Hi everyone! We’ve reached the end of my Divergent series review! Today will be the final book and movie installment for Allegiant.
If you missed the first two reviews, you can find them by click the title, Divergent and Insurgent. I hadn’t planned on doing reviews for the whole series, I was originally only going to do it for Divergent but it was so fun to do that I just kept going.
I also wasn’t planning on doing more of these Book vs. Movie Reviews, mostly because I don’t often watch movies, but I am planning on doing a few more. My next one will hopefully be Hidden Figures, as I watched the movie adaptation in theaters over the weekend. I had wanted to do a film only review for today as it is Martin Luther King Jr. Day today but I think I would prefer to wait and include the book in my review. I just bought it today so I have to get to reading it. Happy MLK Day!
*Warning! Spoilers for all three books ahead. Read with caution if you haven’t read the series yet. Onto the review!
I read the book before I watched the movie, and gave the book 4 stars. I hadn’t expected to like it at all. I had already been spoiled for the book (I hadn’t planned to read it to begin with so I hadn’t minded) and wasn’t impressed by what I heard. The way it was described to me was that it was like reading a series, and then picking up a completely random book and expecting it to be a proper conclusion to the series you were reading. Others hadn’t felt that the third installment really connected to the rest of the series, and the ending wasn’t what they had wanted.
Essentially this is what I was spoiled on. Going into it, I knew that Tris died, that her mom hadn’t been born in the city and that people had entered from outside, that the status of the Divergent was actually the goal of those who were outside of the city, and the city was actually an experiment. So I basically knew the whole book already.
This book was actually told by not just Tris’ point of view, but also through Tobias’ as well. It was different as Tris had been the only point of view in the previous books so that did take some getting used to, and I felt like I kept forgetting who’s part of the story I was on at the moment.
I can see how this book wouldn’t feel like a proper conclusion to a lot of people. It is a continuation of the same problem, the “us vs. them” problem, just flipped around. Once they leave the city, they are taken to O’Hare International Airport, where they are introduced to the people that are watching them, the Bureau of Genetic Welfare. The Bureau explains to Tris and her friends that the Divergents are considered “genetically pure”, people who’s genes have healed from the “genetically damaged” people that resulted from their ancestors who had tried to eliminate bad traits from their genome. The movie also follows this story line, and they both go on to explain that the major cities of the US have actually been transformed into separate experiments to see who can get the most Divergents and that Chicago has been really successful thus far. Now, instead of trying to fix one society, Tris is stuck trying to fix two.
Overall though, the movie and book aren’t that similar. It felt like such a different story! I actually hated the movie because of how little it related to the book. So many things changed that I can’t go over all of them but I’ll do my best to get all the big ones.
Tobias is much more of a covert spy on his mother at the beginning of the story in the book but in the movie he is completely and openly against her. (Also does anyone else think that Tobias’ mom looks like she’s the same age as Tobias? It kept confusing me so much!) Of course, parts of the movie such as their escape from the city and smuggling Caleb out before his execution were made much more exciting in the movie. The problems in the city, and the tensions seemed to be larger too. In the book it didn’t seem like it was such an open rebellion or so bad for the citizens, but maybe I just don’t remember that as clearly because I did read the book farther in advance of seeing the movie.
Tris’ companions all but disappear in the movie, the only exception being Tobias. In the book they did play minor roles but were fairly important nevertheless. Tris and Caleb were at odds over Caleb’s earlier betrayal. Christina, Uriah, Tori and Peter also traveled with them and pop up now (minus Tori who dies during their escape from Chicago) and then in the book but in the movie they are extremely absent (Uriah is completely absent as he was never a main character in the movies and therefore he does not have a part in the movie).
Once again, Tris and Tobias find themselves at odds trying to decide who is right. Tobias doesn’t trust the Bureau and finds himself having a hard time after learning that he isn’t a true Divergent, although he does has some Divergent qualities. Tris is genetically pure and seems to take on the role of the privileged in that she glosses over Tobias’ concerns that the Bureau isn’t doing enough to help the city and were dividing the population outside the city. Considering all that Tris went through as a Divergent in Chicago, you would think she would be a bit more sympathetic towards the genetically damaged at the Bureau and outside in the greater area but she is not. She dismisses a lot of Tobias’ feelings about being genetically damaged by telling him that doesn’t change who he is but doesn’t seem to really listen or concern herself about it.
