[This review is based on the hardcover edition published by Katherine Tegen Books imprint of HarperCollins Publishers in 2014.]
The single-sentence synopsis:
This collection of short stories (and three additional, exclusive scenes), told from Tobias “Four” Eaton’s point of view, gives us a look at his perspective on events leading up to and overlapping with those in Divergent.
Judging the cover:
Strong and bright, it matches Four’s personality perfectly. I love the way the Ferris wheel appears to be spinning out of control and is sparking because someone is trying to apply the brakes — much like Four’s life as he leaves his faction. Beautifully done!
First thought I had after I finished reading:
I love Four even more now than I already did. Forget everything I’ve said in the past about other male characters being my book boyfriends….nope, Four is definitely the one.
And here’s why:
Throughout the previously-published Divergent trilogy, Veronica Roth gave readers the impression that Four had already been through a great deal in his life before Tris landed in the net at the Dauntless compound. What we didn’t know, however, was just how bad his life really was and how well he did (or didn’t) adjust to life in Dauntless. We also get the story behind the incredible tattoo on his back which, in case you skipped the film, is here:
Between The Transfer, The Initiate, and The Son, we reexamine familiar plot points through fresh eyes: the abusive relationship between Four and his father, Eric’s rise to Dauntless leader, and Four’s discovery that his mother is alive among them. These stories are less about the plot themes themselves than they are about the details. Just how much did Four know about the joint Erudite-Dauntless plan to attack Abnegation before Tris put it together? Did he ever confront Peter about attacking Tris during initiation? How did he become friends with Zeke and Shauna? And why did he cover his entire back with ink?
Of the four stories within the book, though, The Traitor was the one I found most fascinating. It’s the one story that overlaps with Divergent, starting with Tris’ Visiting Day and ending just after they share their first kiss. It’s always fun to reread a story from a different character’s perspective, but this was just wonderful. We get brand-new insights into the relationship that would otherwise have remained hidden, since Divergent was told entirely from Tris’ perspective. Getting to dive into his brain and examine everything was incredibly enlightening, and I found myself actually smiling and cheering at the end. (It would appear I’ve found my fandom!)
Four is the perfect companion to the Divergent trilogy, and I’m so happy that Veronica Roth wrote it. Now if only she could rewrite the entire trilogy in Four’s voice….a girl can dream, right?
On a scale of 1-5, I would give it a…
4! (Appropriate, right?)