120 kids names by the end of the 2nd day of school).  So for me to have trouble with keeping track of characters is unusual.  I'm wondering if she doesn't provide enough description of each character or provide enough defining characteristics (quirks, voice, etc.)

    Great review!  I agree it was an action packed book!

    My review is posted  here.

     Lauren @ Hughes Reviews


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