Divergent by Veronica Roth – Audiobook Review [djinn24]


Larry reviews the audio book of Divergent by Veronica Roth, Read by Emma Galvin published by Katherine Tegen Book on May 3rd, 2011, distributed by HyperCollins Publishing (print).

“Divergent takes on the Dystopian genre, from the point of view of yet another female lead.” – The Founding Fields
Publication Date: May 3, 2011

In an unknown year in the future, Beatrice Prior lives in dystopian Chicago with her parents and brother, all members of Abnegation, the selfless members of society. Beatrice has never felt as is she belonged, never finding it easy to be selfless, not like her brother Caleb, who has literally given the coat off his back to a stranger. Appointment day is coming up for all 16 year old and Beatrice is tested for aptitude to see which of the societies five virtues, Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent), she will fit into best. The results are shocking as Beatrice show equal skill in three, Abnegation, Dauntless, and Erudite which makes her Divergent. She is warned never to revel this as it would put her life in danger. What choice will she make? Stay with her family where she does not feel she belongs, or choose another virtue and leave them forever.

As a fan of Hunger Games I decided to give this series a chance. I found the story itself was well written though parts of it were either unbelievable and annoying. While I would not call this a clone of Hunger Games you can tell it leaned heavily upon it for inspiration. Veronica Roth writes from the first person point-of-view from the lead character Beatrice and she really lets you get into her head, to the point where you just want her to shut up. The constant chatter and whining of the main character is almost akin to nails on a chalkboard. Also the way the society is set up is just not believable. You look at it and scratch your head wondering why. Now not all is bad with this book, I would that in the long run the story flowed well, with the pacing of this book moving along well and you really don’t sit in one spot for log before moving on. While it is all done in first person you do get to know the secondary characters quite well, mainly from interactions that Beatrice has with them and her discribing them. The action scenes are really well done and you see how the various people grow into their roles. This is marketed as a YA, Action, Romance, Dystopian novel and it hits all of these. I found the romance sections to be a bit sappy at times as Beatrice and Four (main male character) discover each other, I thought this was one of the weakest parts of Veronica Roth’s writing.

One of the biggest problems I have is she is repetitive, constantly reminding us that she (Beatrice) is Divergent, as if the reader needs to be reminded of this… every other damned page. I am sorry but it is almost insulting, I am sure since it’s the title of the book we can figure out and remember what the hell she is. So please STOP! You would have probably saved yourself 10 pages or more if you would have cut out all divergent references. I just wanted to yell at her to please stop. Another problem I had was the narrator, I found Emma Galvin monotone and lacking depth to really bring the characters to life. Everyone pretty much sounded the same and Beatrice was annoying. At times I actually had to rewind to re-listen to sections as I would zone out, which is never a good sign when you are listening to an audiobook.

Honestly I think I would have enjoyed reading this book a lot more then listening to it. The story, though a tad repetitive and sappy, was enjoyable but not quite meeting the excitement I had with The Hunger Games. Overall I would say the story is a 3/5, with the narration earning a 2/5. I can not suggest listening to the audiobook but if you liked The Hunger Game or other dystopian books then you should find this book an enjoyable read.

Product Details
File Size: 707 KB
Print Length: 576 pages
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (May 3, 2011)
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
Language: English

djinn24 is a professional miniatures painter, with an equally strong love of books. His reviews are concise and critical. He’s definitely good at what he does.