The second part of this fantasy/Sci-Fi trilogy is a bittersweet read.
Although Ross tries to engage with her distinctive narrative and action sequences, it’s hard to gain back the ground lost with the death of many of her secondary characters, who were wiped out systematically in the final chapters of Divergent. Relatives and characters that had barely made an impact in the first book now come into focus in this second book, where the factions of the city are at war over the information held by the Erudites. Betrayals, cowardice and some serious parental issues come into play in Insurgent, as well as residual guilt and grief that Tris feels after the devastating first confrontation. Throughout the book, many things are lost.
Tris refuses to pick up a gun at all, she seems to be permanently injured yet getting even more injuries all the time (I can only imagine her body looking mangled after being shot at, beaten, bitten…) and she and Four seem to do little more than snog and bicker.
It’s quite painful to read when the teenage angst mixes with a situation that, had it occurred in real life, would have warranted some psychological help. I couldn’t help but feel that the characters surrounding Tris (Christina, Four) turned one dimensional as they are incapable of progressing past their friend’s death and yet fail to take into account that, with her parents’ death, Tris had suffered the greatest loss.
It’s hard to feel bad when characters that are barely introduced are suddenly killed, and the surprise treachery is overshadowed by the fact that the thing that made Tris stand out in the first book is suddenly shared by — well — what seems like half the population.
Peter is just plain annoying as a character — he makes no sense at all and isn’t motivated by anything except for his need to be annoying in every part of the book. Oh, and what happened to Zeke?
Although I had quickly progressed from Divergent to Insurgent, I think I might give Ross’ third book a miss for now.
Best Quote: “I feel the weight of the gun, and it’s smoothness, and I forget about her; I forget about the poison; I forget about everything.”
This is the latest in a series of book reviews, part of my 1000 books before 30 (see full explanation here).
Do you love Peter? Think this book was shit and I shouldn’t have read it in the first place? Have any other suggestions? Write them in the box below!