FREE FOUR is a (very) short story based on Veronica Roth’s DIVERGENT, second in a small series of eBooks which recount Tobias’ life before, during and after his own initiation. FREE FOUR is supposed to be a re-telling of DIVERGENT from Tobias’ view.
Honestly, my first thought when I finished this story was “Are you joking?”. I was very excited to get a chance to hear Four’s voice, especially now it’s been revealed that he will share the narration with Tris in ALLEGIANT, but I cannot help but feel completely let down by FREE FOUR.
It’s sold as “Free Four: Tobias Tells the Divergent Story”. Exciting, right? What you actually get is 8 pages (on my iPad Mini) of Tobias fumbling through the knife throwing scene, then four extracts from DIVERGENT and INSURGENT. Seriously, 8 pages.
The language felt very clumsy and rushed to me, definitely not up to Roth’s usual standard. It was difficult to truly see this narrator as Four; his voice didn’t feel right compared to the character in the main series and even the previous short story. I couldn’t relate to him in the same way or picture him as the same man at all. FREE FOUR didn’t add anything to this scene for me at all, Tobias was weak, even pathetic, and completely terrified of Eric. Not the Four we know.
I get the feeling a lot of hardcore fangirls will be thrilled at this release and while I do love Four and his relationship with Tris, I am definitely not thrilled. I only hope this isn’t a preview of what’s to come with ALLEGIANT.