Insurgent (novel)

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This article is about the novel. For the film based which is based on it, see The Divergent Series: Insurgent.
Insurgent (book).jpeg
Cover of first edition
Author Veronica Roth
Cover artist Joel Tippie[2]
Country United States
Language English
Series Divergent trilogy[2]
Genre Science fiction, dystopia, romance, young-adult fiction
Publisher Katherine Tegen Books
Publication date
May 1, 2012
Media type Print (hardcover)
Pages 525 pp (first ed.)
568 pp (collector's ed.)[1]
ISBN ISBN 0-06-202404-3 (first) ISBN 0-06-223493-5 (coll.)
OCLC 794210765
LC Class PZ7.R7375 Ins 2012; PZ7.R7375 Ins 2012b[1]
Preceded by Divergent
Followed by Allegiant

Insurgent is a 2012 science fiction young adult novel by American novelist Veronica Roth and the second book in the Divergent trilogy.[3] As the sequel to the 2011 bestseller Divergent, it continues the story of Tris Prior and the dystopian post-apocalyptic version of Chicago. Following the events of the previous novel, a war now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. While trying to save the people that she loves, Tris faces questions of grief, forgiveness, identity, loyalty, politics, and love.

The book was first published on May 1, 2012 by the HarperCollins imprints Katherine Tegen Books in the U.S. and HarperCollins Children's Books in the U.K, [2] and a "Collector's Edition" was published on October 30 in the United States. Insurgent received mostly positive reviews from critics, with reviewers praising Roth's writing.[4]

A film adaptation of the novel was released on March 20, 2015.


Further information: Factions (Divergent)

The background to the story, revealed in the first novel of the trilogy, explains how Chicago in the post-apocalyptic far future is now a society that defines its citizens by strict conformity to their social and personality-related affiliation with five different factions, which removes the threat of anyone exercising independent will and re-threatening the population's safety through war or some other human created catastrophe. The factions are Abnegation for the selfless, Amity for the peaceful, Candor for the honest, Dauntless for the brave, and Erudite for the intelligent. Those who are tested with equal aptitude for more than one faction are deemed "Divergent". Due to their capability for independent thought beyond the restrictive nature of the factions, Divergents are considered threats to the society, hunted and killed by the ruthless leader of Erudite in order to eliminate the "threat" of independent thinking. Those who fail the initiation of their particular faction are deemed factionless, a drain on society..


Tris, Four, Caleb, Peter, and Marcus travel to Amity, where several surviving Abnegation have settled. Amity issues a statement that all factions may seek a place of safety there offering refuge as long as they reside in peace.

Erudite and Dauntless traitors arrive at Amity to search for Abnegation members. Tris, Four (Tobias), and Caleb escape by jumping onto an oncoming train full of armed factionless, including former Dauntless initiate Edward,who escorts them to a factionless-safe zone. The group is lead to factionless leader, Four's mother, Evelyn, who was believed to be dead. Tris overhears a conversation between Four and Evelyn, during which Evelyn tells Four that he needs to convince the Dauntless to join the factionless. During this encounter, Evelyn threatens Tris. Caleb moves to a safe zone where more Abnegation are living while Tris and Four travel to Candor headquarters.

When they reached Candor, Tris and Four are arrested and subjected to a truth serum trial at Candor. During the trial, Four admits he joined Dauntless to escape his father's abuse. He intended to leave Dauntless to be factionless after this last group of initiates, but saw Tris and decided to protect her. Tris admits shooting Will which angers Four and Christina, who were unaware she was Will's killer.

Candor is attacked by Dauntless traitors led by Eric. The victims are shot with a new simulation serum. Tris and Uriah are revealed as Divergent. They discover what is happening and attempt to warn the remaining Divergent, but are captured by Eric. His orders from Jeanine are to take two Divergent back to Erudite headquarters and execute the rest. Tris injures Eric as Dauntless burst into the room and take control. They realize the new serum allows Jeanine to subject victims to simulations from great distances. The serum doesn't wear off and gives Erudite much greater control over their victims. After the attack, Candor leader Jack arranges a meeting with Erudite that is secretly observed by Tris, Four, Lynn, and Shauna. Erudite, represented by Dauntless traitor Max, demands that Candor turn over Eric, Divergents, and a list of everyone who didn't receive the new serum injection. Tris realizes Jeanine is controlling Max via earpiece and must be near, but Lynn shoots Max from her secret location before Tris can act. Tris, Four, Lynn, and Shauna attempt to escape the Dauntless traitors but run into Jeanine and her guards. Peter, who is among the guards, allows them to escape. Shauna is shot and paralyzed as they flee.

