This article is about the book. For the film, see The Divergent Series: Insurgent.
This article contains major spoilers.
Reader discretion is advised.
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One choice can transform you-or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love. Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.
Starting where the last book left off, Tris, Four, Caleb Prior, Peter Hayes, and Marcus Eaton travel to Amity, where several surviving Abnegation are settled in. Amity issues a statement that all factions may seek refuge there as long as they reside in peace. Tris overhears Marcus confessing to the Amity speaker, Johanna Reyes, that Abnegation's leaders died to protect a secret.
Tris later confronts Marcus, but he refuses to reveal anything. Erudite and Dauntless traitors soon arrive at Amity to detain the Abnegation. Tris sees this and warns the others, who dress in Amity clothes in order to blend in. During the Erudite's search of the compound, however, Four's tattoos give the group away, and a gunfight begins. During this, an Erudite woman aims at Peter and Tris unintentionally saves his life.
Tris, Four, Caleb, and Susan Black escape by jumping onto a train. The train car is full of armed Factionless, including former Dauntless initiate Edward. Tris is surprised to learn that the Factionless are numerous and have established a society where people seem happy. The group is led to the Factionless leader, Four's mother Evelyn Johnson, who was previously thought to be dead.
That evening, Tris overhears a conversation between Four and Evelyn, during which Evelyn tells Four to convince the Dauntless to join the Factionless. During this encounter, Evelyn threatens Tris, telling her that she is "permanent" in Four's life and that Tris is only "temporary". Caleb and Susan stay at a Factionless safe zone, while Tris and Four travel to Candor headquarters.
Reaching Candor, Tris and Four are arrested and subjected to a truth serum trial. During the trial, Four admits that he joined Dauntless to escape his father's abuse, and Tris admits her guilt in shooting/killing Will. This angers Four and Christina, who were unaware that Tris was Will's killer.
The Candor are attacked by Eric's group of traitors; this results in many people getting shot and a new simulation serum. Tris and Uriah Pedrad, who is revealed to be Divergent, figure out what is happening and try to warn the remaining Divergent, but only for them to be captured by Eric.
He plans, as instructed by Jeanine Matthews, to take two of the Divergent back to Erudite headquarters and execute the rest. As Tris injures Eric, the Dauntless burst into the room and take control. They figure out that the new serum allows Jeanine to subject the victims to simulations from great distances and that it won't wear off, giving the Erudite much greater control over the group. Following the attack, Candor leader Jack Kang arranges a meeting with the Erudite, secretly observed by Tris, Four, Lynn, and Shauna .
The Erudite, represented by Dauntless traitor Max, demand that Candor turn over Eric, the Divergent, and a list of those who did not receive the new serum injection. Tris figures out that Jeanine is controlling Max via earpiece and must be close by, but before she can act, Lynn shoots Max in the chest from her secret location. Tris, Four, Lynn, and Shauna run to escape the Dauntless traitors but run into Jeanine and her guards, one of whom is Peter, who allows them to escape.
As they run away, Shauna is shot in the back and paralyzed. Back at Candor, Four confronts Tris, telling her that she is being reckless with her life, and that they are finished if she continues to act as such. The Dauntless hold a secret meeting away from the Candor, and Four, Tori Wu, and Harrison are elected as new leaders. They then put Eric on trial for his crimes. He is convicted, and Eric demands that Four kill him, which he does with no guilt. The Dauntless return to their headquarters, and Tris and Four meet with Evelyn and Edward.
While Tris and Four are leaving for the meeting, Four tells her that one of his fears in his fear landscape changed; instead of having to shoot a woman, he has to watch Tris die. Four makes an agreement with the Factionless to destroy the Erudite and establish a new government. However, Tris doesn't trust Evelyn, who she feels abandoned Four to his father's abuse.
That night, Christina and Tris discover a simulation that causes Dauntless members to step off the roof every two days unless a Divergent is given to the Erudite. They save a young girl and Lynn's brother, Hector, but Marlene plunges to her death.
Tris is again overcome by grief and guilt. She flees the funeral ceremony, but Christina finds her and forgives her for what happened with Will, understanding that simulations make a person completely controlled by Jeanine. Tris later finds her way 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, terrified but accepting of her fate. She agrees to Jeanine's testing as long as the results are explained to her; she is then 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 that he tried to save her. They are taken to the execution chamber, where Jeanine injects Tris with a terror-inducing drug so that Four will give up the locations of the Factionless safe houses.
Despite all her efforts, Jeanine cannot find a simulation to control Tris, and when Jeanine loses her temper, the two have an altercation. She then declares that Tris will die the next day. However, Peter, who is meant to be her executioner, helps her, to repay his debt of her saving his life, and Four escape from Erudite instead. The three travel to the Abnegation sector of the city, where the Factionless and Dauntless have gathered. Four leads Tris to his own house after Evelyn kicks Marcus out, and they admit their love for each other.
