Allegiant really did break my heart. Both because of the ending and the book in general. The Divergent trilogy is one of those series that you either love or hate. I loved it…up until Allegiant.
As soon as I realised that the book was written from the dual perspectives of Tris and Four, I knew Tris was going to get her ass killed. I’ve read Roth’s blog post on why the ending happened the way it did – http://veronicarothbooks.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/about-end-of-allegiant-spoilers.html – and I understand what she was trying to achieve but she could of had a great ending using Caleb and having him die. This would have allowed him to redeem himself and not be remembered as just a spineless Erudite traitor and also given the reader the ‘happily ever after’ with Tris and Four.
Speaking of Four, what the hell happened to him in this book? All through the trilogy he has been the strong one, helping Tris to see that she can be both Dauntless and Abnegation and then in Allegiant he does a 180 degree flip. We see him have breakdown after breakdown. Daddy issues, identity crisis after he finds out he’s not divergent, finding out he’s genetically damaged and not knowing what to do with his “considerable capacity to kill”. He goes behind Tris’s back and takes part in a rebellion with Nita that ends up killing Uriah. This last stunt adds a guilty conscience to all of Four’s other issues and causes a huge problem with Tris. All through the book they’ve argued over the same thing – Four asks Tris for advice and then doesn’t take it and ends up being up the proverbial without a paddle. Does he learn? No. This happens several times.
The focus in Allegiant switches from faction issues to genetics issues. We find out the the ‘Chicago Experiment’ along with a few others dotted around the country was created to try and produce humans without undesirable characteristics such as selfishness and cowardice and that’s why the factions were created. They hoped that a few generations down the line, all of the bad stuff would have been removed from the gene pool. Now, I only did GCSE level biology, but I’m pretty sure that ‘bad’ genes can be passed down just as easily as ‘good’ ones. This is one of many plot holes in Allegiant. Another being Evelyn. I just don’t understand how, after hating Marcus for however many years and hating the faction system, she can just suddenly decide that she wants to make peace because she realises she love her son. Did she not before? Did it take Four confronting her with the memory serum for her to discover her maternal instincts? It just doesn’t add up.
The book ends a while after Tris’s death with Four scattering her ashes and we also get told a little about Peter, Christina, Caleb and a few others. I had managed to maintain a British stiff upper lip over Tris’s death until we hear Four’s thoughts at the end of the book. While he’s still mourning her, he seems to be more accepting of her death and thinks to himself, ‘A fire that burns that bright is not meant to last.’ This sentence broke me!
I’m still angry at Roth for Tris’s death. It wasn’t a noble death. It was a pointless death. She put herself in Caleb’s place because he was going to die to redeem himself, and this, to her was apparently the wrong reason. She says to the apparition of her mother, ‘Am I done now?’. This, to me, is her giving up. She loves Four so much but in the end just lets herself die, knowing the effect it would have on him. Selfish. And no, Tris, asking Caleb to tell Four that you ‘didn’t want to leave him’ won’t help because your actions just completely contradicted that statement.
I know this post makes me seem more angry than broken hearted about Allegiant, and I am angry. Really angry. But I’m more upset at what could have been. I didn’t get the ending I wanted and I know from the reviews on Goodreads that I’m not the only one who feels this way. The main thing that breaks my heart though, is that Tris and Four didn’t get the ending that they deserved.