Back at Candor, Four confronts Tris about her recklessness, and says they're finished if she continues in this manner. Dauntless holds a secret meeting, and Four, Tori, and Harrison are elected as new leaders. They put Eric on trial for his crimes. He is convicted and Eric demands execution from Four, who complies. Dauntless return to their headquarters, and Tris and Four head for a meeting with Evelyn and Edward. On the way, Four tells Tris that one of the fears in his landscape changed. Instead of having to shoot a woman, he has to watch Tris die. At the meeting, Four makes an agreement with the factionless to destroy Erudite and establish a new government. Tris believes Evelyn abandoned Four to his father's abuse and doesn't trust her.

That night, Christina and Tris discover a simulation that causes Dauntless members to step off the roof every two days unless a Divergent is surrendered to Erudite. They save a young girl and Lynn's brother, Hector, but Marlene plunges to her death. Tris, overcome by grief and guilt, flees the funeral. Christina finds her and forgives her for what happened with Will because the simulations place a person under complete control from Jeanine. Tris goes to Four's room, intent on sacrificing herself to Erudite. He begs her to reconsider, and she agrees, but leaves for Erudite at midnight while he sleeps.

Tris walks into Erudite headquarters and agrees to Jeanine's testing as long as the results are explained to her. She is subjected to an MRI and several simulations. She sees Caleb, who is now working for Jeanine, and is shocked at his betrayal. One evening, Tris encounters Four in the hallway, and discovers he tried to save her. They are taken to the execution chamber, where Jeanine injects Tris with a terror-inducing drug to force Four to reveal where the factionless safe houses are located. Jeanine is unable to find a simulation that will control Tris. She loses her temper and the two have an altercation. She declares Tris will die the next day, but Peter, her executioner, decides to repay her for saving his life. He helps Tris and Four escape.

The three travel to the Abnegation sector, where the factionless and Dauntless have gathered. Four leads Tris to his house after Evelyn kicks Marcus out, and they admit their love for each other. Greatly affected by her near-death experience, Tris wanders her old neighborhood. She bumps into Marcus, who convinces Tris that her parents died to save information that Jeanine stole. He insists this information must be made public before the Dauntless/factionless army destroy all data in their attack. Under disguise, Tris, Christina, and Marcus infiltrate Amity to update Amity leader Johanna and ask for her help. She holds a meeting to inform the rest of Amity and Amity decides to remain impartial. Johanna and several others choose to leave the faction. Tris and Christina speak with Erudite refugees living in Amity, including Will's sister Cara. Cara agrees to help with the mission to save the stolen information and transmit it to all factions.

Tris travels back to the city and leads a group disguised as Erudite to infiltrate the faction headquarters. They get inside and Cara begins connecting computers to transmit the data to other factions. After an encounter with Caleb, Tris and Marcus realize the data won't be on the main computer. Tris, Marcus, and Christina head up to Jeanine's private laboratory after Tris remembers what Tori mentioned about security. They run into Edward on the way. After a fight disables Edward and Christina, Tris and Marcus reach an intersection. They split up and go into two different doorways. Tris enters a simulation that forces her to fight herself. Tris, more desperate than her simulation counterpart, forces the simulation to give her a gun. She faces her guilt over Will and kills her simulation-self. When she walks into the laboratory, she finds Tori screaming at Jeanine to acknowledge her brother, a Divergent, who was killed on Jeanine's command. Tris disarms Tori, and after a struggle, attempts to explain that she doesn't want Tori to kill Jeanine so they can obtain information from her computer. Tori refuses and kills Jeanine by stabbing her in the stomach.

Tori calls Tris a traitor and attempts to have her taken into custody, while Four confronts her about aligning with Marcus. Uriah escorts Tris downstairs. As they reach the holding area for the surviving Erudite, Candor, and Dauntless, they find an injured Lynn, and comfort her as she dies. Evelyn announces the institution of a new factionless government and society. Dauntless begins to protest but find themselves powerless since their weapons were taken by the factionless. Caleb, Marcus, and Four enter the room. Four and Tris kiss and reconcile, and Tris hopes all the secrets between them are gone for good. Screens in the room begin to play the information retrieved by Four and Caleb, an old video featuring a woman named Amanda Ritter. Ritter was from an organization fighting for justice and peace who later took the identity of Edith Prior. Amanda vaguely explains that the world had become corrupt (due to reasons revealed in the next novel, Allegiant). The city was sealed away from the rest of the world until the Divergent increase numbers. Then Amity will open the fence forever and the population should re-enter the world. As the video ends, the room erupts into voices.


