When your debut novel is arguably one of the most successful YA novels of 2011, winning two Goodreads Choice awards including favourite book, the amount of pressure on your follow-up must be daunting. Insurgent thankfully delivers another addictive and compelling dystopian thrill.
Set immediately after the events of Divergent; Four, Tris, Marcus and Caleb and assorted other Abnegation refugees head to Amity HQ in the hopes of seeking out help against Erudite’s plans to crush the faction. I don’t want to spoil the plot events of Insurgent because it’s best to go into a novel like this cold in my opinion; I will say that we get a welcome insight into life in other factions. Tris’ experiences of Candor and Amity are examples of Roth’s overall detailed world building and by seeing them through Tris’ eyes, the reader is able to see the strangeness and differences between the factions. One of the most tense scenes in the novel demonstrates this and takes part in Candor HQ. I don’t want to spoil it as the book is released today, but all I will say is I approached the scene with dread and it tugged at my emotions.
Roth admirably does not use Four’s abusive background as a way to make him a sexy bad boy and much of his behaviour in Insurgent is dictated by his history and fears. One scene between Marcus and Four had me cringing, and I expect a lot of fellow readers may feel the same.
Fans of the romance between Tris and Four should be warned that this is not a romance. Yes, the characters do have some very cute scenes together, but this is a time of war, of conflict and Roth remembers that in times like these you probably don’t spend all your time snogging your boyfriend. Tris and Four’s relationship becomes complicated, but it had to; think about the end of Divergent!
The Divergent trait is explored a lot more in Insurgent and I found the exploration of this very interesting. Erudite are trying to find a way for their serums to effect Divergent and the chapters around that were chilling to read.
One character made me scream. One character kind of destroyed me a bit and left me in complete sympathy and shock for another character. There is a betrayal and I was surprised by it.
The ending is one that you will love or hate. For me, I admit it hooked me and I want- no, need- the next book, but I do dislike how the second book of a series always ends with an awful cliffhanger; Catching Fire and Pandemonium are two recent examples of the same ploy. I’m about to discuss the ending here, and while I’m trying incredibly hard to keep it spoiler free, please be aware there may be some spoilers or hints. felt the twist was somewhat predictable, however I’m incredibly interested to see where it is taken by Roth as it ties into the community as a whole and the mysterious outside world. I have to admit I spent part of the novel wondering if it might turn into some epic monster/zombie fest, but that may have just been me. There is a slight Forest of Hands and Teeth Vibe to Roth’s society’s mystery of beyond the border, but without spoiling it for you, the twist Roth elected to take was one I’m anticipating the development of and want to see where exactly Book Three will go.
Overall, if you liked Divergent, you will likely love Insurgent. For me, I did really enjoy it. It was accomplished, incredibly action-packed and every character was developed more and more throughout the novel. I’ve come out of Insurgent with a stronger awareness of Roth’s characters, world and satisfied from an exciting read. It may fall short of the hype for some and I can anticipate the ending will frustrate some readers, but for me the pros outweighed the cons and as as a fan of the predecessor, Insurgent delivered for me.
I received my copy ofInsurgent from Harper Collin’s Children’s Books (UK) in exchange for my review and as part of the ongoing InsurgentUK promotion. I am a member of the Abnegation faction and will be linking on twitter and a blog post here my teammates and faction leaders’ reviews and posts in the coming week. There have been some excellent promotional posts on twitter and Team Dauntless UK even did a fabulous blog tour, which as a selfless Abnegation member I am happy to tell you about!