Reviews for Insurgent

Booklist Reviews 2012 March #2
While the hugely popular Divergent (2011) welcomed dystopian fans of every stripe with its irresistable concept and hybridization of genres, this sequel is more for hard-core fans--a good thing if you're a devotee but a bit overwhelming for fence-riders. Rocked by the recent simulation war, the five factions engage in increasingly dangerous power plays to pick up the pieces. Tris and her love, Tobias, both daredevils of the Dauntless faction, are key players in these skirmishes, most of which focus upon the fiendishly logical Erudites and almost all of which are complicated by backstabbers and turncoats. It remains a great deal of fun to watch these cliques-taken-to-extremes duke it out with their various strengths and weaknesses, and Roth delivers the goods when it comes to intense, personal violence (no superpowers to be found here) and compelling set pieces (as when Tris undergoes a public "truth serum" interrogation). Newcomers, and even some old hands, might get buried under all the transposable characters and faction minutia, but those who stick it out will be rewarded with quite the cliff-hanger HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Divergent was the kind of best-seller juggernaut debut authors dream of. With high-profile movie rights already sold, you can bet you'll see this sequel on everyone's must-read list. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
After uncovering a plot that shatters their "faction"-based society, Tris and Tobias are on the run. Now their survival depends on choosing whom to trust and discovering why one faction plotted against the others. While remaining action-packed and gritty, the meatier portion of this sequel to Divergent focuses on the psychological trauma caused by violence and loss.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 April #2
In this addictive sequel to the acclaimed Divergent (2011), a bleak post-apocalyptic Chicago ruled by "factions" exemplifying different personality traits collapses into all-out civil war. With both the Dauntless and Abnegation factions shattered by the Erudite attack, Tris and her companions seek refuge with Amity and Candor, and even among the factionless. But the Erudite search for "Divergents" continues relentlessly. They have a secret to protect--one they fear could prove more catastrophic than open warfare; one they will slaughter to keep hidden... Rather than ease readers back into this convoluted narrative, the book plunges the characters into immediate danger without clues to their current relationships, let alone their elaborate back stories. The focus is firmly on the narrator Tris, who, devastated by guilt and grief, reveals new depth and vitality. While taking actions less Dauntless than recklessly suicidal, she retains her convenient knack for overhearing crucial conversations and infallibly sizing up others. Her romance with Tobias is achingly tender and passionate, and her friends and enemies alike display a realistic spectrum of mixed motivations and conflicted choices. The unrelenting suspense piles pursuit upon betrayal upon torture upon pitched battles; the violence is graphic, grisly and shockingly indiscriminate. The climactic reveal, hinting at the secret origins of their society, is neither surprising nor particularly plausible, but the frenzied response makes for another spectacular cliffhanger. Anyone who read the first book was dying for this one months ago; they'll hardly be able to wait for the concluding volume. (Science fiction. 14 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 April #1

Roth knows how to write. So even though this second book of the trilogy that began with Divergent feels like a necessary bridge between the haunting story she created in book one and the hinted-at chaos of book three, readers will be quick to forgive. Tris, reeling from the loss of her parents and guilt-ridden over having shot her best friend, must escape the Erudite faction's horrific takeover by fleeing first to Amity and then Candor. Reluctantly, she joins forces with the "factionless" to defeat Erudite. As stubborn and self-destructive as ever, Tris butts heads with Tobias and tests everyone's (perhaps even readers') patience. Roth keeps every chapter action-packed, moving Tris tantalizingly close to learning the secret her parents were fighting to unleash. The author has a subtle way of pulling readers into a scene ("The outside air.... smells green, the way a leaf does when you tear it in half"), and the novel's love story, intricate plot, and unforgettable setting work in concert to deliver a novel that will rivet fans of the first book. Ages 14-up. Agent: Joanna Volpe, Nancy Coffey Literary and Media Representation. (May)¦

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 June

Gr 9 Up--Insurgent continues Roth's dystopian cycle that began with Divergent (HarperCollins, 2011), and the beginning of the story will be confusing to those who have not read the previous book. As the novel opens, the protagonists are undergoing interrogation via truth serum, thus revealing the major events only sketchily alluded to before. This backstory keeps readers disengaged for too long. Roth's saga has at its center the division of humanity into factions based on their performance on aptitude tests. (These factions are Amity, Abnegation, Candor, Dauntless, and Erudite.) Originally intended as a benign method of governing, the separation into classes has devolved to the dominance by the Erudites. The members of each faction undergo "Simulations"--gaming during which the participants lose their free will and become killing machines. Tris is a Divergent, meaning that she has aptitude for more than one faction, and is immune to the simulation mind control. She and her teacher, Tobias, join with a group of people called the "Factionless," who form the nucleus of the revolt. Insurgent explores several critical themes, including the importance of family and the crippling power of grief at its loss. One of the novel's finest tropes describes this loss as "teetering on the edge of grief's mouth." A very good read, despite its difficulties.--Nina Sachs, Walker Memorial Library, Westbrook, ME

[Page 136]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

VOYA Reviews 2012 June
Insurgent begins where the first book of this dystopian trilogy, Divergent (HarperCollins, 2011/VOYA August 2011), leaves off. The Dauntless (brave) faction has allied itself with the Erudite (knowledge-seeking) faction and is massacring the Abnegation (selfless) faction. The Erudite leader, Jeanine, has perfected a serum that, when injected, creates a mental simulation allowing her to control her subjects, in this case the Dauntless. Tris and Four, both Dauntless transfers (not born into the faction) and Divergent (able to manipulate the simulation) have escaped, along with some loyal Dauntless, and have unsuccessfully requested both sanctuary and assistance from another faction. Tris believes that there is more to the war than mere dominance, and this is confirmed by Four's father, Marcus, an Abnegation leader. Marcus's shady and brutal past, however, makes him an unreliable source of information. As Four and his mother, Evelyn, leader of the factionless, plan a counterattack, Tris must decide whether to follow her instincts or follow the group Insurgent makes little sense without having read Divergent. There is significant violence. Tris, the sixteen-year-old main character, is portrayed more as a whiner than the strong character the author undoubtedly intended. The writing is repetitive and not overly descriptive. This reader could not envision the surroundings in which the story takes place. Most characters are fleshed out, though. There are clearly some surprises, and Insurgent did answer one question that plagued this reader from Divergent. Having said this, following on the popularity of the Hunger Games and Uglies series, as well as Divergent, Insurgent will most likely be quite popular as well.--Ed Goldberg 4Q 4P J S Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.