Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Not Urgent

It's late and I was supposed to go to bed ages ago and work is CRAZY, but I wanted to share that I might not finish the book Insurgent, by Veronica Roth, which is a sequel to Divergent, which was slight but at least compelling in an action packed kind of way.

So at the beginning of this book, Tris and Four and their little band of misfits has just escaped the battle in the city toward the Amity compound.  While I remember the overarching story of the previous book, I remember almost none of the secondary characters or the complicated plot, so right off, I have very little idea what's going on.  How did Tobias's father end up with them?  And that violent jerk Peter?  But okay, whatever, let's follow along and see what happens.

But without the sort of shallow, straightforward training montage of the first book, this one just can't hold me.  Because none of this stuff makes any sense!  Only very rare, unusual people have this special brain chemistry that causes them to have more than one character trait.  No one can imagine a world in which people have multiple character traits.  This is extremely weak.  Those nasty Slytherins--I knew they were up to something!

And plot-wise, lots of very intelligent adults with lots on the line say, "Yeah, it's true that they broke into our homes and tried to kill lots of us, but you're just a kid, so whatever you advocate, no matter how sensible, we'll do the opposite."  Tris is angry that strangers are keeping secrets from her, when she's full of secrets herself.  It's just one dumb move on top of another, by everyone.  It's all angsty and mournful, and that would be fine if I could follow what the hell is going on, but they're all just fighting and breaking into each other's compounds and shooting each other with simulation serum, and it's boring boring boring.

This book and Crossed belong in the exact same category: the first book takes a not-quite-convincing future dystopia and tells a very simple, relatively enjoyable personal story.  In the second book, things get political and complicated and hard to follow and just ridiculous, and the plot holes pop up, and now I'm feeling very meh.  I don't think I'm going to finish.

Two notes before I go.  One: I maintain my firm conviction that the third book will be called Emergent, and I expect someone to congratulate me if I'm right.  Two: Brenda, my image is left-aligned.  Is it totally blowing your mind?

8 comments:

Aarti said...

Even if it wasn't urgent, I am so glad that you shared this review when you did!

I haven't read these books and don't really know if I want to. I DO want to read Cassandra Clare's series that I think starts with City of Bones? Or City of Ashes? City of something... people seem to rave about that series, and maybe I'd like it.

Linden said...

Yeah, I finished this one, but agree with your assessment. I can't say I even remember how it ended. Something happened that was supposed to be shocking, but wasn't, really. And I won't say more in case you do finish.

Lianna Williamson said...

Oh, damn. I thought the first one was entertaining enough, and have Insurgent on my TBR list. I'll probably bail-- although I actually did like Crossed. Well, maybe "liked" is too strong. I enjoyed reading it at the beacjh, and I'm willing to give the third one a whirl.

On the other hand, I loved Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, and then it took me MONTHS to read Pretties. I stubbornly refused to give up on it since I'd loved the first one, but gah. Without the big mystery of what the pretties were all about, both the story and the main character got silly, annoying, and boring.

Is there a YA trilogy curse?

Sarah said...

Ooh good. You not finishing it makes me feel at peace with not starting it. I didn't really like Divergent, even though it was a good read, and I'm pretty sure I won't like Insurgent, but it's so hard not to feel that the effort was wasted if you don't read 2 and 3 of a trilogy!

LibraryHungry said...

Darn, it just occurred to me that the third book could be called Convergent. That might work, too, depending where the plot goes. But I don't really care. I think I'm officially done.

Cassandra Clare, huh? Heard of, never read. I'm curious how pervasive this YA trilogy syndrome is.

Laurie C said...

Divergent was just OK, I thought, and I wasn't planning to go on to read the rest of the trilogy. I also thought it was very strange that people wouldn't all be divergent when taking tests like the ones described.

Rachel said...

The shock ending really WASN'T very shocking, was it? :)

Biblibio said...

Though I'll admit that Divergent entertained me while I was reading it, the whole plot, characterization and world building began to completely fall apart once I finished. And the more I thought about the book, the more it truly angered me. Your assessment of Insurgent seems to support my frustration - this is exactly the sort of mess I figured would happen in the sequels...