Allegiant Ch1-2

And we’re going to be starting this thing I guess.

I had planned to use the lag period between last book and this one to work on these posts in advance, but I was non-contagiously sick and when I’m like that I like to play RPGmaker horror games, so like half of October is done now instead, and then I was super busy. And now I’m suddenly contagiously sick and even more miserable, but I’ve run out of month, so let’s crawl through this anyway.

 


Every question that can be answered must be answered or at least engaged. Illogical thought processes must be challenged when they arise. Wrong answers must be corrected. Correct answers must be affirmed.
—From the Erudite faction manifesto

As Star Trek taught me, “illogical” is codeword for “let’s hate on intellectualism” but while probably this is yet another strike against Erudite, it sounds pretty good to me. Especially right now after trawling through the internet for throat fixes. Did I ask for science-hating, all-natural ~crystals~ cures, Google? No. I did not. Sick people do not want to have to double check every suggestion to see if it’s actually helpful or only relevant if you’re trapped in the middle of nowhere or worse, actually counter-productive. I don’t care how many evil scientists with their “actual research and studies” got their unnatural cooties on something, I want something that works for more than five minutes.

Erudite all the way.

CHAPTER ONE
TRIS

I have a sinking feeling. We’re labelling chapter POV. Whenever that happens, it means multiple POVs. Whenever that happens, it means the book is shit.

Except Animorphs. But that’s because stuff actually happened in those books, so we actually needed POV switches because everyone got their own subplot in the mega books. I don’t have any hopes for that happening here.

Tris is confirming to Christina that she has no idea who the woman in the video is.

“Prior is—was—my father’s name, so it would have to be on his side of the family. But Edith is an Abnegation name, and my father’s relatives must have been Erudite, so . . .”

So is that where “Abnegation names” actually come from, the founders decided on them then assigned names to themselves based on what faction? Except that if this was far enough back that no one remembers them, then their names can’t have had much impact on what the names used in that faction are, since even if they, for no reason, thought this was important and insisted on naming their kids according to the pattern they decided, plenty of those kids would end up in different factions.

The only way this whole business works is if there’s a list of names you’re allowed to name the kids, so name marks your birth faction.

Except that’s insane because 1) faction before blood, why would they want to brand kids with a reminder of their birth faction and 2) Tris was shocked that her mom was Dauntless-born and her dad was Erudite-born, so clearly names do absolutely nothing to tip anyone off.

“So she must be older,” Cara says

“A few generations back. An ancestor.”

Except Tris is identified as second generation, and the faction system itself is under a hundred years old.

I guess maybe Tris is second gen divergent? But they seemed to have enough trouble nailing down that she was divergent at all, so figuring out her dead mom was seems a big stretch, and they certainly can’t confirm her long-dead grandparents were.

My ancestor, and this is the inheritance she passed to me: freedom from the factions, and the knowledge that my Divergent identity is more important than I could have known. My existence is a signal that we need to leave this city and offer our help to whoever is outside it.

So doesn’t look like we’re going to have anyone take a look around and realize they should maybe put their own house in order first. I mean, currently they’ve just come off one genocide and several attempted ones for a new coup that may involve still more genocide, after their society revolved around condemning a big chunk to slow starvation for no reason.

Apparently they’ve been there for days, but at least the factionless are willing to give them food and medical care, which we can be sure is way more than the factionless ever got from the factions. Tobias hasn’t come by and they’re not sure why. She says right before she was taken back to prison, she grabbed for him and he pushed her off but said to trust him.

I’m trying to trust him. But every part of me, every fiber and every nerve, is straining toward freedom, not just from this cell but from the prison of the city beyond it.
I need to see what’s outside the fence.

You know what would’ve been nice? Any interest in that in the past two books. It fits fine with her being Dauntless and it fits fine with her being divergent and yet she only cares now that last book’s ending told her to.

Next chapter is Tobias, who the author has just spent two ebooks showing she can’t write the POV of. Oh boy.

I CAN’T WALK these hallways without remembering the days I spent as a prisoner here, barefoot, pain pulsing inside me every time I moved. And with that memory is another one, one of waiting for Beatrice Prior to go to her death, of my fists against the door, of her legs slung across Peter’s arms when he told me she was just drugged.
I hate this place.

