Divergent – Divergent Trilogy Book 1
I am not sure if there is something wrong with me or not, but I find myself being pulled to titles in the young adult, dystopian, science fiction genre(s) as of late. My fanaticism started with zombies so this then would seem to be the natural progression of audiobook tastes, right? Maybe it is the female protagonist with underlying hints of anger, ignorance, purity, and sexual frustration that I am attracted to, in audiobooks that it. Reading reports that Summit Entertainment has already purchased the movie rights to Divergent series and hearing statements that Divergent is the next Hunger Games made me unable to stop thinking about this audiobook, seeking to be transported and engulfed by fantastical story.
While I feel that Divergent is nothing like the Hunger Games, I do see the similarities. Both have a strong willed female protagonist who struggle to be with the man that they love, both take place in a dytopian “future”, both could be said to have games or trails that they most overcome and both are great stories. I found the first half of Divergent to be somewhat slow moving, a lot of back story and information. Not sure if it was all needed at once, it was needed to understand all of the different factions of people. As with many of these types of audiobooks there is only one city left in the United States, in Divergent it is the ruins of Chicago. I found myself wondering how Chicago became the last stronghold of humans or if it just appeared that way. I could not stop listening after the halfway point, becoming aggravated when my co-workers or phone would interrupt me. Divergent makes a great stand alone story, however I am very glad that I can get more, I need to know what happens from here.
As with many audiobook narrators that I listen to, it took me a while to fully enjoy Emma Galvin’s narration. Only to find that Galvin is the only one I could see delivering the jaw dropping, the subtle and not so subtle emotional roller coaster ride that is Divergent with ease. My only criticism is that at times I found it difficult to differentiate the characters by voice alone. Galvin delivers in Divergent and I am finding it difficult to not buy the next book in the series today.
In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue – Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is – she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are – and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves…. or it might destroy her.
Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series – dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.
©2011 Veronica Roth (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers
Audible Editor Reviews
It is a very rare thing to witness the beginning of a writer’s career and know without a doubt that the first little book is going to launch a worldwide craze, a la J.K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer. Such is the terrifying yet enviable position of Veronica Roth, who sold this debut novel to a HarperCollins imprint before she even finished college. She also sold the film rights to Summit Entertainment, owner of the Twilight film saga, on the strength of pre-publication buzz alone. The first in a planned series, Divergent is beyond question the best thing to happen to young adult literature in a very long time. More realistic than Harry Potter and less moony-eyed than Twilight, Roth has crafted a world and a protagonist that are easily engrossing and definitely worthy of our long-term attention.
Part of the credit for such charm belongs to narrator Emma Galvin, herself somewhat a newcomer. The young upstart has already garnered praise for her interpretations of Winter’s Bone, the first book spin-off from the Glee television series, and Stephenie Meyer’s recent novella. Galvin is genuinely edgy and emotive, not a trace of sugar to be found in the dialogue or her rendering of it. She captures the bold but conflicted spirit of the main character, Tris, with convincing personality and a real sensibility for the fast-pacing learning curve into which Tris launches the year she turns 16. After being raised in a clan whose primary characteristic is its devotion to selflessness, Tris defects, choosing a life of bravery from among the five factions that comprise her dystopic Chicago. She must pledge the faction, and go through several rounds of training eliminations before becoming a true Dauntless.
Tris is a complex, down-to-earth character with a lot of soul searching to do — in a clan where hobbies include jumping from moving trains and tossing knives at small objects resting on the heads of friends, and there are no second chances. Veronica Roth has built a remarkable situation with strong potential for a longevity that will remain fresher than the sum of its parts, and Emma Galvin has this bull of a new series firmly by the horns. This book is confidently going places far beyond the fanatical mindlessness of young adult marketing, and in a hot minute, grownups will not have to feel one iota of shame for having fallen in love with it alongside their less discerning teenagers. —Megan Volpert
Audiobook downloaded from Audible.com