I enjoyed the story, and I liked the way
it started two years before Tris became involved. It allowed us to see
where Four was just before and after the times he encountered Tris in
Divergent, and his feelings every time he met her. It was also nice to
see somebody who had a little more experience, as he tried to find out
what plot was being hatched by the Erudite and Dauntless leaders.
Unfortunately, I don’t think it was as engaging as the other books, even
from the beginning, which was in essence a new story. The edge was
missing, and I wonder if the author published her early drafts (this was
her first attempt at Divergent) without the extra polishing the first
The story of Four is an interesting one, worth telling. The series of
novellas that make up this book are informative in their own way, but I
don't find even the first one, which tells of Tobias' choice to leave
his father and Abnegation, to be even close to the emotional attachment
that Tris' similar story has in Divergent.
We know almost all of
Tobias' background from the other novels, so this was just to fill in
the details. While I didn't recognize it in the trilogy, Tobias is quite
damaged, due to the abuse he suffered under his father's hand. The story
is told again from the first person perspective, which gives it some
emotion, but Tobias has hidden himself, even from himself. Because of
that, he doesn't have the range that Tris has.
routine is a little different from what Tris goes through, and I didn't
think it showed enough of how Four got his expert abilities. It focused
more on the fear simulations. As he gets older and becomes a member of
Dauntless, we see the conspiracy between Jeanine and Max, and the part
Eric has to play in it. There was no reason for us to know that Eric was
a plant from Erudite in the main trilogy, so that provides us with some
interesting information as to his motivations in the other books.
It's obvious that Four is ready to abandon Dauntless soon, until
Tris arrives, and he sees something special in her -something that
completes him. He doesn't want the Dauntless leadership because he might
meet his father in council meetings. It's a simple a reason as that.
Tris helps him face that fear, and that's what helps make him a better
leader by the end of the trilogy.
The story focuses around the
conspiracy, and Four's efforts to learn more about it. He gets hints,
and he knows that something is going to happen soon. He even goes to
warn his father, who although he rejects Tobias, probably takes note,
which is how he and the other leaders survive. There are a couple more
scenes that overlap with Divergent, but told from Tobias' perspective.
It's obvious that he's drawn to Tris long before she's drawn to him.
Unfortunately, the conclusion to Tobias' story is told in Allegiant,
so this book doesn't get any kind of wrap-up. It might have been more
satisfying if there was one more story, told after the final events of
Allegiant. As it is, though, the stories were informative and allowed us
to see Four in a different way, as somebody who needs help and
attention, is careful around love, and who is trying to fit in where he