Is anything at all added by that final line?

I am admitted without question, because I bear the factionless symbol—an empty circle—on a black band around my arm and Evelyn’s features on my face. Tobias Eaton was a shameful name, and now it is a powerful one.

No, it was always a powerful one. First your dad was powerful and now your mom is powerful.

Also so the factionless are officially a faction I guess.

run my other hand over her hair, still surprised when her hair stops above her neck instead of below it. I was happy when she cut it, because it was hair for a warrior and not a girl, and I knew that was what she would need.

At least he’s still seeing her as someone strong. In that you remain tolerable, Tobias.

He fills them in about how his mom now rules with an iron first.

A few days ago she gave a speech about uniting against our oppressors, the people outside.”

See, that’s communist talk, and communists are evil. Instead, fight among yourselves for scraps, blaming your neighbor for the misery inflicted on you both by the rich and powerful. Fear those even worse off than yourself taking what little more you have.

“Evelyn—and a lot of people, actually—think we shouldn’t leave the city just to help a bunch of people who shoved us in here so they could use us later. They want to try to heal the city and solve our own problems instead of leaving to solve other people’s.

He then explains Evelyn only says this because she is evil and wants to rule as god-queen.

No one has yet pointed out that maybe their “problems” being a pile of murderd people means they are not that qualified to solve anyone else’s issues.

The second we leave, she loses her hold.”
“Great.” Tris rolls her eyes. “Of course she would choose the most selfish route possible.”

Of course, the actual most selfish route possible would be to let everyone who wants to leave out under the stipulation they never come back, thus ridding the city of all dissenters, but I understand that’s hard to figure out when everyone hates logical thought.

“She has a point.” Christina wraps her fingers around the vial. “I’m not saying I don’t want to leave the city and see what’s out there, but we’ve got enough going on here. How are we supposed to help a bunch of people we’ve never met?”

Yes the not knowing the other people is clearly the real sticking point and not the fact this experiment of trying to rekindle a moral sense was an utter failure and the fact you don’t even seem to get that just proves the point further.

My watch reads three o’clock. I’ve been here too long—long enough to make Evelyn suspicious. I told her I came to break things off with Tris

Did the book mention Evelyn is evil? Maybe you don’t understand she’s evil yet. She’s evil, by the way.

Tobias then explains they’re all going to go on trial using truth serum, which has no real tension given Tris can divergent her way out of that and also makes no sense given if enough of Candor is left to provide the serum enough is left to know the truth serum can’t be trusted for divergents.

“Convicted as traitors?” Tris scowls. “How is revealing the truth to our entire city an act of betrayal?”
“It was an act of defiance against your leaders,” I say. “Evelyn and her followers don’t want to leave the city. They won’t thank you for showing that video.”

Still no explanation for why people who just pulled off a coup wouldn’t love for everyone not into their rule to run off.

“They’re just like Jeanine!”

Yes, there’s definitely some consistent issues with women in power, aren’t there?

I don’t want to say so, but part of me agrees with my mother. I don’t owe the people outside this city anything, whether I am Divergent or not.

Of course, you also said she doesn’t actually think that and just finds it convenient, but hey, why should we expect consistency within a chapter?

Luckily, Tobias is still totally in favor of leaving anyway because he just wants out, so no conflict there and no worries someone might actually make a valid argument for not going.

“I’ll get Evelyn to let you testify first, of the three of you,” I say. “All you have to do is come up with a lie that will exonerate both Christina and Cara, and then tell it under truth serum.”

“Because we are indeed that fucking stupid that we wouldn’t think to interrogate all of you to see if the stories match, or even if one of you was just mistaken about the others.”

Tobias also reminds us he’s still juuuust a bit bitter about all the lying she did last book. But then he also tells us he loves her a lot and they kiss, so maybe we’re done with this plot.

