When I first read Divergent, I loved Four as a character, and then Allegiant came along and ruined it all. But still clinging to the idea of the character I had loved, I made the rather silly mistake of picking up the Four collection of stories from my local library. And then I made the even bigger mistake of reading them. Whoops.
So that’s why you get to read this review of each of the stories. Because it’s linked so heavily with the Divergent series, I’m afraid I can’t talk about this collection without massive spoilers for Divergent, Insurgent and Alliegant- so you have been warned.
Well this was interesting enough- I suppose saying I enjoyed seeing his relationship with his father in detail wouldn’t be quite right, but it was done well. The intensity was just right and it was not too heavy handed with the issue. I also liked the way Roth showed how conflicted he was about his decision. I thought that was even better than when Tris made her decision. Unlike Tris, he had a good reason to leave, so it wasn’t just about being true to himself- there were other emotions at play that made for a good story.
Rating: 4 bananas
I also liked this part, although it did go over old ground and wasn’t nearly as dramatic as Divergent. But it was good to see his relationship with Eric and Amar. My main issue with this part was that it reminded me how much I *hated* that Four was not supposed to be Divergent in Allegiant. Honestly, having read this story, I can’t see how it makes sense. He’s just as good at playing the system as Tris. And there’s no alternative explanation. Except that he was told what to expect by his father in the first one- but that doesn’t explain why he can manipulate the simulation, cos everyone else knows it’s not real too. Even more importantly, he shows signs of having more than one trait. He’s definitely got elements of Abnegation, Dauntless and even Erudite. If we’re supposed to believe (from Allegiant) that he’s brain damaged to only have one trait, then this doesn’t add up. I’m not saying I didn’t like this one, I’m just saying it makes Allegiant make even less sense.
Rating: 3 bananas
Gosh this part was pointless and unnecessary. It would have made so much more sense if Roth had just made it so Four did not know his mother was alive in Insurgent and found out when Tris did. That would have made for better reading. In terms of the writing, I felt like Four’s reaction went too quickly from shock and anger to acceptance and forgiveness- which was not good.
Rating: 2 bananas
I really did not enjoy this part. This made it seem like he knew wayyy more than he seemed to in the book. I mean, how could he know about the attack before it happened? How could Marcus have known and not done anything? Roth also didn’t need to include their reunion- again that would have been better without it. Also, it just went over old ground- and not in a good way. By this stage, I’ve also realised I do not like being in Four’s head. I don’t know why, but for some reason Roth makes his voice sound really robotic. Which I guess is my biggest problem with Roth’s treatment of Four in the books and in this collection- she just doesn’t do it justice.
Rating: 1 banana
Huh- looks like I’ve been docking bananas as I went along- that’s disappointing. Let’s end on a positive note then:
Isn’t he pretty? Also- on a more serious note- what do you think about Four? What do you think of what Roth did to his character?