September 15, 2014

Review: Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth

Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent, #0.1-0.4
Published: 2014, Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Source: Library
Contains spoilers for Divergent (my review), Insurgent (my review), Allegiant (my review)

I'm not sure bravery is something you acquire more of with age, like wisdom --but maybe here, in Dauntless, bravery is the highest form of wisdom, the acknowledgement that life can and should be lived without fear.

I’m a bit torn on what to think of this. On the one hand, it’s hard not to view this as a money grab, as a way for Roth’s series to continue to stay relevant. On the other hand, I’ll admit it was kind of interesting to delve a bit into the history of Abnegation-born Tobias Eaton, and the chain of events that led him to become Four, a Dauntless instructor.

Four: A Divergent Collection tells the backstory of Four in four (of course) short stories. “The Transfer” focuses on the days leading up - and following - Four’s choosing ceremony. “The Initiate” focuses on the beginnings of Four’s Dauntless training, and the cultivation of his new persona as “Four,” the initiate with only four fears. “The Son” gives a bit more backstory as to why Four chose to transfer factions, and focuses on his familial relationships in particular. “The Traitor” actually is synchronous with the events of Divergent, as Four begins to question his faction and fall for new initiate Tris (not necessarily in that order).

The first three stories are definitely the strongest. For them Roth has created new content: new characters, new conflicts, new motivations. And, on top of that, she’s also added answers to some niggling questions I had while reading the series, such as why there aren’t many older Dauntless members, or the devolution of the Dauntless faction and how people like Eric could be given such power.

Much of Four’s stories focus on questions of his identity and drive to find meaning, so there’s not much that I can say. If you enjoyed reading about Tris’ conflicts to acclimate to Dauntless and explore the greater meanings of her society, then you’ll enjoy reading about the similar experiences that Four has a few years earlier.

Did I really need to get Four’s backstory or perspective? Certainly not. Though I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the experience of slipping back into this world. This is very clearly a companion novel to the larger series and should only be read in that context. It’s for the fans who want more of Four, and of this dystopian world. And in that regard, I suppose it succeeds.

Rating: 2.5 stars
author image


Amanda loves few things better than sitting down with a cup of tea and a book. She frequently stays up far too late, telling herself she just needs to finish one more page. When she's not wrapped up in the stories of others, Amanda works as a children's librarian in a public library.


  1. Like you, I'm not exactly craving more of Four or his backstory which is why I didn't rush out to pick up a copy of this. I haven't even read Allegiant--and don't plan to--hence the reason this anthology never drew me in. I'm glad it proved to be partially successful, regardless, though. Thanks for such an honest review, Amanda! :)

  2. I bought this, though I'm not 100% why. I loved Divergent, but found myself disappointed by the rest of the series. Still, I like completing a series when I can so thought it would be good to give this a go. I'm glad to see that even though it got a low rating you didn't completely hate it or anything. I get your feeling about it being a ploy to keep the series in the spotlight, kind of thing. I'm at least glad that the first three stories bring out new content, because if it was just all the same scenes from the series from his point of view I'd be annoyed. Anyways, thanks for the review! Not sure when I'll get around to reading it myself, but hopefully soon!


Thank you for taking the time to comment! I strive to make my blog the very best it can possibly be and I appreciate each and every comment on here.