12 Comments

  1. Betty Cross says:
    One of my problems reading Allegiant is that the narrative voice of the Tris chapters and of the Tobias chapters is the same, which wouldn’t be a problem if both POV characters were written in the 3rd person, but they are both written in 1st. Many reviewers on Goodreads and divergentfans.com have complained that it’s hard to keep track of which chapters belong to whom. I agree. If she’d made it 3rd, all the way through, the narrative voice would be the author’s voice and there would be no problem.
    2
    1. Reyna says:
      Honestly, unless done right, POV-switches only really work in 3rd person.

      There was one YA book not too long ago that did well with two 1st person narrators, but for the life of me, I can’t remember the name.

      1
      1. Cysha says:
        Most of Jodi Picoult’s novels seemed to have mastered first person switches. But not only is she the only author I’ve seen do this well, she doesn’t write YA.

        It’s really a tricky form, and not all authors can do it. The Uglies series, while having its problems, tended to be a little better constructed (if memory serves) than many because it used third person limited. We could get in a character’s head, but the narrative style didn’t have to switch and we weren’t forced to flip back to the start of the chapter to see which character we were focusing on. (It also was one of the better YAs out there, simply becuase the author did some research.)

        1. Reyna says:
          Oh, Picoult. Nearly forgot about her. Even though the forgotten YA novel wasn’t by her, she’s still one of the few writers out there capable of 1st person POV switches. Not a fan of her writing ( too cliched), but she’s good with varied voices.
      2. Betty Cross says:
        The Legend series by Marie Lu had two 1st person POV characters. Different type faces distinguished them. It’s a good series, but this was one of its problems. Once again, both First Persons sounded exactly alike.
        1. September says:
          Legend was a good series, but I went off it because apparently one of the authors favourite books is Unwind(as in awfully characterised pro-life propaganda Unwind). So now I just keep thinking up similarities between the series…
        2. Reyna says:
          Didn’t help that the guy’s POV was suffocated with bad future slang. That was just about the only thing helping me differentiate the switch. That and the font color change.
    2. Farla says:
      Admittedly, it’s really hard to write with different voices. But it wouldn’t be such a problem if they weren’t hanging out in the same places and reacting to the same things.
      1
  2. Eilonwy_has_an_aardvark says:
    In pursuit of what “second generation” ought to mean to Tris, I went looking for canon on how long she would believe the factions had existed — and came up dry. Both the places where I thought it was mentioned and a text search of ebook versions got me nothing more specific than “decades,” and the Divergent wiki doesn’t say.

    Unless people have children really late and/or have short lifespans, Tris should have realized her parents were both faction transfers just because she didn’t have grandparents and other kids did. If childbearing starts at 30, maximum lifespan needs to be no more than about 65 for it to be normal that none of her peers have grandparents.

    (Needless to say, I have a spreadsheet with population modeling for my dystopia. The results affected plot outline, since I’d unthinkingly followed the usual path of having “the entire community” gather for major events, and in a city of 100,000, that’s not feasible.)

    1
    1. Farla says:
      I’m pretty sure no one lives long. Tris makes a big deal of how there are no old Dauntless particularly, but we never hear of any sixty+ people around in the other factions. What she’s probably actually noticing is Dauntless just has no infirm people so the older people still there look younger and healthier, while Abnegation and the rest probably have some fifty year olds with bad knees and grey hair. We don’t even hear about old factionless, and even assuming the used to just die, the Abnegation have started feeding them while the Dauntless haven’t stopped kicking out their elderly, so there should be sixty year olds there and yet no mention of them.

      If we assume mortality starts at forty, then some kids would have grandparents and others wouldn’t. Add to the fact it’s not socially acceptable to talk about their origins, and maybe half the kids have no grandparents, no one talks about why, and the occasional death means the kids assume it’s all old age deaths and never a faction transfer.

  3. Kaze says:
    “As Star Trek taught me, ‘illogical’ is codeword for ‘let’s hate on intellectualism’ ”

    “Whenever [multiple POV] happens, it means the book is shit.”

    Please don’t stop reviewing things, Farla. This is great. Too great. The world is not ready for this.

    1. Betty Cross says:
      Except for my first novel, I’ve found multiple points of view necessary to make clear what’s going on. I just don’t use multiple first persons.

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