Insurgent, by Veronica Roth. Katherine Tegen Books (Harper Collins), May 2012.
Insurgent is the sequel to Divergent and picks up Tris Prior’s story immediately where the first book left off. Tris, Tobias (Four), and the other Dauntless members who have not allied with the Erudites after the massacre of the Abnegation faction seek shelter with other factions, trying to find a place to regroup and recover. But Jeanine, the Erudite leader, and the Dauntless “traitors” give them no peace. One by one, their potential allies fall away until the only remaining option is to join forces with the previously despised Factionless.
Insurgent is a book about secrets and their revelation. Tris and Tobias both carry secrets that threaten their relationship. Yet everything may hinge on their ability to trust each other. More secrets about both of their families are revealed. And Tobias’ abusive father, Marcus, hints that there is an even greater secret known to the leaders of Abnegation. A secret about the Divergent. A secret so shocking that Jeanine and her co-conspirators will resort to mass mind control and brutal annihilation of an entire faction to prevent its revelation.
Insurgent is also a book about the emotional toll of warfare. Tris is wracked by guilt for having had to kill her friend Will. She is torn between despair at all those who have died and the desire to carry on their resistance efforts. Other Dauntless members face their own demons as a result of the murders they committed while under control of the Erudite simulation. Tobias must come to terms with the aftermath of his harsh childhood. In the end, Tris will need the attributes of all three factions for which she has an aptitude – the courage of Dauntless, the logical thinking of the Erudite and the selflessness of Abnegation – as she struggles to choose her course of action.
So often the middle book of a trilogy is almost a place holder between the set up of the first book and the climax of the final one. Insurgent is not one of those books. Rather, it brings the conflict from Divergent to its climax while revealing information that sets up a surprising new direction for the next volume. The one thing Insurgent does not do is recap the events of Divergent. Those who have not read the first book will be confused and frustrated as they attempt to follow the fast-paced action and plot twists of Insurgent. But if you haven’t read Divergent yet, what are you waiting for?
This review also appeared on the Central Rappahannock Regional Library’s Shelf Life blog on May 14, 2012.
- Divergent – Veronica Roth (bridgetsbooks.wordpress.com)
- Did you catch today’s Insurgent trailer? (thebookhookup.com)
- Divergent: The Next Hunger Games? (theprepcrew.wordpress.com)