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Review: Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Divergent Collection
Veronica Roth

Series: Divergent #0.1-0.4
Genre: YA Dystopian
Hardback: 304 Pages
Publication: July 8, 2014
by Katherine Tegan


Readers first encountered Tobias Eaton as "Four" in Divergent. His voice is an integral part of Allegiant. Readers will find more of this charismatic character's backstory told from his own perspective in Four: A Divergent Collection. When read together, these long narrative pieces illuminate the defining moments in Tobias Eaton's life. The first three pieces in this volume--"The Transfer," "The Initiate," and "The Son"--follow Tobias's transfer from Abnegation to Dauntless, his Dauntless initiation, and the first clues that a foul plan is brewing in the leadership of two factions. The fourth story, "The Traitor," runs parallel with the events of Divergent, giving readers a glimpse into the decisions of loyalty--and love--that Tobias makes in the weeks after he meets Tris Prior.

◆ A copy was provided by Harper Collins for review ◆

Four: A Divergent Collection is a good read for fans of Four. "The Transfer" follows Four from his last days in Abnegation to his early days of initiation, "The Initiate" continues his journey to becoming an official member of Dauntless, "The Son" shows his early days as a Dauntless member and his decision to teach initiates, and "The Traitor" gives us a glimpse into his life during Tris's period of initiation. There are also exclusive scenes at the back that show some more Divergent scenes from Four's perspective. It's total Four fan service packaged neatly into a book for our enjoyment.

I think I love Four's character more than Tris's. He claims that he's not good at dealing with people, but he has this air about him that makes him a compelling character. Other than the fact that he's a totally hot guy and I love him (don't tell my boyfriend!), he's a rational and plans his actions more often than he lets his impulses take over. And his hardworking nature is a quality that I find very sexy in a guy. It's been a wonderful experience getting to see more sides to his character—from the "timid, not-sure-of-himself" boy that he was in Abnegation into the strong, driven Four that we know and love from Divergent. There's also this cute phase where he becomes interested in girls and tries to figure them out. Plus, seeing Four go through initiation training? That's hot stuff. Enough said.

It does feel like Four: A Divergent Collection is more like a series of snapshots into Four's life before and after Tris enters his life than a collection of stories. While there is the shady business between Max and Jeanine linking the stories, it doesn't feel like there is a coherent plot to any of them. It was also disorienting to jump in time from one story to the next (mostly because I want to know what happens in between!!! >_<). Furthermore, as much as I enjoyed learning about Four, I don't feel like we really got to learn as much about his character as we could have. While we learn about some of his motivations, he had to tell me that. The stories don't quite capture his thoughts and feelings at some important moments.

Essentially, what I'm saying is that this should have been a novel, but it's not. Because Four wasn't the right character for the story that Veronica Roth wanted to tell (as she mentions in the Introduction). So I should be, and am, very happy that this collection came out. Because, Four.

As it is, however, it's missing a lot of qualities that made me fall in love with Divergent: the epic world building, vivid descriptions and actions, a compelling plot. This is a great supplement to the trilogy, but it's not strong enough to stand on its own. And that's why I'm giving it a 3-star rating. Okay, 3.5 stars because I really like Four and almost wish he was real and available.

Additional Information
  1. Divergent
  2. Insurgent
  3. Allegiant

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4 comments on "Review: Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth"
  1. Yeah, the only reason I'll be reading this is because it's all about Four. I guess I'm still a bit bitter about that series ending but maybe revisiting the world with Four will wash that taste out of my mouth.

    1. Oh snap. I haven't read Allegiant yet because the series has been so fantastic so far I'm scared too. I'm even more nervous now. >_< I should probably take the plunge soon and see what happens!!!

  2. I have been debating if I want to read this one.

    1. I think this is good for a short read if you want something light and entertaining, but it's not a good read if you want something along the same vein as the trilogy itself.


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