WARNING - CONTAINS SPOILERS
The Divergent series by Veronica Roth is the latest sci-fi franchise to storm the literary world. Following in the footsteps of The Hunger Games, the first film was released this March and despite mixed criticism, held a #1 place in the box office.
Divergent takes place in a future world setting, where the population of Chicago are split into five groups called 'factions' by a test: young adults join the brave, the selfless, the intelligent, the peaceful or the honest and are taught to focus on that one personality trait for the rest of their lives. It's a flawed plan, but it's worked for everyone else for the past few generations – until Tris comes along.
Played by Shailene Woodley, the star of recent success The Fault In Our Stars, sixteen year old Tris learns she is 'divergent' at the beginning of the film. Three of her personality traits are equally dominant – she is intelligent, brave and selfless – which puts her in a very dangerous position: if the government find out, they will view her as a threat to the social order.
Tris is, like Katniss Everdeen, another fearless female protagonist who is initially underestimated. She is expected by all to choose the colourless, humourless ranks of Abnegation, where it's frowned upon to glance in a mirror or speak unless spoken to – it is a narrow minded brand of 'selfless'. Shocking everybody around her, Tris chooses Dauntless, the faction in which bravery is prized. Personally, I'd steer clear purely because of the fact that to get to Dauntless you have to travel by jumping onto moving trains.
In Dauntless, Tris settles in immediately and begins to make friends – Christina (Zoe Kravitz), Will (Ben Lloyd-Hughes), Al (Christian Madsen) and mysterious instructor 'Four' (Theo James), with whom she forms an immediate connection.
As the name 'Dauntless' suggests, life is far from easy and all the new members of its faction must prove themselves by test after dangerous test. Tris racks up quite a few enemies in her early weeks, but it becomes apparent that the ogrish Peter (Miles Teller) is the least of her problems. Or any of their problems.
It turns out that not everybody is keen on the current Abnegation government, or the way things are run at all. The result of this is an explosive plot that changes everything – involving mind control, war and more very fast trains.
Why not take the test and find out which faction you belong in? http://divergentthemovie.com/aptitudetest
Divergent is released on DVD and Blu-Ray in the UK on August 11th 2014.