Insurgent (aka Book #2 by Veronica Roth in the Divergent trilogy) is one of the most ambitious YA trilogies currently out there. Roth’s strength lies in her ability to imagine fully a world made up by and dependent on the existence of five factions: Dauntless, Candor, Erudite, Amity and Abnegation.
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.
Roth makes the world believable by instilling in each faction a very specific way of thinking, certain mannerisms and customs, so detailed and natural as to feel as normal as a Texan having a different accent than a Bostonian. I love how Roth is able to slip up seamlessly between the various factions and it’s in this second book that we really get a passport to the worlds outside of Dauntless and Abengation.
In this book, Tris experiences more internal strife. At times, you want to shake her, but I guess that’s the point. She and Four are ever-loyal, but on occasion untrusting of one another. A continuous shift between what each considers more important–their relationship or the world outside–keeps us guessing over the course of the story.
Roth clearly considers none of her characters too precious for severe consequences or–at worst–too precious to lose altogether. And it’s this feeling of “anything could happen to any character” that keeps the reader on board. Roth has a couple big reveals/surprises in store that makes the second installment a cut above many sophomore books in trilogies.
Overall, I still loved Divergent more than I did Insurgent, but I’ll certainly tune in for the final chapter–not to mention follow on pins and needles the casting decisions for the movie.
Team Shailene Woodley…anyone? anyone??