- Allegiant by Veronica Roth
The highly anticipated conclusion to Roth’s Divergent series follows Dauntless heroes Tris and Tobias as they make their way out of the walled city of Chicago to the Bureau of Genetic Welfare, where they discover the legacy of genetic tampering that led to the faction-based society that has ruled Chicago for generations. The city is one of the Bureau’s greatest experiments and a successful one at that, with the factions providing the social conditioning needed to supplement genetic predispositions. Now that the factions have fallen apart, however, Chicago is under siege from both within and without. Tobias’ mother, the leader of the factionless, is about to start a war with the newly formed Allegiant group within the city while the Bureau is considering wiping the memories of Chicago’s residents in an attempt to reset the experiment. The plot is believably complex, and Roth makes the wise decision in this last installment to reveal the secrets early on and let the focus fall on her characters as they grapple with this new reality, the choices that face them, and the repercussions of their actions. Tris shares narration with Tobias, and the dual perspective makes this a less action-intensive outing than the previous books but rewards readers with a fuller, more complete picture of both the world and its inhabitants. The relationship between Tris and Tobias is sorely tested, battered and bruised as it is by the lies they must tell in order to survive, and while the ardent lust of their affection is still there, it is tempered now with new notions of love, forgiveness, and sacrifice. In the end, this is a world replete with loss, and the heroes must suffer their own in a twist that will break the hearts of many readers but stays true to the merciless dystopia that Roth has created.