Author: Veronica Roth (Twitter)
Publish Date: July 8, 2014
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Two years before Beatrice Prior made her choice, the sixteen-year-old son of Abnegation’s faction leader did the same. Tobias’s transfer to Dauntless is a chance to begin again. Here, he will not be called the name his parents gave him. Here, he will not let fear turn him into a cowering child.Newly christened “Four,” he discovers during initiation that he will succeed in Dauntless. Initiation is only the beginning, though; Four must claim his place in the Dauntless hierarchy. His decisions will affect future initiates as well as uncover secrets that could threaten his own future—and the future of the entire faction system.Two years later, Four is poised to take action, but the course is still unclear. The first new initiate who jumps into the net might change all that. With her, the way to righting their world might become clear. With her, it might become possible to be Tobias once again.
Fans of the Divergent trilogy know, love and appreciate what a fantastic hero Four, or Tobias, is throughout the series. However, we also know that Divergent is Tris's story, and it's her path to her destiny. While we're privy to plenty of Four's story, there were countless times through the series that I wanted more from his perspective. I wanted to know, to feel and to fully comprehend what he had to face to become the person he is today. Finally, Veronica Roth has given us what I'm sure many others hope for, as well; a deeper glimpse inside the mind of our hero, Four.
The beauty and curse of Four is a bit of a double-edged sword. Reading the story through his eyes made me wish that we could see the entire series all over again through the same perspective. There is something wholeheartedly refreshing about his journey to personal freedom and integrity that speaks to my soul, and reading the novel really clarified exactly why he because such a beloved character for many. His strength of person, his crisp, clear and passionate point of view shine through these four installments, and it's something I wish I could have read much more of.
It's always a bit difficult to analyze novellas, simply because they're such small snippets of the larger overall picture. Four is no exception to the rule and, in fact, pretty much epitomizes why I want so much more from novellas and tend to steer clear of them. All of that said though, Ms. Roth does a beautiful job of painting four of the main parts of the Divergent story from Four's point of view. While I worried it might feel a bit too familiar and commonplace after having read the full series, the beauty of this collection is that it feels so separate and singular - meaning that Four shines, while when we see Tris, she's clearly a secondary character.
The true talent of this collection, however, is how beautifully Ms. Roth has managed to string avid fans like myself into her incredible world, yet again. Through the eyes of Four, I got to see how he truly because a member of Dauntless, how he met and fell for Tris and how he coped with the incredible changes and challenges that dominated his life. And, while these four novellas definitely tied whatever those missing elements from the series might have been back together, Four stands alone in its raw power and insight into our beloved character's heart.
It's rare for me to read a novella and come away feeling satisfied, but while I wasn't entirely fulfilled (because hey, who doesn't want more), I loved reading every bit of these novellas from Four's eyes. Fans of the series will fall hard for Four all over again, I'm sure. I give this collection a 4.5 out of 5, and I highly recommend it to all fans of YA, especially those who are fans of the Divergent series and love dystopian novels.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.