Insurgent was the natural successor to Divergent. Divergent set the pace for everything that followed such as the factionless reaction to oppression, mindlessly following group mentality, dealing with death and war and brainwashing. The questions I had that were not answered are in
the cliffhanger ending so I'm not going to complain. I was reminded of the novel Incarceron
. They were an experiment that turned to hell. It works because the factions turned into the worse version of themselves. It works better here. I didn't buy for a moment that, in Incarceron, the leaders believed locking up all retards, invalids, war criminals, criminals, etc. was going to lead to a Utopian. They had to know it would be hell on earth. It was a prison. I can swallow that people valued amity or candor after a vicious war. I can also buy into an experiment testing group loyalty would try something like this.
The Divergent was intended to lead the way for life outside of the fence. What isn't explained is how the factionless came to be involved in all of this. Why were people who don't meld with one way of thinking were kept down for so long was meant to help anyone is confusing. Did Jeanine have something to do with why all the Divergent were killed? What was society like before her? Tris dad clearly had a history with Jeanine. I'd like a little more back story in how the factionless were treated before she became a leader. Jeanine's rift with Abgenation started with them providing food for the factionless. I suppose she was gunning for the factionless because they were displaying the end of the factions, and life, as she knew it. Except that most factionless were spit out after Dauntless did not want them.
Insurgent is a story about personalities. I was somewhat miffed while reading Divergent that not enough people were divergent. People are too complex to be only one quality. Insurgent took this to another level in using group mentality. People can often shift themselves to behave how their society is. I took this to mean the factionless were unable to conform and were told to get out. A more severe version of how society can treat it's outcasts because the Dauntless kick out their elderly. They were dubbed the cruelest faction for that reason. Insurgent failed to deliver the tone set from Divergent on the end that faction comes before family. Only one character proved this from the first book. Tris own brother, Caleb, betrayed his parents for Euridte's mission. The other characters were shown to be exceptionally loyal to their family members from different factions.
The most intriguing part to me is when Tris finds out more about her own Divergence. Most Divergent display aptitude for two factions, but she has it for three. I have a theory about this.
I think because her mother came from Dauntless and her dad was Erudite she inherited both traits from how her parents raised her. Tris has mirror neurons that help her adapt to whomever she is with. I bet if her character is given another test she'd show aptitude from all the factions now she has spent time with them all.
One thing kept bugging me from both novels. Non Divergent characters displayed behaviours from their old factions. I don't know if we were meant to see things beyond what Tris did. She failed to grasp while commenting that Will was erudite-esque in his thirst for knowledge in Divergent or Christina was Candor-esque in telling the truth. I think all of the characters are Divergent except for their ability not to resist the serums.
I loved the insidiousness of the mind control serums Jeanine, the Erudite leader, infected people with. This amped up the dystopian anti-government thrill for me.
Insurgent is less structured than Divergent was like how Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows broke away from the school format. Tris objective wasn't to get through her Dauntless initation. The book was chaotic due to the war.
I called the cliffhanger somewhat. It bugged me from Divergent about the factions only living in Chicago. I'll have to wait for the last book to find out more.
I was pleasantly surprised that a couple of other things I predicted did not happen. I was sure Tobias would not forgive Tris the two times she lied to him. He did forgive her. I loved that he did not leave and pout for half the book because she did not follow his every order.
The other prediction that I made was that Christina and Cara would betray Tris. I was pleasantly surprised when things did not happen as I expected. I kept shouting to myself "This is a trap!" which it wasn't. I did predict when Tris turned herself into to Eurudite that it was the trap it was.