The setting is a dystopian Chicago in the far future, where Lake Michigan has turned into a giant marsh. The Candor compound surrounds a ruined Merchandise Mart. The Amity live on farms, located outside a fence that surrounds the city (and keeps the other factions in); their central meeting area is a building with a great tree in the center. The Dauntless compound is the combination of a glass building and a deep cave underneath it, nicknamed "The Pit." The Abnegation sector is a cookie-cutter neighborhood, where "everything looks alike." The Erudite compound is in a futuristic part of the city, including the former site of Grant Park (a sculpture resembling the famous "Cloud Gate" is mentioned in Divergent) and the buildings are very advanced.[5][6][7]


Some of the major themes covered in the book include rebellion, romance, bravery, courage, friendship, betrayal, the search for individual identity and heroism.[8][9][10]

Paperback Editions[edit]

In the US, the book was released in the paperback format on January 20, 2015. The standard retail version includes previously unreleased material (deleted scenes). There are also several retailer exclusive versions at Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Target, and Walmart, each with different deleted scenes and Q&As with author Veronica Roth.[11][12][13][14]

Critical reception[edit]

Insurgent received mostly positive reviews from critics. Trade publication Publisher Weekly received the novel enthusiastically: "Roth knows how to write. So even though this second book of the trilogy that began with Divergent feels like a necessary bridge between the haunting story she created in book one and the hinted-at chaos of book three, readers will be quick to forgive. . . The author has a subtle way of pulling readers into a scene (“The outside air.... smells green, the way a leaf does when you tear it in half”), and the novel’s love story, intricate plot, and unforgettable setting work in concert to deliver a novel that will rivet fans of the first book."[15] Kirkus Reviews said "The unrelenting suspense piles pursuit upon betrayal upon torture upon pitched battles; the violence is graphic, grisly and shockingly indiscriminate. The climactic reveal, hinting at the secret origins of their society, is neither surprising nor particularly plausible, but the frenzied response makes for another spectacular cliffhanger."[16] Roth has admitted a number of continuity errors in Insurgent, an aftereffect of overlapping novel drafts.[17]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Insurgent won Favorite Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction and Author of 2012 in 2012's Goodreads Choice Awards.[18] It was also nominated at Children's Choice Book Awards for Teen book of the year and Author of the year.[19]

Film adaptation[edit]

Summit Entertainment announced that a film adaptation of Insurgent would be released as The Divergent Series: Insurgent on March 20, 2015,[20] as a sequel to the film adaptation of Divergent with Brian Duffield originally chosen to write the script for the film.[21][22] On December 16, 2013, it was announced that Neil Burger, director of Divergent, would not return to direct Insurgent, due to him still working on the first film.[23] On February 13, 2014, it was announced that Robert Schwentke was offered the director position for the film and that Akiva Goldsman had been hired to re-write Duffield's script.[24][25] The Divergent Series: Insurgent began filming in Atlanta on May 27, 2014[26] and concluded on September 6, 2014.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Insurgent (First Edition). Library of Congress Catalog Record (LCC).
    Insurgent (Collector's Edition). LCC. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Divergent Universe series listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved March 25, 2014. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
  3. ^ "Insurgent (Divergent Series #2) by Veronica Roth". Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  4. ^ Roth, Veronica. Insurgent. 
  5. ^ "The second book of the bestselling Divergent series takes far too many twists and turns". Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Insurgent, by Veronica Roth, 2012, Book Review". Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Book Review: Insurgent.". Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Interview: Veronica Roth on her book 'Insurgent' and feminism". Los Angeles Times. April 30, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Review: 'Insurgent' by Veronica Roth". USA Today. Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  10. ^ "INSURGENT: SECOND BOOK IN THE DIVERGENT TRILOGY". Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Barnes & Noble Exclusive". Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  12. ^ "Books-A-Million (BAM) Exclusive". Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  13. ^ "Target Exclusive". Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  14. ^ "Walmart Exclusive". Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  15. ^ "Insurgent Veronica Roth. HarperCollins/Tegen". Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  16. ^ "INSURGENT From the "Divergent" series, volume 2 by Veronica Roth". Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  17. ^ Roth, Vernoica. "Errors: Why They Happen, How to Better Avoid Them". Retrieved June 2, 2013. 
  18. ^ "winners of the 2012 Goodreads Choice Awards". Retrieved 3 September 2013. 
  19. ^ "2013 Finalists and Winners". Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  20. ^ Trumbore, Dave (December 16, 2013). "Summit Sets Release Dates for DIVERGENT Threequel ALLEGIANT, Plus GODS OF EGYPT and STEP UP ALL IN". Retrieved December 17, 2013. 
  21. ^ Trumbore, Dave (May 7, 2013). "Summit Sets Brian Duffield to Pen DIVERGENT Sequel, INSURGENT". Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Divergent Sequel Insurgent Adaptation Gets A Writer". Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  23. ^ "‘Divergent’ Director Neil Burger Won’t Do Sequel (EXCLUSIVE)". Retrieved December 17, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Robert Schwentke To Direct ‘Divergent’ Sequel ‘Insurgent’". Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Summit announces director for 'Divergent' sequel". Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  26. ^ "‘Divergent’ Sequel ‘Insurgent’ Starts Filming in Atlanta May 27th!". Retrieved 27 April 2014. 

External links[edit]