Not one but three books this week! Is that cheating? It just makes no sense to review a trilogy of books individually… I originally read Divergent and the follow-up Insurgent last year. So I just intended to read the final book, Allegiant, this week. But then I started reading it and couldn’t remember anything that had happened in the first two books! So I read them all…
So if you haven’t read these books, I suggest you read them NOW! And read them all in one go, they are so compulsive and really need to be read in one go to keep up the momentum. The basic premise is:
Tris lives in a city that is inhabited by five factions, each with a different trait. They are like tribes so to speak. There is Abnegation, a faction that is very austere and selfless. They do lots of charity for the poor and believe in putting others before themselves. Dauntless is a faction that values bravery above all else. They are the ‘muscle’ of the city, manning the security. Erudite is the faction which values knowledge above all else, they develop all the technology and are responsible for all scientific advancement. Candor value truth above all else and Amity are the peaceful, loving faction. Everyone is born into a faction but when they reach the age of 16, they have the opportunity to choose a different faction. Once they choose, they must remain with that faction for the rest of their life, even if it means denouncing their family.
Tris is born into Abnegation, but never feels at home there. She is rebellious and doesn’t like to submit to the selfless ways of Abnegation. Her aptitude test reveals something troubling – she is Divergent – which means that she has aptitude for three of the factions, something almost unheard of and something very dangerous. On the day of the choosing ceremony, she chooses Dauntless and soon learns that that choice is only the first step in becoming Dauntless. First she must survive the brutal initiation, which involves conquering her feel initiates physically and conquering all her fears. It’s a whirlwind for Tris as she discovers her strength and discovers her soulmate, in her initiation instructor Tobias. Does she have what it takes to survive?
In book two, the factions become involve in a dangerous war which threatens to destroy life as they know it. I don’t want to reveal too much, but it’s VERY EXCITING! Tris learns more about what it means to be Divergent and the danger that brings. Abnegation hold a secret that they are desperate to reveal to the city, but Erudite will stop at nothing to prevent them.
And book three takes the action outside of the city… just what lies outside the city walls that the Erudite have fought so hard to keep secret? Tris, Tobias and their friends soon discover a new truth that changes everything they ever believed.
Hopefully that doesn’t give away too much plot and has whetted your appetite to read the books yourself! They are seriously gripping, engaging and compulsive. I loved them. Book one and two are so exciting, you won’t be able to put them down. Tris is such a strong, fierce character that you can’t help but love and as she and Tobias fall in love, you will too! For me, book three got a little bit woolly – maybe a little too high concept, which distracted from the excitement. It wasn’t quite as compulsive and where some of the holes in the whole premise of the city, the factions and the war crept in…. I guess a little bit bogged down in explaining the whole concept which got a little confusing. But that said, it did pick up by the end and without wanting to reveal the end, I suggest you do not read the last quarter of this book in public and stock up in tissues. It had me hyperventilating with tears! You know a book is brilliant when you feel pain, joy and tension as physically as I did while reading these books! For me, they have a bit of everything: a great concept, some moral debates, excitement, action, love, romance, loads more action and brilliant characters!
For my recipe this week, I decided to make burgers, as there is a scene in book one where Tris, used to the plain food of Abnegation, tries burgers for the first time once she joins Dauntless. Being a non-meat eater, I made mine veggie burgers!
I will call these…
Dauntless Black Bean & Sweet Potato Burgers
You will need:
- 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 500g total)
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 tin black beans
- 1 red onion
- 1 green chilli
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1-2tsp smoked paprika
- 2 cloves garlic
- Fresh coriander
- Juice of 1 lime
- Place 1 cup water in a saucepan and add the quinoa. Bring to the boil and cook for approx 15mins until all the water is absorbed. Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, cook the sweet potatoes in the oven until soft. Once cooked, remove the skin and leave to cool.
- Once the sweet potato is cooled, place in a food processor with the black beans, chopped onion, chilli, crushed garlic, spices and coriander and blend until it forms a paste. Add the juice of the lime and then mix with the cooked quinoa.
- Add a little flour to the mixture and using wet hands, form into patties.
- Place on a chopping board, cover with clingfilm and then chill for about 30mins at least (the longer the better)
- Once chilled, heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the patties for about 4 mins on each side until cooked.
- You can freeze some of the burgers if you don’t feel like eating 6 in one go! I froze a couple of them to enjoy at a later date.
I ate my burger in a toasted pitta along with some homemade guacamole. Bloody delicious… very smokey and full of flavour. I like to think they are like Tris… bold and they pack a mean punch 🙂 Yes I am Divergent geek, but I don’t care!