*warning: there are NO spoilers for this book but there may be some for Divergent (the first book in the series) as this is a review of a sequel*
I am writing this review having just finished Insurgent. Normally I wait a day or so and process my thoughts for a review but Insurgent doesn’t seem the sort of book to allow me to do that. Right from the start, Insurgent epitomised the word ‘tense’. Nothing is safe or stable in Tris’s world which is just how it should be in a good dystopia.
When I say tense, I mean it. Having been introduced to the world of factions in Divergent, Roth doesn’t let us relax in it, she tears up all the rules she set down right away (in a good, dramatic way, not in a plot-holey way).
What really worked for Insurgent and for its role as a sequel and the middle book in what I presume is a trilogy, is that the character development was great without bypassing the action and plot. Roth makes you feel just about every emotion throughout this book and her descriptions are spot on. Reflective but not overly so, allowing for pace but still with an overall development. In my review of Divergent I said I really like Tris and what I loved was that she doesn’t change in Insurgent. Roth really has a firm grip on who Tris is rather than letting her be moulded by others or be a vague heroine.
I also want to mention that the lack of a love triangle is GREAT! I’m not going to lie, I am a fan of love triangles but they’re fast becoming a cornerstone of every YA fantasy and it’s refreshing that Roth has enough plot strands and drama lined up for Tris and Tobias without inserting the obligatory third-wheel-will-she-won’t-she character.
I appreciated the ending too, satisfying but setting up nicely for the next book. The scope was definitely widened which promises an exciting third book.
Its not often I prefer a second book. I think most people would agree that second/middle books are often pretty dull or don’t stand out on their own. Divergent is good but Insurgent is really good.
Rating - **** 4 stars.