May 09, 2012

INSURGENT: Faction before blood...Wa-bam!

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

I have to admit, I got sort of caught up in the Insurgent madness. I had read Divergent, by the lovely and insanely talented Veronica Roth, and really loved the concept of the book. Insurgent was on my pre-order list and then the Twittersphere took off… I “Liked” the Divergent page on Facebook and did the little aptitude test to see what faction I would be in. Though I honestly think I would be Divergent (read possible ADHD or some-such), the dooflotchy told me I was Dauntless. Okay, I will take that. Dauntless fits, with a peppering of Amity and Erudite.

When Insurgent finally arrived, I was so super excited. I had to find out what Tris was going to do and how Four would help her. I had so many questions at the end of Divergent and now I would get some answers. And I did! Well, kind of.

Insurgent takes you deeper into the cluster-fudge that is known as Chicago (once upon a time). The factions are crumbling, whether they will admit it or not, and nobody is safe from anyone. Betrayal is the soup du jour sidled up next to that manipulation sandwich you’re eating. Friendships are not what they once were, family can (and will) be your worst enemy, trust is non-existent, loyalties are tested, and love will be a casualty of war if you’re not careful. In short…a rollercoaster of a book.

In the last several days, I have seen several reviews talking of large plot holes. Granted, I do have questions regarding some of the avenues taken in Insurgent, but I am patient enough to keep them to myself until the next book. There has been mention of Tris’ shoulder and how she never seemed to heal… Do you have any idea how long it takes for a gunshot wound to heal? A long freakin’ time. We are talking in months here people, so yeah, I bet Tris still has probs with a hole in her shoulder, possible cracked or shattered bone, torn muscle and tendons… A long time peeps. The pace of Insurgent suggests that a lot of the action happens over several days to a couple weeks and that is not enough time to heal from a GSW. Jus sayin.

Let’s get to the characters.

Tris. Our girl is having issues. Some reviewers had issues with her whining in Insurgent. Meh. I don’t really see it that way. Sure, she is kind of a broken record over the horrible things she has done, but she is not superwoman. She is Tris. Yeah, she chose Dauntless, but Tris is Tris. She is not Marlene or Lynn or even Tori! She is Tris, an Abnegation girl who has killed people who meant something to her. If you have a problem with her erratic sort of ‘woe is me’ demeanor, then I urge you to look up PTSD. Here, I will help you. Anything look familiar? But Tris is in hell, quite literally. She is hanging on by a thread through most of the book and is struggling with who she is, what she is becoming, and all the demons that haunt her thoughts.

Four. Our beloved Tobias. He’s not in much better shape than Tris. In Divergent, Four was this pillar of strength that was always riding Tris’ ass getting her to push harder. That part of Four is still there, kinda, but he has his own demons to keep at bay. You know those four fears he has? Yeah, those? Well, he has to face one in Insurgent. In real life, not the fear landscape, and to say it rocks his world is an understatement. Some have commented that Four has lost his edge, that he is not the same guy in Insurgent. True enough, but neither would you be if one of the four things you feared (and probably the most fearsome) became suddenly very real, very live and in color. It would change who you are. But he is coming into his own and I feel an even stronger Tobias in the making...

For me, Insurgent was very much like what a second book should be. It’s crazy, there are more questions, sometimes the pace is erratic, you can feel the build-up like being wrapped in a wool sweater during sweltering Tennessee summers, and by the end you are slightly breathless and exhausted. I like this…a lot. I tells me that Book 3 will be a great close for an already great series. The final act brings us all in and ties up all the craziness we get in Book 2.

I thoroughly enjoy the world that Veronica Roth has built with Divergent and now Insurgent. It’s gritty and messy and full of conflict. Now if I only have the patience to wait for Book 3 and not bite my nails to nubs. Slim at best…

Did Insurgent rock my world? Hells to the YEAH! 8.OH Baaaaby!

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