Allegiant is a very powerful book. It pushes limits, breaks hearts and always, always makes you think. It is much more complex than most young adult novels in its challenges of what is logical versus what is right. The characters are infinitely human, neither heroes nor villains, at least not fully.
Tobias reveals vulnerabilities I never would have guessed he had, and yet, they were completely believable and right for his personality and past. I loved that half of the novel was told from his point of view; the darkness and desperation he fights against were so intense it hurt my heart.
Tris’ side is less complicated and she doesn’t change as much as Four, but her coming to terms with her family, living and dead, strengthened her character in subtle but significant ways. She gains a deeper understanding of things, which in turn gives the reader a deeper understanding of the characters and their motivations.
While I loved so many things in this book, the writing didn’t really pop as much as the previous novels, at least not for me and not in the beginning. At first it felt like a lot of exposition as a hundred new things had to be explained all at once. This might have been necessary, but it was also kind of awkward. Towards the middle it gained more intensity and the pace picked up, and by the end I was on the edge of my seat. Crying.
The end was perfect. Heroic and sad and beautiful and unexpected and so very, very brave. Not just on the characters’ parts, but on the author’s as well. She took a unique path that, upon the arrival of the last page, made the whole trilogy fall perfectly into place. It was an ending that left me recalling earlier scenes with an ‘Oh’ of revelation that it was all leading to this.
This novel is a worthy addition to any bookshelf.