Just Finished Reading: Insurgent by Veronica Roth (FP: 2012)
After the Erudite coup and the defeat of the Dauntless resistance led by Four (Theo James in the 2015 movie adaptation) and Tris (Shailene Woodley) the rag-tag band are on the run and hiding out in Amity planning their next move. Soon forced on they make a break for it and stumble upon a group planning for a counter-assault on Erudite – but not one any of them had imagined: The Factionless which an even more unimaginable leader, someone Four knows very well indeed. But they need much more than that to be successful against the plans of Jeanine (Kate Winslett). They need the loyal members of Dauntless and they need one more thing – anyone who is Divergent.
I think I actually enjoyed this movie even more than the first film in the series (the third was honestly terrible and there’s no great surprise that the fourth film never even made it into production). So you can imagine that I was looking forward to finally reading the book. After the first book had been realised on screen with whole scenes cut from one medium into the other I was expecting something similar – with the added depth and background often provided by the space available in a novel. But after a promising start (with lots of little details not seen in the movie – including the fact that Amity literally drug their people into happiness!) the plot began to wander and muddled. I struggled to get it back into focus although this was hardly helped by comparing the novel to the movie every step of the way. Tris was a lot angrier in the book as well as a lot younger than in the film. Her brother was still ultimately a traitor but nowhere near as craven as he was portrayed in the movie. Marcus played a more central role in the book drip feeding Tris and the readership as to the ‘secret’ information that Erudite wanted to stop becoming common knowledge. But there was much less emphasis on the power of Divergence except as a perceived danger to Erudite’s master plan. Some of the movies pivotal scenes did come from the book but in different form and in a different sequence. People who died in the movie survived in the book and so on. It was all a bit confusing although on average I thought that the movie had a smoother and better realised plot. A straight translation just wouldn’t have worked on the big screen.
Saying all that this wasn’t a bad book at all. It was a fast enough read and had some facts and pointers which helped to explain the Faction system and the underlying motivations of some of the characters – especially Peter – which didn’t come across in the film. Overall if you enjoyed the film you should enjoy the book too. Just be aware that it’s rather different in places. Reasonable. This was the last of my movie related novels and it’s been an interesting experience. More books into movies to come. Next up – after a one book ‘filler’ is my last Random 10 for quite some time…..