Chicago's secret is out - there is something outside the city of factions, well, now factionless factions, and the Divergent's could help them. With the factionless leader, and Four's mother, Evelyn doubling down her efforts to control the city and keep everyone inside it's boarders Tris and Four must join with the a new resistance group, the Allegiant, to get out of the city. Once out everything changes, but they do finally learn the truth, and the real definition of that word that has defined them since they were 16 - Divergent.
I haven't been shy about my feelings on this series. I love it. I love Tris. I love Four. I love the world Veronica Roth created. Allegiant tried to test that love. It's not that it's a bad book, it's really not. The problem lies in the number of changes that are all happening at once. The biggest of these changes is that half the book is narrated from Four's perspective. It's a necessary change to get a full picture of what's happening but it's still a bit jarring, especially since Tris and Four's thoughts are so similar. Sometimes it's hard to keep track of who's head you're inside. It would have been nice to see some of the differences in their personality, because they come across as so distinct in Divergent and Insurgent.
The change in perspective can be irritatig but what really threw me was all the new settings. Most of the book takes place in what was once O'Hare airport and the surrounding area, and everything about it is so different from Roth's dystopian Chicago that it's hard to believe they could coexist so close to one another. Again this is a necessary change, the outside would is important to the story and without it we would never find out the real purpose of the factions, or the divergents, or really anything. It's just what I like to call "Mockingjay syndrome", where everything changes and you as a reader have to fight to keep in the present with the story and not think "god I missed when it was just (the hunger games, the factions, classes at Hogwarts.)"
My only other issue was with the pacing. There was an awful lot of long winded exposition and huge periods where very little was happening. Even the journey's into the fringe territory wasn't exciting. Allegiant just didn't feel as fleshed out as the rest of the series.
At the end of everything I really was pleased with Allegiant. I know it doesn't seem like it but I'm hard on this book because I had such high expectations. I may have the most issues with Allegiant as a stand alone book but it was the story that Veronica Roth needed to close out her series. I especially appriciate that it didn't have a sugarcoated happy ending. This was a society at war and it makes sense that there were major casualties. George R.R. Martin would be proud of of Mrs Roth. She certainly doesn't pull any punches.
Side note: If you cry over your kindle for an hour it'll still work the next day. Nice!