THE TRANSFER is the first in a new collection of short stories from Veronica Roth set within the Divergent world. Each story, released as individual eBooks, deals with one aspect of Four’s rise from Abnegation zero to Dauntless hero; The Transfer focusing on Tobias’ home life and his bold decision to leave his faction behind.
The first thing to note is that at 618 pages (on my phone that is!), THE TRANSFER really is a short story. I felt like the whole thing could have been split into three or four chapters of its own book, which padded out and added on to the following titles in the series could have made for a great novella to accompany the main series.
I have no doubts that this series is intended purely to extend the life of Roth’s series into a Twilight-esque hysteria, and a fully constructed novel/novella from Four’s perspective would perhaps have achieved that and better quenched the extreme thirst of obsessed fangirls. It would certainly have given Roth more room to explore Tobias’ life in Abnegation and his Initiation.
The story is nicely written in the same style as Divergent and Insurgent; while Roth doesn’t exactly push the boundaries in any way it’s always a pleasure to have an easy going read on hand (which may have been some of the problem).
Though I hardly expect a YA author to explain in much detail the way Tobias is treated at home I did hope for a darker, more serious atmosphere than the lighthearted tone I got. Naturally I felt sorry for Tobias but didn’t feel his resentment, anger or sadness as fiercely as in the main series which was a small disappointment.
Despite this, it was refreshing and interesting to hear Four’s thoughts and experience his Dauntless Initiation the same way we saw Tris’. I enjoyed spotting flashes of the strong, relentless Four from the trilogy peeking through his initial Abnegation demeanour, demonstrating how Roth is invested in developing her characters.
This short story mostly left me feeling conflicted. I love Roth’s world and characters but THE TRANSFER didn’t quite strike the same chord with me as the trilogy did; while it was great to discover new and hidden facets to Four’s personality the delivery wasn’t quite at the standard set in Divergent.
I’m sure THE TRANSFER and its companions will definitely tide fans over until Allegiant’s release on 22nd October, as a fandom we just can’t seem to get enough Four.