The Divergent Trilogy: Harry Potter Meets Beatrice Prior

Last May dear Deborah wrote me and Prof Baird-Hardy to urge us to read and then discuss Veronica Roth’s Divergent here at HogwartsProfessor. Lily the Librarian wrote us the same kind of recommendation not much later with a link to her intriguing review at The Hog’s Head’ and the kind note “I’m betting Roth has read your books, John.” I bought Divergent right away  — but, alas, in the move to Oklahoma and madness of a new job, it sat beneath the dust magnets on my crowded books-that-must-be-read shelf.

I finally read Divergent last week and I enjoyed it so much that I bought the second book of the Divergent trilogy, Insurgent, which was published 1 May, and read it, too. What a fun ride it was! As usual Deborah and Lily were right on in their recommendations.

To get the Divergent ball rolling here, I’ve decided to make next week ‘Beatrice Prior Week‘ at HogwartsProfessor. If you enjoyed Harry Potter, Twilight, and/or The Hunger Games, for reasons I explain below the jump, I’m pretty sure you’ll love these books.

I’m almost positive, as well, that we’ll be discussing them here at some length in anticipation of the series finale (due in 2013, a novel which the author says at her blog will be called Detergent, but I’m guessing will more likely be Convergent). You’re forewarned; the longer you take to buy and read the first two books, the more likely it is I will spoil them for you here.

When Publishers Weekly announced that HarperCollins had signed 21 year old Veronica Roth to a three book Divergent deal, the blurb closed with this from Ms. Roth’s agent: “the dystopian thrillers were pitched as The Hunger Games meets The Matrix.” I see that but let’s review the obvious influences of Harry Potter, Bella Swann, and Katniss Everdeen on this wow Bildungsroman. Today, Harry Potter, tomorrow Katniss, and then Bella. After that? I have some ideas after surfing through a pile of interviews with the author and her blog but I’m open to your suggestions! Fire away! [Read more…]