Happy Halloween everyone! Hope you have something fun and spooky planned for this evening!
Before I get started, I just want to say that this review will be spoiler free. There are many people who I know read this blog who are big fans of this series and who haven’t had a chance to read Allegiant yet. I was accidentally spoiled on Twitter right before reading the end of the book and, while it didn’t ruin it completely for me, it certainly changed the experience. So no spoilers here, and no spoilers allowed in the comments. Any comments containing spoilers will be deleted. You have been warned.
Now on to the review.
It’s hard to really talk about plot points without spoilers, so I will just say that this book picks up right where Insurgent left off. We do get to see what’s on the other side of the gate (which was nothing like what I expected) and we do get to find out a little bit about what’s been going on in the rest of the world (since before we could only see Tris’s city, Chicago). The closest thing to a spoiler I will say is that there was a character death that is a bit shocking. That’s all I’m going to say about the plot.
Now, here’s what I thought of the book as a whole. I enjoyed reading it, although I thought the middle got a bit repetitive and long winded. It tied up the loose ends, which is what you want the final book in a trilogy to do. I will agree with a lot of the detractors when I say that I thought this was the weakest book in the series. To be honest, I thought the first book was excellent, and then they started going a bit downhill. That’s not to say that this was not a good book! It was good, don’t get me wrong, just not as good as Divergent was.
But here’s what I really want to discuss today, and that has been the horrific reactions of other people reading Allegiant. There are some people out there who are taking this to such extremes as threatening to punch Veronica Roth in the face if they saw her walking down the street. There have apparently also been DEATH THREATS! These are people who claim to be fans of her work, who are so disappointed in the final installment of the series, they are making Roth’s life hell right now.
Really, people? Really?
First off, I completely understand feeling a deep connection with a series of books. I get that. And I understand being devastated when a beloved character dies. Trust me, the final Harry Potter book almost sent me into therapy. But here’s the deal – authors are not responsible for your happiness. They aren’t responsible for you at all. They have a story that they want to tell, and that’s it. Do you know what else? They are not REQUIRED to write it. They are giving us these stories to love and enjoy and, while we are perfectly within our rights to not like it, there is no reason at all to attack an author personally. None at all.
For example, I have said, both on this blog and on Bibliophiles Anonymous, that I really did not enjoy The Magicians by Lev Grossman. Fine. End of story. I didn’t like it. No big deal. I’ll just go read something else. I would never say that Grossman is untalented – he’s a very good writer over all and there were parts of the book and story world that I really liked. And this is the only book of his that I have read, so maybe there’s something else he’s done that I would like better. But that’s on me, not on him. I didn’t like this book, but other people did. Okay. Fair enough. That’s how the world works. We all have different opinions and different things that we like and dislike. That’s okay. I would NEVER even THINK of attacking him personally or making threats, just because I thought that Quentin was a jerk in the book. That doesn’t even make sense to me!
Do you know what happens when you push an author like this? Sometimes they decide to stop giving you all the fun stuff that you want. This happened with Mercedes Lackey when people started going insane with her Diana Tregarde series. SHE STOPPED WRITING THEM. Now all the fans who liked her series have to suffer because a smaller group of people, who again claimed to be fans of her work, decided to severely misbehave.
Unfortunately, the Internet makes this a bigger problem because we feel so anonymous out here. You aren’t making comments to a flesh and blood person with real feelings, you’re making comments to a blog post or a Twitter feed. I doubt that most people would say any of these things to Veronica Roth’s face, just because it’s harder to do that sort of thing in person, even though it’s easy to type on a keyboard.
That’s all I really wanted to say, which isn’t really a review of the book so much as a review of the reactions to the book. I still thought it was important to say though. Here are a few links to articles if you want to hear more about this. I’ll let you know which ones have spoilers, but if you don’t want to be spoiled, I would avoid the comments sections on these if I were you. Just to be on the safe side.
Bibliofiend article (no spoilers, plus bonus Tweets from John Green and Maureen Johnson): http://bibliofiend.com/2013/10/24/veronica-roth-briefly-responds-to-allegiant-backlash-other-authors-come-to-defense/
Veronica Roth’s official response on her blog (spoilerific, so read at your own risk): http://veronicarothbooks.blogspot.com/2013/10/about-end-of-allegiant-spoilers.html
Flavorwire article (spoilers ahoy!): http://flavorwire.com/421731/readers-reactions-to-allegiant-are-an-online-fandom-horror-story/
Please let me know if you’ve read Allegiant yet and what you thought. Remember, out of respect for those who haven’t read it yet, no spoilers in the comments here. Let’s give it a few weeks before we talk details, shall we?