I actually liked it!
27 December, 2013
Insurgent is an engaging sequel to Divergent, where the society is divided into several factions. It follows where the other book left off, so a recap was necessary if you haven't read the book in a while.
Tris and Tobias are on a train following the aftermath of the end of Divergent. The Erudite have broken out into a war on the Abnegation and it's up to the Dauntless loyals to stop them from controlling every faction. They meet up with friends and foes along the way, and it turns into an all-out political war between the rest of the factions.
As with any great debut, I find many of us had high expectations when it came to Insurgent. While I enjoyed the book, I think it tried too hard to be like Hunger Games 2 & 3, setting up a political backlash for an undoubtedly explosive finale. While Divergent had an extremely tight knit plot, as it focused on Tris and her initiation into the Dauntless, halfway through this one I still wasn't sure where the plot was going.
There was a large focus on the secondary characters (view spoiler) and I had a hard time recalling who many of them were, especially since they did not receive a big focus from the first one. In this one, Tris also struggles with the guilt and mourning left from the aftermath of the first book, and it affects her relationship with Four. She's definitely not in a happy place, and it's apparent throughout this book.
However, Insurgent definitely brings about some deeper insights, as did Divergent. It flirts with the possibility of living without factions, and as Tris herself thought "How will we know what to do without factions?" The glimpses of the world built within Insurgent appear here and there, and by the end of the book, we're left with a lot of questions.
What each faction values also appears to be their Achilles heel; while the Dauntless may be brave they are also brawn without brains, while the Amity are peaceful they do nothing to prevent the war when it starts breaking out, and while the Erudite are smart they do not have the ability to act without thinking.
My feelings are that Insurgent was great for showing more about the fascinating world that Roth has created, and setting up the last in the trilogy, but it is not as well-focused as Divergent. I found it enjoyable, and no doubt look forward to the concluding book.
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