I use Spotify a lot these days, and – like probably 99% of the people who use it – am a free user. I don’t particularly mind the ads; it actually sort of reminds me of listening to the radio and getting to zone out from time to time, but in a good way. That being said, I’m curious how many people too cheap for pay for ad-free streaming music are really the target audience for the nonstop barrage of car insurance ads I’m getting.
Allegiant Chapter 11: Tris
The train gets closer to the fence, which would seemingly be the most straightforward thing that could happen, but has already thoroughly perplexed me.
“It looks like we’re getting close to the fence,” I say.
I can tell because the buildings are disappearing, leaving just fields
Okay, wait, how fucking far away is the fence from the city itself that Tris can see the buildings disappearing? Because remember the Amity all live outside the fence (because this is the worst-designed science experiment ever), so how far away from Chicago are they? Do these poor bastards have to commute from the suburbs to their dystopia every day?
[Ariel says: The more Veronica Roth tries to explain things, the more confusing she gets. If she just wrote, “It looks like we’re getting closer to the fence” we would have just accepted that and moved on.]
Tris also describes her intense anger with Caleb:
I want to scream into the darkest parts of him so he can finally hear me, finally understand what he did to me, but instead I just hold his stare until he can’t take it anymore and he looks away.
I hear that. That’s exactly how I feel about this book.
When they get off the train, Caleb tries to run away again, but Tobias catches him, leaving him to an even worse fate: hearing these assholes try to make jokes about people with future slang. [Ariel says: Oh, Matt, if you think this slang is bad, I can’t wait till you check out Maze Runner. You’re in for a real treat.]
“Not sure why an Erudite like you can’t get it through his head,” Tobias is saying, “but you aren’t going to be able to outrun me.”
“He’s right,” says Uriah. “Four’s fast. Not as fast as me, but definitely faster than a Nose like you.”
Yep. We read that right. The hot new insult is “Nose”. Let’s hear the riveting explanation of why the actual fuck.
“Nose.” Uriah touches the side of his nose. “It’s a play on words. ‘Knows’ with a ‘K,’ knowledge, Erudite… get it? It’s like Stiff.”
“The Dauntless have the weirdest slang. Pansycake, Nose . . .”
“Weirdest” is a word.
[Ariel says: Why is it necessary to keep introducing us to Dauntless slang when it only comes up once or twice? If from day one this slang had been established, it would be dumb but at least arguably part of Roth’s world-building strategy. But what the fuck is the point of giving a detailed explanation of a terribly conceived bit of slang only to forget it forever.]
Tori gets everyone to calm down and explains that they have about a ten-minute walk to Johanna’s rendezvous point, and they’re not out of danger yet. Which is a good time to realize that Tori isn’t really a particularly important character…
She moves farther away from us by the minute, her pace more like a jog than a walk. […] She is so far ahead that when the shots go off, I only see her flashlight fall, not her body.
Farewell, Tori. You weren’t like all those other minor characters who did one or fewer things and were then killed off in a moment of high-stakes drama. You told Tris she was Divergent and killed Jeanine. So, two things.
Tris suddenly gets over the PTSD and gun-phobia that was a recurring theme throughout the entire second book with zero fanfare.
I hear someone approaching , and I aim flashlight and gun in the same direction. The beam hits a woman wearing a factionless armband, with a gun pointed at my head. I fire, clenching my teeth so hard they squeak.
The bullet hits the woman in the stomach and she screams, firing blindly into the night.
Tris escapes and eventually happens upon Christina and Johanna. She explains that Tori’s dead, and then they go off and find the others – Tobias, Caleb, Cara, and Peter – their factionless attackers having apparently completely disappeared.
Allegiant Chapter 12: Tobias
The group finds some extra Amity greenhouses as they get close to the edge of their city. You know, the part that isn’t the city which is apparently way inside the fence, which still isn’t even inclusive of the Amity who live outside of that, even, where we are now also nearing the edge of. I have no idea where we’re going.
“What are those?” Tris says.
“The other greenhouses,” Johanna says. “They don’t require much manpower, but we grow and raise things in large quantities there— animals, raw material for fabric, wheat, and so on.” […]
“You don’t show them to visitors,” I say. “We never saw them.”
“Amity keeps a number of secrets,” Johanna says, and she sounds proud.
How the hell does raising a large quantity of animals qualify as secret and not requiring much manpower? Do you know how hard it is to keep one goddamn goldfish alive?
[Ariel says: Unless they’re raising dinosaurs or something, I don’t get the secrecy around raising animals either. I mean for fuck’s sake in this society, wheat is top secret? It does not get duller than top-secret wheat. Unless it’s wheat that they’re feeding to the dinosaurs.]
Anyway, we finally reach the edge of their dystopia. Sort of.
“This is it,” Johanna says. “The outer limit of the Dauntless patrols.”
No fence or wall marks the divide between the Amity compound and the outer world
So, there’s… nothing stopping the evil humans from getting into the science experiment designed to save them? Like, literally anyone could get in and fuck up some shit? “Some shit” being 1/5 of their population (the population that’s important to the experiment anyway) and ALL OF THEIR FOOD. Seriously? There’s nothing?
I remember monitoring the Dauntless patrols from the control room, making sure they didn’t go farther than the limit, which is marked by a series of signs with Xs on them.
Every chapter of this book that goes by, the stupider the science experiment it’s all about becomes. Somehow. I can’t wait for three chapters from now when we find out they also didn’t have water or some shit. [Ariel says: I’m also surprised no one has expressed any curiosity at all over this before? Like even in The Village at least people thought there were crazy monsters outside the village, so they were happy to stay inside. Somehow The Village has better inner-logic than this series.]
Sigh. Ok. I’ll bite. Let’s learn about how their important, humanity-saving experiment is only separated from the outside world with some signs that say, “SERIOUSLY DON’T CROSS THIS LINE I’M BEING SO SERIOUS RIGHT NOW”. How does that work?
The patrols were structured so that the trucks would run out of gas if they went too far […]
“Have they ever gone past the limit?” says Tris.
“A few times,” says Johanna.
Wow, that contradicted itself fast.
“It was our responsibility to deal with that situation when it came up.”
Tris gives her a look, and she shrugs.
“Every faction has a serum,” Johanna says.
“Every faction has a serum,” Johanna says. “The Dauntless serum gives hallucinated realities, Candor’s gives the truth, Amity’s gives peace, Erudite’s gives death, [and] Abnegation’s resets memory.”
“Like Amanda Ritter’s memory,” I say. […]
“Exactly,” says Johanna. “The Amity are charged with administering the Abnegation serum to anyone who goes out past the limit”
Then how is it the Abnegation serum if it’s the Amity’s responsibility to use it? Did Veronica Roth read this sentence after she wrote it? Did anyone read these books before they got published? [Ariel says: I’m shocked no editor was like, “Abnegation is no Men in Black. Please get rid of this nonsense.]
The chapter ends with the group walking into the outside world beyond the, uh, signs with Xs on them. Also, Tris turns into Taylor Swift.
because the farther we get outside the outer limit of the Dauntless patrols, the closer we get to seeing what lies outside the only world I’ve ever known. I am terrified and thrilled and confused and a hundred different things at once.
Question of the Day: If Tris is Taylor Swift, then who’s Four/Tobias? My vote’s for Bruno Mars, because I don’t understand what anyone could like about him.