Book Review #13: Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth

Sunday, 4 January 2015
Product details:
Publisher: Katherine Tegan
Format: Hardback
Length: 285 pages
Published: 2014
Rating: ☆☆☆
Source: Purchased
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.

So what did I think about it? Well as this book is made up of the four novellas, I am going to go through each one individually and discuss what I thought.

The Transfer:

  • So I would say that The Transfer was my second favourite novella in this bind up collection from Four’s perspective. I don’t know what it was but I love the way that those scenes are organised and told. I find it really fascinating, so when Veronica Roth presented me with another choosing ceremony from Four’s perspective. Loved it. Absolutely fantastic. Not only do we get the debates of Tobias’ decisions but we also get more insight to just why he hated his father. 

  • If I’m brutally honest I could not find fault with this novella. I loved it that much.
The Initiate:
  • Ugh The Initiate was my absolute favourite novella out of this collection! Without a shadow of a doubt! I mentioned in the review of The Transfer that I enjoyed the choosing ceremony part of the plot in Divergent? Well I loved the whole initiation ceremonies part as well. Definitely why I enjoyed the entirety of the first half of the book better than the second. It was just as similar with The Initiate. We finally got to find out some more backstory to how Four actually got his name. I mean yes we know the whole four fears thing but it was nice to see the first time they ‘came to life’ so to speak and he got to face them under the simulations.

  • Cons? Nope. Nope. All good thanks.

The Son
  • So in this novella, Four is beginning to adapt to his dauntless surroundings and begin to take some form of leadership (even though he does turn down the leadership position!) In this novella we start to see how Four shapes to be in dauntless to where we meet him from Tris’ perspective in Divergent. It discusses all about Four’s feelings towards the never giving up policy… and I really enjoyed Four’s inner abnegation came out, in the sense of having strong opinions on matters. We know this from how in the Divergent series, we know that Abnegation make decisions that effect the government and we all know how that pans out.
  • Err if I’m honest I thought that the writing style here started to get a tad sloppy on Veronica Roth’s part. I enjoy hearing from Four’s point of view (although I wasn’t a fan of it in Allegiant) but there were elements in this novella that reminded me of Four’s voice in Allegiant. Back came all of the annoyance as you can imagine.
The Traitor:
  • Ooh we’re introduced again to Tris’ character! I’ve missed her. So obviously this novella ties into Tri’s arrival in Dauntless and we get some familiar scenes but from a different perspective. This much for me is good. I like this so far. 
  • Unfortunately this is where things turned sour in my opinion. After three very strong independent stories, The Traitor for me felt a bit, do I say it? Cheap. I’ve heard people compare The Traitor to more the likelihood of a strong fan fiction? Yes, I can see that. For me the romance was just a little too heavy considering I was hoping for some really cool action scenes with just Four. I mean we got that yeah and I can see that Veronica Roth wants to tribute with a fitting narrative to finalise the series with a reminder of Four/Tris’ relationship beginning.
So overall where would I put my marker on my classification scale? Well up until the final novella I would have been more than happy to award Four: A Divergent Collection a 5/5 stars. However, I have to bare in mind that much to my disapproval, it is there. So it is with regret that I have to dock a classification grade for one of my favourite series but I award this 4 stars (appropriate don’t you think? 4 for Four!) Still definitely one to pick up.

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