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Book Title: Samensmelting|
The author of the book: Veronica Roth
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 4.20 MB
Edition: Van Goor
Date of issue: February 26th 2014
ISBN 13: 9789000334797
Read full description of the books Samensmelting:The book starts off with this epigraph from the Erudite faction manifesto:
"Every question that can be answered must be answered or at least engaged. Illogical thought processes must be challenged when they arise."
And then fantastically misses the mark.
Allegiant was so chock full of plot holes, unrealistic situations, contrived character "development", laughable explanations, and a whole load of "wtf" moments. And that's not even including the disastrous ending of this book. How this book managed to have an epigraph about being logical is a complete mystery to me.
****INCLUDES MASSIVE SPOILERS****
Right from the get-go, the book wastes little time with the petty conflict between the factions and the factionless. The narrative spends a few convenient moments agonizing over the factionless vs. factions dilemma and then decides to venture outside the fence.
Which, you know, is totally fine because we all assumed that at some point the narrative would come back to resolve that conflict in a reasonable way later on.
One dead character and a relatively easy stroll through the fence later, Tris and company encounter THE WORLD OUTSIDE THE FENCE.
Behold, the moment we have all been waiting for.
As it turns out, the world has apparently been so full of assholes that the government decided to eliminate the genes in citizens that caused dishonestly, selfishness, cowardice, stupidity, and aggression. Unfortunately, this backfired and just created more assholes that were more asshole-y than before.
So how does a rational government fix this problem? Easy! Just construct gigantic city-sized behavioural experiments all across the country! Get volunteers who had their genes screwed with to have their memories wiped and stick them into a city and force them to choose a faction. Eventually these people will reproduce enough times until they finally manage to have "genetically pure" (a.k.a. Divergent) babies that are free from messed up genes.
I mean, duh. That's, like, the most logical thing ever. Because its not like bad genes pass down bad genes or anything! Silly science!
In fact, this department is just so full of geniuses that they decided that instead of using the genetic engineering prowess they already had to modify the genes of the genetically damaged offspring, they were just gonna wait around for 8 generations until the problem just miraculously fixed itself.
Don't worry. Their efforts aren't wasted. I've already nominated them for the Nobel Prize in What-The-Fuckery.
From then on, the book actually gets worse.
Instead of trying to resolve the old conflict between the factionless and the factions, the book tries to take on a whole new conflict between the genetically pure and the genetically damaged, making the plot unnecessarily convoluted and leaving little to no room for proper character development.
Tris and Four's switching POVs only disorient the reader further because as the book continues, the characters voices lose their distinctions and start to sound more and more like each other.
While Tris may have been tougher in this book than in Insurgent (which is literally the only redeeming quality I'm willing to give this book), Four's character gets a complete top-to-bottom deconstruction.
Gone is the tough, strong, badass we got to know in the previous two books. Instead, Roth replaces Four with a bumbling emotional man child who fails to make rational decisions and think straight. His judgement is often clouded by his own insecurities and growing fears. Before we knew Four as being a character who would never let his fears control him. In Allegiant, Four's fears have his neck in a leash and tug him in any which direction and he willing goes without even putting up a fight.
Which now brings me to the disastrous ending of this book.
Suddenly, tensions are rising between the factionless and the Allegiant (the group who wants to re-establish the faction system) and Evelyn decides she's going to use the Erudite death serum to wipe out her opponents. But the Department of Genetic Welfare is having none of her shit so they decide that they're just going to wipe out everyone's memory so they don't kill each other.
(Can I also point out here that they used this memory-wiping serum before to trick the general population into thinking that the genetically damaged are alone the cause of the world's problems? So you know, there wouldn't be massive protests or anything when the government decided to deliberately waste money trying to solve a problem they knew was fucked to begin with.)
A race against the clock ensues where Four goes back to Chicago to try and wipe the memories of his parents to stop them from fighting while Tris stays behind to try and steal this memory serum and use it on the Department themselves. The book gets a little preachy right before this part where the characters start talking about how erasing someone's memories is inherently evil---unless you have good intentions, of course.
The Department also has good intentions for using this serum on Chicago and saving the lives of thousands of people, but fuck logic. Our heroes would way rather just watch the people they love kill each other.
And how exactly does the book wrap up the supposedly exciting and suspenseful conflict between the factionless and the Allegiant that has brewing in the background this whole time? Easy! Just have a nice Eaton family reunion where Evelyn magically just decides that the years she's spent neglecting her son and fighting for her own idea of justice is utterly useless because she's been transformed by *~The Power of Love~*. No need to rip apart all of Chicago like she's been planning to her whole life.
