Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Book Review: Four: A Divergent Story Collection

Title: Four: A Divergent Story Collection
Author: Veronica Roth
Published: July 8, 2014 by HarperCollins Publishers
Genres: Young Adult, Sci-Fi Dystopia, Romance
Format: Hardcover
Two years before Beatrice Prior made her choice, the sixteen-year-old son of Abnegation’s faction leader did the same. Tobias’s transfer to Dauntless is a chance to begin again. Here, he will not be called the name his parents gave him. Here, he will not let fear turn him into a cowering child.

Newly christened “Four,” he discovers during initiation that he will succeed in Dauntless. Initiation is only the beginning, though; Four must claim his place in the Dauntless hierarchy. His decisions will affect future initiates as well as uncover secrets that could threaten his own future—and the future of the entire faction system.

Two years later, Four is poised to take action, but the course is still unclear. The first new initiate who jumps into the net might change all that. With her, the way to righting their world might become clear. With her, it might become possible to be Tobias once again.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth comes a companion volume to the worldwide bestselling Divergent series, told from the perspective of the immensely popular character Tobias. The four pieces included here—The Transfer, The Initiate, The Son, and The Traitor—plus three additional exclusive scenes, give readers an electrifying glimpse into the history and heart of Tobias, and set the stage for the epic saga of the Divergent trilogy.

✮ ✮ ✮ ✮ ½

(Warning: Review may contain spoilers!)

There really isn't much that I have to say about this book since it's merely a compilation of short stories told from Four—or Tobias's—point of view, but there are a couple of things that I really admire about Veronica Roth's Four.

Tobias's character. I really like the fact that I finally understand who he is as an individual. In the Divergent books, I could not really grasp his persona because his actions and words are interlaced with Tris. So to speak, the Tobias that I read in those books are defined by Tris. However, in this compilation, I learn Tobias's voice, how his mind functions, what he thinks of everything that is happening around him. I learn about his beliefs, his virtues, what he values—what he truly fears. I hear his opinions sans the involvement of Tris's character, of her inputs about a certain matter.

Another thing that I like about Four is that I get to see or discover the origin of things that are only considered a minor subject in the trilogy—an overlooked fact. Like, in Divergent, we only know that Eric and Tobias has an unsteady aura about the two of them because Tobias ranked first in their initiate class; but in this story compilation, Roth takes us deeper into the main root of the uneasy atmosphere between the two, telling us what ignited that vicious spark in the first place. Four also shows the reader when exactly Tobias learned that his mother isn't actually dead, and how Tobias's relationship with his parents really is like. We only get to know Tris's point of view about the said relationship, but hearing it coming from Tobias himself is a completely different thing. It suddenly becomes even more personal, and I like it a lot.

I would recommend this story compilation to anyone who has taken an interest in the Divergent trilogy, and would obviously like to know more about Tobias's character. I personally picked this up, not because I felt obligated to fully complete the series, but because I wanted to patch up some of the holes that I felt like was left unaided when I finished the trilogy. I wanted to know more about Tobias, to learn how and why he acts a certain way. And I did just that by reading this book. So, I recommend that you pick this one up.

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Veronica Roth is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant, and several stories written in the world of Divergent. Now a full-time writer, Ms. Roth and her husband live near Chicago.

✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ 

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