Divergent #3
by Veronica Roth
Science Fiction
* * * Stars (Pretty good)

After revealing Edith Prior’s message to the Divergent – to find out what lies beyond the city’s borders – Tris and some others who are unhappy with Evelyn Eaton’s tyranny (she and the Factionless have disbanded the faction system and forbidden anyone to leave) make their escape. They expect to find people who need their help, but instead, they find a group of government scientists who have been studying them and learn they have been unknowing participants in a multi-generational genetic experiment to return the human genome to its former “pure” state. The more Tris and the others learn about the Genetically Pure and the Genetically Damaged, the more uneasy they are – especially Tobias, who has been tested and found to be wanting. Does that make him less of a person? That is what many people believe. Tensions are high, too, within the city, as the Factionless face down the “Allegiant” (a group that wants a different kind of change). When Tris uncovers the government’s plan to “reset” the entire city (erasing their memories with a special airborne serum), she and Tobias come up with a desperate plan of their own. Although this is called “Allegiant,” it focuses more on the small, vagabond group of Divergent survivors that makes its way outside of the city. Tris and Tobias’ relationship is tested by the new information they all must process and the stresses of their new environment. Their hopes for a new home and a new purpose are almost immediately dashed when they discover that their talents/services aren’t actually needed. The people who really need them are back in the city. Prejudice and serums run rampant in this final installment, and fans of the previous two books may be vehemently opposed to the trilogy’s ending. As Tobias puts it: There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself, or for someone else. Sometimes it involves giving up everything you have ever known, or everyone you have ever loved, for the sake of something greater. But sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain, and the work of every day, the slow walk toward a better life. (p. 509)

Reviewed by YA Librarian