Fear doesn’t shut you down. It wakes you up.


FOUR: A Divergent Collection is a thrilling anthology of four short-stories. Veronica Roth had initially started writing the Divergent series from Four’s perspective but had had to stop after thirty pages. She started the story afresh with an Abnegation girl this time instead of a boy. But the boy never disappeared.

Through these stories, we re-enter the faction system, with Tobias Eaton’s point of view. The first story (The Transfer) was released as an e-book on the 3rd of September, 2013. The second story titled The Initiate, the third story titled The Son and the fourth story titled The Traitor was released on the 8th of July, 2014 along with the simultaneous release of the book FOUR which also contains three exclusive scenes from the Divergent series.

Veronica Roth, best known for her Divergent trilogy, is the recipient of the Goodreads 2011 Choice Award and the Best of 2012 in the category YA Fantasy & Sci-fi, and is also the best Goodreads author in 2012. A like for Psychology 101, division into groups and an interest in the character Tris led to her writing the book Divergent.

The book FOUR serves as a prequel to the Divergent series. It is set in the same background as the Divergent trilogy, but in this book the story begins years earlier from when the Divergent started.

The society is divided into five different factions-Abnegation (the selfless), Amity (the peaceful), Candor (the truthful), Dauntless (the brave) and Erudite (the intelligent); and the factionless. Every one living in this society undergoes an Aptitude Test at the age of sixteen to determine which faction suits one the best. Later, one has to attend the Choosing Ceremony where one publicly announces the faction of one’s choice. Roth chooses the time when, Four has to take the Aptitude test, to begin her narration.

Tobias Eaton, the son of an Abnegation leader, is fed up of living “surrounded by identical houses in the most monotonous neighborhood in the city, surrounded by people in identical gray clothing with identical short hair”.

Having lost his mother at a tender age and being physically abused by his father, all Tobias Eaton wants to do is run. He is willing to choose any faction other than Abnegation.

Tobias, no longer wants to be “surrounded by the differential, apologetic Abnegation”. He rebels and finally chooses Dauntless.

Tobias now goes by the name Four, a name given to him because of his four fears. Four is no longer Tobias Eaton. He has left his past behind and is “someone who’s finally ready to fight” by the end of The Transfer.

The Initiate closely follows Four’s initiation ceremony and how he successfully manages to make a name for himself in the Dauntless faction, making enemies in the process. The story ends with Four catching a glimpse of a lady strongly resembling his mother.

It’s finally time for the initiates to choose their jobs. Though Four’s first choice was being an initiate instructor, Max, a Dauntless leader advises him to be like him instead. Four agrees. As his training continues, Four learns a lot about some clandestine activities happening within the faction system. Also, by this time Four is aware of his mother’s existence. The Son witnesses certain discoveries and important decisions and thus ends.

The final story The Traitor occurs simultaneously with Divergent. Tris has joined Dauntless. Four now discovers the attacks planned and it is up to him to react appropriately to save the factions.

The book also features three exclusive scenes from the Divergent series from Tobias’ point of view. Veronica Roth says that her intention of writing this book was to satisfy the enthusiasm and the inquisitiveness of those fans who couldn’t get enough of Four. This book also serves as a way for the producers and directors to know more about the character Four so that they can successfully portray him onscreen.

The language of the book is simple yet not boring. Roth successfully manages to keep the readers captivated throughout the stories. The exclusive scenes could be quite repetitive in nature but they are no doubt a visual treat for the Divergent fans.

Veronica Roth has truly captured human emotions and reactions in this wonderful book. It has been a hit throughout the globe because it appeals to young adults universally.

This book teaches us that there’s a hero within every one of us. A truly motivating book that never fails to keep my spirits elevated.

Sambhavi Kirti



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