[REVIEW] The Transfer – Veronica Roth

ImageSummary
Overall – 3/5

Short Review
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.

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[TOP TEN TUESDAY] Most memorable secondary characters

BlogMy first ever Top Ten Tuesday, hosted weekly by The Broke and Bookish, was a tough one. I spent a lot of time thinking about my choices and remembering why I absolutely adore, or despise, these secondary characters! I hope you like my choices and I look forward to reading everyone else’s picks!

caleb

10. Caleb Prior – Divergent Series (Veronica Roth)

Tris spends so much time thinking of herself (forgivable, she is the narrator after all) we never get a chance to pick her brother’s brain. Even though he regularly pops up throughout the series his motivations remain a mystery, and it would be interesting to hear the thoughts behind his, often surprising, choices.

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9. Ron Weasley and Hermione Grainger – Harry Potter Series (JK Rowling)

No list about secondary characters would be complete without a nod to JK Rowling. Harry Potter is rife with minor characters as friends, enemies and creatures, arguably the most influential and important of which being Ron and Hermione. They’re the brains and heart behind Harry’s quest, always pushing him onwards and keeping him alive until the next challenge is thrown at him.

moiraine

8. Moiraine Damodred – The Wheel of Time Series (Robert Jordan)

This slot could have been filled by a number of similar characters, the classic mysterious and wise mentor to the protagonist. I chose Moiraine as she’s a complete badass, an incredibly powerful Aes Sedai who made it her mission to find and train the Dragon Reborn, fending off Trollocs and Forsaken with barely a bat of an eyelid and trailing all over The Westlands to keep Rand in check.

7. Dorothea SaDiablo – Black Jewels Trilogy (Anne Bishop)

Evil in the way only a woman can be, Dorothea is cut throat and devious, taking pleasure from her power and the ways she can wield it. The main antagonist in The Black Jewels Trilogy and The Invisible Ring prequel, she is memorable for her cruel and unusual ways of controlling men.

6. Kelsier – Mistborn Trilogy (Brandon Sanderson)

Vin’s mentor in Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy is a rebellion hero. Powerful and dangerously charismatic he inspires a full scale revolution, giving us the most unforgettable scene in The Final Empire which encompasses everything he stands for.

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5. The Tralfamadorians – Slaughterhouse 5 (Kurt Vonnegut)

Without these little green men Slaughterhouse 5 is a completely different novel. It is the philosophies and beliefs of these aliens that shape the novel, whether Billy is hallucinating or not. Billy used the Tralfamadorians to cope with the horrors he’d seen in Dresden, without them he would never have ‘travelled’ through the fourth dimension or learnt about the illusion of free will. Perhaps an unusual choice but the science fiction slant on what would otherwise be a literary anti-war novel is definitely unforgettable.

rue

4. Rue – The Hunger Games (Susanne Collins)

Easily the most heartbreaking moment in The Hunger Games, Rue’s death symbolises everything Katniss hates about the Capitol. Innocent Rue was not only a memorable character but created, for me, the most memorable scene of the entire series.

3. Zuzana – Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series (Laini Taylor)

Zuzana is the perfect sidekick. She’s fierce, loyal and most importantly, hilarious. She offers the comic relief to an otherwise heavy series with her animated ways and is the reason Karou has such an affection for the human world.

joffrey

2. Joffrey – A Song of Ice and Fire (George RR Martin)

No one who has read or seen Game of Thrones could forget Joffrey. The truly abhorrent eldest child of Cersei Lannister, he is cruel, spoilt and hated by his kingdom. Joffrey is without even one redeeming, humanising feature. Perhaps the most through-and-through evil character I’ve ever encountered and definitely memorable for it.

1. Tiny Cooper – Will Grayson, Will Grayson (John Green and David Levithan)

There is no other place than first for Tiny Cooper. He is loud, fabulous and completely steals the show. He stages the biggest school musical to ever grace Chicago, falls in love four times a week and eventually becomes the glue which holds the entire story together. Tiny is the embodiment of a memorable secondary character as he struts his giant way through life.

Make sure you comment below with your suggestions and most memorable secondary characters!