All she needs is her son.
A few supporting characters die in the book, but you don't really care. If the author didn't bother spending enough time developing that character, why should readers even flinch when they drop dead? Of course, the book makes these deaths a big deal but you're sitting there like
Back in at the Department of Genetic Welfare, Caleb is picked for the suicide mission of breaking into the top-security vault to steal the memory-wiping serum. This is only fitting as Caleb is literally the only character who needs to be redeemed for his betrayal in Insurgent. I mean, the tagline of the book is "one choice can define you" so if Caleb doesn't own up to this moment he's basically going to be a selfish, heartless, coward for the rest of the story.
Oh wait. This book hasn't sufficiently fucked up already so instead of using a perfectly good opportunity for a back-stabbing character to redeem themselves, it's just going to unnecessarily sacrifice the freaking main character because life is cruel and heartless goddammit!
I could literally write another essay on why this particular ending sucked balls, but before some anon messages me saying "omgg it's veronica's book and her ending was so tragic but so byootiful don't you know you're not allowed to hate it??!111" let me explain myself.
I have no problem with happy endings, bittersweet endings, sad endings, or even unresolved endings AS LONG AS THE ENDING MAKES SENSE WITH THE BODY OF THE WORK. This is literally all I ask of any author of any novel.
From just a character perspective, it makes sense that Tris would sacrifice herself for the greater good. That's just what she, as a selflessly reckless person, would do. But considering that there was a perfectly good person involved in this ending that needed to be redeemed (*cough Caleb cough*) who didn't offer to sacrifice himself to save his sister, I'm questioning the true motive for why this ending was picked.
We already know that Tris is a character who's willing to sacrifice herself for the greater good. Did we learn any new information about her character when she decided to make this sacrifice? Wouldn't we have gained a better perspective of Caleb if he had made this choice instead? And most importantly, wouldn't sparing Tris's life allow the final conclusion of this trilogy to be more sound, less rushed, and less overshadowed by the her death?
Tris's sacrifice comes off as being meaningless because she doesn't save anyone from dying. Had she failed to using the memory serum, the worst thing that would have happened was that Chicago would have been reset and the main conflict would have disappeared completely. And that doesn't even matter in the end because all the major characters that we are supposed to care about were already inoculated against the memory serum anyway. In fact, by stealing the memory serum, Tris effectively tosses up the fate of Chicago in the air. If Four hadn't *~magically~* convinced his mother to stop fighting then the city would have been in shreds and more people would have died.
The careless way her death is written and revealed makes the ending look like it was purely written simply for a cheap shock value. Cue the forced emotional and dramatic ending where readers drown in a puddle of their feels as we're forced to read Four's tragic reaction to her death.
The last few chapters, including the epilogue, are incredibly rushed. Literally every single issue in the growing mountain of problems that accumulated over the course of this book are immediately solved without any further complications or commentary because deus ex machina.
EDIT (7/11/13): The ending is far from being the worst thing about this book, but I did read the author's blog post about what she was aiming for. Keeping her intentions in mind, I still think this ending failed in it's execution. Primarily, the inorganic way that the events are revealed crushes the effect this ending was trying to achieve.
EDIT (9/11/13): Another blatant plot hole I'm baffled over: Tris discovers that her mother was brought in from the outside to rescue Divergents who were being killed by Jeanine's predecessor. Then later on, it is revealed that the Bureau supplied Jeanine with the attack simulation serum she used to massacre the Abnegation. So the Bureau is apparently so cautious and protective of every Divergent life that they are willing to send in one of their own to save as many of them as possible, but helping Jeanine massacre an entire faction that contains Divergents is totally ok with them? Why is this link between the Bureau and Jeanine established but never explained at length? Did it show us anything other than the fact that this book is riddled with more plot holes?
would not recommend
Read information about the authorVeronica Roth is from a Chicago suburb. She studied creative writing at Northwestern University, and wrote DIVERGENT (Katherine Tegen Books, May 2011) and INSURGENT (May 2012). The third and final book in The Divergent Trilogy, ALLEGIANT, will come out on October 22, 2013. In the meantime she will spend endless hours browsing Wikipedia in her pajamas as she eats corn flakes. (Or some other kind of bland breakfast cereal.)
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