Allegiant by Veronica Roth
I’ve finished the Divergent series and although I was a bit disappointed with how the last book was going, I think I changed my mind a bit with this book.
In this book we find that Tris and Tobias are mad at each other for all the things they did and didn’t tell each other, but a video has come to light. There are people outside of their city and they need to help of the Divergent, but the city divides into several sides. There is a side that wants to remain true to the faction system and they are led by Tobias’ father, Marcus. There is a side that wants to do away with the factions entirely which is led by Tobias’ mother Evelyn.
Plans are made to go outside the city walls, because no one is really a fan of that, no matter what side they are on. Both of the main sides want to stay in the city and work on their own darn problems. Tris, Tobias, and a few others make plans to leave the city. They rescue Tris’ brother Caleb on the way. When they get out they are met by a person who they thought was dead. Things start to get really interesting.
They are led to a very large building and are told it’s the Bureau of Genetic Welfare. They meet a man named David, who knew Tris’ mom. Apparently, Tris’ mom came from the Bureau. Things are explained. There was a war. People who committed crimes were genetically damaged so the Bureau was created to try to breed the violence out of the people. It would take many generations to see if they were correct.
Tris learns about people who live outside of the cities/experiments. These people are referred to as genetically damaged and live in the fringe of society without access to anything the people in the Bureau have. Tobias learns he’s not really Divergent. It’s just been careful thought and planning on his part to appear that he is Divergent. Tris on the other hand, is Divergent. She’s what the Bureau considers genetically pure.
Tobias aligns himself with a plan to get people from the fringe into the Bureau so they can take over. The plan fails, but Tobias is forgiven pretty easy because he’s genetically damaged and not held to the same type of standards that genetically pure people are held to. Tris is invited to join the council as the Bureau. Tris goes in as a double agent. When she learns what happens to experiments that aren’t going the way the Bureau likes, she knows she has to stop it. The Bureau’s plan is to mentally reset everyone in the city where Tris and Tobias came from. They make plans to take down the Bureau before the Bureau can take down the city.
What I liked
We’re talking about genetic modification and eugenics here, both have their purposes in some aspects, but are largely bad. I’m just going to come out and say they’re bad because they’re bad. It’s not wise to mess with the genetics of something without considering what the outcome may be. There is no possible way to know what would happen to a genetically engineered descendency line. Eugencis is also bad. It’s not a good idea to decide who and who doesn’t get to reproduce or try to breed certain characteristics out of the world. I like that this story illustrates the badness of these things.
I like that the story becomes a little more important in this installment. In the last installment I thought the whole thing was stupid. I was disappointed that everyone was fighting against everyone else and it seemed as if it was for nothing. Their pettiness was still stupid, don’t get me wrong, but I like how the goal became this bigger picture.
Genetics don’t make a person bad. People are themselves and have the right to make their own decisions and live without the intervention of a pesky government. Let’s Tea party! Not. I don’t mean all government is bad, I mean that the government and authority entities can overreach themselves and end up trying to control too many aspects of a person’s day-to-day life, like when the government says you can’t buy raw milk because it doesn’t like it or when a school sends a child home because their hairstyle is too extreme.
I think the ending, although kind of sad, was powerful. I think it made the battle mean all the more. I think it drove the point across even more. I think it wrapped up the severity of the battle.
What I didn’t like
“Do unto others before they do unto you,” is a messed-up version of the Golden Rule. The Golden Rule being, “Do unto others and you would have them do unto you.” Tris and Tobias did unto the Bureau before the Bureau could do unto the city. While this was effective, in the short-term, I think it has a lot of problems morally. What kind of a person are you if you spit in a person’s food before they spit in your food? You think it’s bad that they were going to spit into your food, but you know what, you went ahead and spit in their food anyway. You sank to their level. That’s what we like to call that. You were on the moral high-ground, but then you decided to come down to the low-ground for a visit before you went back up the high-ground to sleep off your hang-over from all the low-ground party-booze.
He’s a morally upstanding citizen, except for when XYZ is concerned. That’s the kind of situation we’re looking at. Oh they’re good, they’re courageous, but they did this terrible thing to these people this one time, but otherwise, they’re pretty nice; they sent my aunt a birthday card. This doesn’t make it ok. The actions completed by Tris and her cohorts, are not good actions.
Genetics do not make a person inferior, when you start thinking that, you start getting into eugenics and then we start seeing exterminations of peoples on the Earth just because they genetically have a certain characteristic. That is bad. That’s really bad. These losers think that murder was something you genetically did. You were a murderer because you were genetically predisposed to be a murderer. The only scenario where this might be possibly true is if you genetically inherited psychopathy. Psychopaths make good murderers, not that they’re all murderers, some are just really terrible people, but it’s a condition that can predispose itself to being a murderer, which is sad because there are people who actually try to live with this disease and be good people. See, even so, even if you have disease that might possibly in some small chance predispose you to chopping another person’s head off, you can still choose not to. You can choose to be a good person.
The thing is, people meddled in something they shouldn’t have meddled with and then they screwed themselves over, for a long, long time. You know what this reminds me of, it reminds of the tower of Babel. Great stories reflect themselves over and over again in the world. The people of Earth once all spoke the same language and decided in their oneness to build a tower to heaven. God was not pleased. The languages of everyone were confused from this point forward. There were now different languages. It would probably be a lot easier to get along with our foreign country buddies if we all spoke the same language, but if you believe the story, we messed that up a long time ago.
Seriously, it’s like the scenario where someone tells you not the touch the fire. Don’t touch it. It will burn you. Maybe you listen, but maybe you don’t and you touch the fire, now you have a nice scar on your hand. Sometimes, you’re just supposed to leave stuff alone. Leave it working the way it’s been working. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. I could go on.
I’m more pleased with the series than I thought I was going to be. It still has too many hallmarks exactly like all the other young adult books floating around these days, but it’s an interesting look at the world.
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Fiction, Finding Your Self, Mystery, Post Apocalyspe, Romantic Fiction, Roth-Veronica, Science Fiction, Social Commentary, Young Adult