So. You’ve probably heard about this.
Yep. It’s real. It’s really happening. It is out in two weeks, on June 18th. Because that’s Christian Grey’s birthday. To reiterate, it’s real. [Ariel says: But like IS the title meant to be written all in caps? Are we meant to sound eternally excited when we discuss this wondrous text?] [Matthew says: I know I’M excited to spend the next couple months constantly styling it as GREY.]
To answer a question almost as obvious as whether or not E L James was going to write this book from Christian’s perspective, yes, of course we are reading it. It’ll be our next Monday/Tuesday book, but since the book’s not out for another two weeks, we have a little bit of time to kill. And what better way to kill time than with books about a time-traveling tree house?
Next week we’ll be picking up whichever one sounds the most ridiculous to you guys. Vote early, vote often!
And now back to our regularly scheduled dystopian YA.
Allegiant Chapter 37: Tris
Tris shows up at David’s office for her first council meeting, thus providing the one missing thing that promised to make this book more boring: local politics. It’s so boring, Tris is already getting stoned.
I still feel a little weight in my limbs from the truth serum Cara, Caleb, and Matthew tested on me earlier, as part of our plan. They’re trying to develop a powerful truth serum, one that even GPs as serum-resistant as I am are not immune to.
Somehow a Tris-immune serum sounds like the Divergent-version of dividing by zero. I’m more nervous about the implications of a drug that not even the most special of the specials is immune to than I am about the goddamned coup happening over in the Chicago experiment. Speaking of which:
“Last night I received a frantic call from the people in our control room,” David says. “Evidently Chicago is about to erupt into violence again. Faction loyalists calling themselves the Allegiant have rebelled against factionless control, attacking weapons safe houses. What they don’t know is that Evelyn Johnson has discovered a new weapon— stores of death serum kept hidden in Erudite headquarters.”
For what feels like the 9874th time, who the hell designed this experiment? Why is this entirely procreation-focused experiment littered with instruments of death?
“The experiments are already in danger of being shut down if we cannot prove to our superiors that we are capable of controlling them.”
Maybe they doubt your ability to control the experiments because YOU PUT GUNS AND DEATH DRUGS IN THEM.
David declares that this cannot happen, Tris helpfully explains that she doesn’t think David will let this happen (just in case you’re, I don’t know, reading every other sentence?), [Ariel says: It’s like Roth knows my eyes frequently glaze over] and David decides it’s time to use the memory serum virus for a mass reset against Chicago and the other three active experiments. Tris is stunned, but we then learn this isn’t exactly uncommon.
“[T]he last one in Chicago was done a few generations before yours.” He gives me an odd smile. “Why did you think there was so much physical devastation in the factionless sector?”
David decides to implement this in the next 48 hours, which conveniently sounds like just enough time for Tris and all of her friends to come up with a plan to stop it.
Everyone nods as if this is sensible.
I remember what he said to me in his office. […] I should have known, then, that he would gladly trade thousands of GD memories— lives— for control of the experiments. That he would trade them without even thinking of alternatives— without feeling like he needed to bother to save them.
Chapter 38: Tobias
Tobias and Cara are casually chatting about their top secret project to make their Tris-resistant truth serum – which hasn’t been successful thus far, which is super surprising – when Tris comes back to fill them in on the last chapter.
Cara says to Tris, “What do you intend to do about it?”
“I don’t know,” Tris says. “I feel like I don’t know what’s right anymore. […]
Really? Uhhhh didn’t the last chapter end with Tris literally saying, “I should have known that he would gladly trade thousands of lives without even thinking of alternatives?” Did I copy/paste that from a different book that didn’t have that printed four pages ago? [Ariel says: Hey, unless Tris explicitly tells us exactly what she’s thinking, we can never be sure! You’re doing too much “critical thinking”, Matthew, which isn’t what this series is all about.]
I pause. “All I can think is that this would be so much easier if we were dealing with a completely different set of people who could actually see reason.” […]
Tris’s face twists, and she touches a hand to her forehead, as if rubbing out some brief and inconvenient pain. “No,” she says. “We don’t even need to do that.”
Tris begins to form a plan to use the virus form of the memory serum “that could spread through an entire population” against the Bureau. Cara points out that erasing their memories would render them all useless. Nobody points out that this would also affect them. But whatever. One plot hole at a time.
Cara raises her eyebrows. “Wouldn’t erasing their memories also erase all of their knowledge? Thus rendering them useless?”
“I don’t know. I think there’s a way to target memories”
Why the hell not? I bet Tris knows more about these drugs than the group’s scientist does. Although she probably does, since the drug’s rules change so often. [Ariel says: What the even fuck? HOW? HOW WOULD THEY TARGET SPECIFIC MEMORIES? If you want to write a book about magic, write a book about magic. But fucking don’t be like, “Actually the magic is really science.” Because no it’s not. This is basically just as scientific as Changnesia.]
Tobias points out that Tris is maybe crossing a line here.
“Tris,” I say. “Wait. You really want to erase the memories of a whole population against their will? That’s the same thing they’re planning to do to our friends and family.” […]
“These people have no regard for human life,” she says. “They’re about to wipe the memories of all our friends and neighbors. They’re responsible for the deaths of a large majority of our old faction.” She sidesteps me and marches toward the door. “I think they’re lucky I’m not going to kill them.”
Soooo is this still “Tris is always right” Tris or is this an evolution into bad girl Tris?
Tune in next week to find out that Tris is totally right about how memory serums work somehow!