The movie makes the divide even more prominent. In the book Tris and Tobias do meet with David together, interact with the genetically pure and genetically damaged together, and both of them talk wit Nita more often. In the movie they tend to do these things separately and Tris even goes with David to meet the council and talk about the Divergent, which she does not do in the book. In the book David is more forthcoming with his reluctance to act but in the movie Tris learns from the council that David has been hiding the true extent of his power to intervene and has been telling her he doesn’t have that authority when he actually does.
The main issue I had with the movie adaptation is that the characters in the book have a lot more power over their actions than they do in the movie.
For example, Tobias could have continued to be a spy on his mom, but in the movie he was so outspoken against her that he really didn’t have an option other than to leave the city. He also has the choice to use the memory serum on either of his parents, but in the movie his dad isn’t even a factor into his decision.
Tobias in the book is actually part of a group that goes to the city because of the memory serum and to get Uriah’s family. He goes in a truck with Peter and Christina who intend to cover for him while he seeks out his parents. Tris and Caleb stay behind to deal with the memory serum part of the plan. In the movie, as Uriah is absent and cannot serve as the reason that they go to the city, he instead escapes with Matthew’s help, and Matthew goes back to warn Tris. Tris in turn escapes with Nita’s help with Caleb and Christina by commandeering David’s air vessel and they all end up in the city.
Evelyn herself has a choice between her son or taking the memory serum in the book, and in the end she chooses her son. In the movie she more of just barricades herself in the room where the memory serum control system is, where she releases it to the entire city and though she does eventually chose to stop it but her decision doesn’t really affect the outcome anymore because Peter shoots her and starts the serum gas up again.
In the book, Peter chooses to take the memory serum as he knows he makes the bad choices when given an option and wants to use it to erase his memory and make better ones in the future. He chooses not to be a terrible person any longer and does end up taking the memory serum. In the movie, he still clings to his evil side and helps David, only backing down when he realizes that David betrayed him and the room that would supposedly be safe is actually not. He keeps his memories and tries to go back to O’Hare in the end to continue trying to gain power for himself.
Even Tris’ decisions no longer matter. A lot of those choices have already been mentioned above but the biggest choice she had to make was self-sacrifice. In the book she chooses to take Caleb’s place in his role in their plan that would result in certain death, and release the memory serum in the Bureau herself. She survives the death serum, as she expected to, but was shot when she succeeded by David and died. In the movie she is in the city with her friends, trying to stop the memory serum. She goes down into the underground hallways where the serum is housed and is helped by Caleb, who arrives just in time after their communications are cut off, and they succeed in shutting it down. She lives through the ordeal, which never reached the suicidal mission level that had been in the books, and they expose the world outside of the city, and open those barriers, but she doesn’t get the choice to use her life to save the rest of the people she knows.
And of course, as Tris didn’t die we didn’t get to see how close Tobias came to taking memory serum on his own, and how Christina saved the day. We also don’t get to see the epilogue from Tobias where they all reunite and spread her ashes, after he and the city have had time to heal and move on. I had actually really loved this part of the book and found it to be a great ending after that roller coaster of emotions.
One thing I did notice was that the movie seemed to leave off in an odd fashion. Like Insurgent, Tris releases a video, but this time of herself, with updated information on how the world outside of the city is. Peter returns to the Bureau, meaning to continue to mess things up, and David is visibly angry at Tris and her accomplishments as Tris and her friends stare out to the Bureau which is now visible to the city.
The ending of the movie gives an impression that the story is meant to continue, and apparently it was supposed to in the movies. There was supposed to be a second part to this movie, Ascendant, which is listed online with a note that it was meant to be released in 2017 but there isn’t any clear indication if this is still the case or not (it does say it might be released as a tv movie).
Overall I liked the book a lot, but the movie ended up going in such a different direction that I did not enjoy it at all. Maybe Ascendant is meant to have that missing part, where Tris encounters the death serum and so on, but for now, I am looking at this series as completed in terms of books and movies.
So those are my thoughts on both the book and the movie for Allegiant. Let me know what you thought about this book or movie in the comments! Or if you have a particular book with a movie adaptation that you’d like me to review, let me know!
Thanks for reading!