© 2013 Veronica Roth
Divergent ended in one caste of future-Chicago’s society attempting to wipe out another in a bid for power; Insurgent ended with the resistance mounting a counterattack on that caste’s headquarters. Tyranny gives way to tyranny, however, and soon our plucky heroes find themselves outside of Chicago altogether, venturing into the wilderness beyond it, through the shattered remnants of a world that once was. The finale to the Divergent series regains the first book’s strength, as Tris and the others finally find answers to questions that have only become more mysterious throughout the books. There are the usual action scenes, of course, and Roth’s characters grow up faster here than at any other time, having to make decisions with momentous consequences. As the overall story is finally revealed, Tris discovers that her city is the result of genetic engineering gone wrong, and Roth plays with the idea that certain kinds of power in human hands – the mind-control, the various serums that have been used, and the engineering – are wholly unwise. What is most striking about Allegiant, however, is not the world it creates or the issue it addresses, but the unexpected ending. I wouldn't have expected such boldness for a young adult novel, and it's sad yet faintly apropos.