Thursday, December 04, 2014

REVIEW: Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth

My Rating: 9 out of 10 stars

This book is a collection of four short stories, each published individually but also sold together as a unit as well, told from Four's point-of-view. The first three take place prior to the events of Divergent while the last takes place during the events of Divergent, after Tris has entered the picture.

Four: The Transfer
This short story gives us a glimpse into Four's life with his father, Marcus Eaton, where he's known by his given name of Tobias Eaton. We see the hardships he endured under his father's control, get to experience his Choosing Ceremony, and learn the true reasons he left Abnegation to because Dauntless.

This was a well-written short story, engaging from the start, and though the enlightened reader who's already read the trilogy may already know most of the back story contained herein, it gave me a new appreciation for Four and everything he went through to get where he is today.

Four: The Initiate
This well-written and engaging short story focuses on Four's initiation into Dauntless, and the beginning of his rivalry with Eric. Although he's still learning to assimilate his learned Abnegation morals into his new Dauntless lifestyle, he's started to make friends and eventually makes a name for himself as he progresses through his initiation with the highest of scores.

As he's adjusting to the Dauntless way of life, Four begins to get the feeling that things are not as they appears to be. His father's fervent warnings that he not show awareness under simulation during the Choosing Ceremony's aptitude test begins to coincide with some of the things he's experiencing. Is this faction system all it's cracked up to be, or is it just another way of controlling people, the way his father always controlled him?

Like the previous story, I loved this glimpse into Four's initiation, and I loved getting to know Shauna and Zeke more too, who were more minor characters in the book trilogy. The foreshadowing at the end left me happy that I have the collection of all four stories to read on hand.

Four: The Son
This short story picks up right where Four: The Initiate leaves off. A major twist is introduced, causing Four to further question all he's known his whole life. Four: The Son finds Four examining the relationship he had with his parents, and how it's affecting his current situation.

Like the previous two short stories about Four, this one was just as good. As top of his class of initiates, Four's asked to be a leader, to help shape the future of Dauntless initiation, but after a couple meetings, he's come to realize this isn't what he wants at all. He's begun to feel that the faction system is just another form of control, one he was trying to escape when leaving his father and Abnegation. So instead, Four begins to exert himself through small acts of rebellion against being controlled, all while keeping it on the down low.

Four: The Traitor
It's been two years since the events of the previous short story, this one taking place during the time of Divergent. Four confronts his inner demons about becoming a traitor to his faction as he ponders what to do with some important information he's discovered. At the same time, he also begins to examine his feelings for Tris and decides to open up to her.

I enjoyed seeing the events surrounding Tris's initiation into Dauntless from Four's point-of-view. When I first read Divergent, I was slightly put off by his seemingly indifferent attitude towards Tris, but in this short story, we get to see what he was really thinking, and it allowed me to understand his character a lot better.

Though these short stories aren't necessary to the story line, I felt they added a lot to it, giving the reader a whole new dimension in which to view the events of the books. Almost makes me want to read the books all over again knowing what I do know about Four. :)