Insurgent (novel)

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Insurgent (book).jpeg
Cover of first edition
Author Veronica Roth
Cover artist Joel Tippie[1]
Country United States
Language English
Series Divergent trilogy[1]
Genre Science fiction, dystopia, romance, young adult fiction
Publisher Katherine Tegen Books
Publication date
May 1, 2012
Media type Print (hardcover)
Pages 525 (first ed.)
568 pp (collector's ed.)[2]
ISBN 0-06-202404-3 (first) ISBN 0-06-223493-5 (coll.)
OCLC 794210765
LC Class PZ7.R7375 Ins 2012; PZ7.R7375 Ins 2012b[2]
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 UK,[1] 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.


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. Factions are meant to be a lifetime allegiance, far more important than family—"faction before blood" is a societal motto. Those who fail the initiation of their particular faction or subsequently leave it are "factionless", a permanently homeless underclass deemed to be a drain on society.


After the events of Divergent, Beatrice "Tris" Prior, Tobias "Four" Eaton, Caleb Prior, Peter Hayes, and Marcus Eaton seek refuge at the Amity sector. Tris overhears Marcus discussing with the Amity leader Johanna Reyes that the Abnegation leaders died to protect a secret. Erudite and the Dauntless traitors soon arrive to arrest any Divergents they find, though Tris flees with Four, Caleb, and Susan Black towards a train that leads them to the factionless sector. There, they are greeted by Tobias' mother, Evelyn Johnson-Eaton.

Evelyn unsuccessfully persuades her son to sway Dauntless into joining forces with the factionless against Erudite. While Caleb and Susan decide to move back to the Abnegation sector, Tris and Tobias head to the Candor headquarters, where the other Dauntless members now reside. The two are forced to take truth serums, in which Tobias confides his reasons for transferring to Dauntless, while Tris reveals her killing of Will in self-defense, which strains her relationship with her friend, Christina. That night, the Dauntless traitors, led by Eric, arrive and shoot simulation serums on their fellow Dauntless members while at the same throw smoke gas, which knocks all unconscious except for the Divergents — Tris, Uriah Pedrad, and several others. While Eric is executing some of the Divergents, Tris wounds him, giving time for the Dauntless members not breathing the gas, including Tobias, to capture him and force the other traitors to flee. Their safety is revealed to be guaranteed by an Erudite renegade and Will's sister, Cara.

Tris, Tobias, Lynn, and Shauna spy on the discussion set upon by the Candor leader Jack Kang with Jeanine Matthews's representative and a Dauntless traitor, Max. During the meeting, Lynn shoots and kills Max, while Shauna is rendered paraplegic by a nerve serum. To prevent Jeanine from holding another prisoner exchange, Dauntless vote to execute Eric, which Tobias does with no hesitation, while to avoid a dependence on Candor, Dauntless leave for their headquarters and disable most of the security cameras inside. However, Tris is alerted by Christina that one undisarmed camera causes three Dauntless members: Marlene, Hector, and Kee, to become simulated into attempting to commit suicide unless a Divergent is handed over; out of the three, they are unable to save Marlene.

To prevent more people from dying, Tris offers herself over to Erudite and is placed in a cell by Peter and, to her shock, Caleb, both of whom are now working with Jeanine. However, Tobias follows her and ends up becoming captured, although he states that he has managed to convince Dauntless to ally themselves with the factionless, with the upcoming insurgency scheduled several days afterward. After unsuccessful simulation tests, Jeanine orders for Tris' execution, but Peter, in return for Tris' rescue of him at the Amity sector, has swapped the serum for a paralytic serum beforehand and also frees Tobias, allowing the trio a chance to escape back to the Abnegation sector. There, Tris meets with Marcus, who tells him that Jeanine is withholding the information that Abnegation protected; should the factionless take hold of it, it would certainly be destroyed.

Tris, Christina, Marcus head for Amity to request Johanna's help, who, alongside several others including Susan's brother, Robert, choose to assist them despite Amity's resistance. They are additionally assisted by Cara and another Erudite renegade, Fernando, who act as navigators. This so-called "Insurgents" infiltrate the Erudite headquarters the following day, which sees the loss of Fernando, but they manage to access Jeanine's laboratory. Inside, Tris faces simulations before confronting Jeanine, who is cornered by Tori Wu. Despite trying to convince Tori to let her go, Tori kills Jeanine, then brands Tris a traitor. The invasion of Erudite having ended, Tris learns about the casualties, including Lynn, the fact that the factionless have taken all the weapons so they can rule after Jeanine's demise, and is subsequently handcuffed alongside Christina, Marcus, and the other Insurgents, though she is able to tell Tobias about the information, which he and Caleb share through the computers. The information is a video narrated by a woman named Edith Prior, who came from "an organization fighting for peace". Edith vaguely explains that the world had become corrupt, and it is for this reason that the city was sealed away from the rest of the world to allow the Divergent numbers to increase, after which Amity would open the fence forever and the population should re-enter the world. As the book 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, called by them the "Merciless Mart" due to their unrelenting honesty. 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.


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ a b Insurgent (First Edition). Library of Congress Catalog Record (LCC).
    Insurgent (Collector's Edition). LCC. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
  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". Archived from the original on September 4, 2013. 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". Archived from the original on August 21, 2013. 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]