Having been greatly affected by her near-death experience, Tris meanders around her old neighborhood. She bumps into Marcus, who convinces Tris that her parents died to save the 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 and ask Johanna for her help. She holds a meeting to inform the rest of Amity, and after the decision is for Johanna and several others choose to leave the faction.
Tris and Christina speak with the Erudite refugees living in Amity, including Will's sister Cara, who agrees to help with the mission to save the information that was stolen and transmit it to all factions. Travelling back to the city, Tris leads a group disguised as Erudite to infiltrate the faction headquarters. Once they get in, Cara begins connecting the 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. On the way, the group runs into Edward. After a fight that disables Edward and Christina, Tris and Marcus reach an intersection. They split up, going into two different doorways. Tris enters a simulation that forces her to fight herself. Realizing she is more desperate than her simulation counterpart, she forces the simulation to give her a gun, and, facing her guilt over Will, she shoots 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, she attempts to explain that she wants Tori not to kill Jeanine so that they can obtain the information from her computer. Tori refuses and stabs Jeanine in the stomach, killing her.
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, and 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. The Dauntless begin to protest but find themselves powerless, as their weapons have been taken by the Factionless. Caleb, Marcus, and Four then enter the room, and Four talks to Tris about forcing Caleb to retrieve the information on the computer. They then kiss and reconcile.
Screens in the room then begin to play the information retrieved by Four and Caleb: an old video featuring a woman named Amanda Ritter, who later takes the identity of Edith Prior, from an organization fighting for justice and peace. Amanda explains that the world had become corrupt and the faction system was established as the cure to this corruption, as a way to help society regain the moral sense it had lost. The city was sealed away from the rest of the world, but when those identified as Divergent had increased in numbers, the Amity are to open the fence forever and the population should re-enter the world. As the video ends, the room erupts into voices.
- Beatrice Prior/Tris- The series' main protagonist. A born Abnegation that influenced her childhood willing to be selfless, Beatrice grew to be a child with traits that conflicted with her faction. Though she can be selfish at times, she is not above helping her loved ones and choosing to commit selfless things for them. She learns of being a Divergent during the Aptitude Tests, who among other things are people who can manipulate the simulations. She later joins Dauntless and changes her name to Tris. In the initiation that follows, Tris encounters numerous enemies who seek to break her down while at the same time she grapples her feelings for a fellow Dauntless who becomes an integral person in helping Tris to cope with her identity as a Divergent.
- Tobias Eaton/Four- A born Abnegation turned Dauntless, Tobias, or Four after becoming Dauntless, is the one responsible for his faction's initiation. Four is an eighteen-year old Dauntless who oversees the Dauntless initiates during Divergent. He meets Beatrice Prior, befriending her and later becoming her boyfriend. He helps her pass initiation while protecting her identity as Divergent.
- Peter- One of the main antagonists of the novel. Peter is a former Candor who transferred to Dauntless and became one of Tris' enemies. He is shown to be cruel, sadistic, antagonistic, ill-tempered, and easily jealous. He desires a status of being the top of the initiates, doing anything he can to achieve that standing. His greed for power is Peter's most discernible trait.
- Caleb Prior- The brother of Beatrice and son of Andrew and Natalie Prior. Though Caleb always seemed selfless and harbored no selfishness, he loved to read books and seek knowledge, eventually becoming an Erudite. Despite this, Caleb never forgot about his old faction, and chose to help his family during the rebellion in spite of his apparent betrayal to Abnegation.
- Natalie Prior- The mother of Beatrice and Caleb Prior. She is a selfless wife, always thinking about what's best for her family and everyone else. Natalie was born Dauntless but later turned to Abnegation to try to hide her Divergence from wary eyes.
- Andrew Prior- The father of Beatrice and Caleb Prior. He is an epitome of selflessness; always doing what's best for the people around him. Andrew becomes a council member effectively becoming an influential man in the city.
Insurgent won Favorite Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction and Author of 2012 in 2012's Goodreads Choice Awards. It was also nominated at Children's Choice Book Awards for Teen Book Of The Year and Author Of The Year.
Like it's predecessor, Insurgent has been well received by 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." Kirkus Reviews said it was "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." Roth has admitted a number of continuity errors in Insurgent, an aftereffect of overlapping novel drafts.
- Main article: The Divergent Series: Insurgent (film)
Brian Duffield of Jane Got a Gun has been chosen to write the adaptation script for Insurgent as of May 7, 2013. The film is scheduled to be released on March 20, 2015. Its predecessor, Divergent, is scheduled for release on March 21, 2014. 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. Akiva Goldsman has been hired to re-write Duffield's script and Robert Schwentke has now been hired to replace Burger as the director.