Picking up where Divergent (the first novel in the series,) leaves off, Insurgent opens with a now-orphaned, factionless and somewhat more mature Tris. Having learned some valuable life lessons through the deaths of each of her parents, Tris has decided that it is important to be selfless like them and to search for a highly truth about the city she lives in and the divergent--that which the cold and selfish Erudite leader Jeanine Matthews is desperate to hide.
Insurgent has a lot of thrills and spills--more than enough to keep readers turning pages and the concept is an interesting one. It's lovely to watch Tris grow and develop as a person, even though she does make plenty of mistakes along the way. There are also plenty of examples of how, during war, people can change their alliances very quickly and easily and that bravery can be demonstrated in the most surprising of ways. The book has a few failings--it feels very cluttered in parts and a deeper glimpse at the five factions shows that there is no way that a society like that--where people are divided into separate factions based on personality traits--could work real life. But that last part isn't important. The story is driven by the theme of staying true to oneself and standing up for what it truly right, regardless of what others want you to believe. And for the most part, author Veronica Roth drives that message home well. Meanwhile, Tris' love interest, Tobias, is a little bit more difficult to identify with, though the author shows why--his vision of the future appears to be clouded by his memories of his dark past. Consequently, we see a lot of tension between this pair, which is rarely relieved in any way--not only is their relationship is pretty chaste, but the pair fail to communicate on a meaningful level, the latter of which I found quite disappointing. The novel itself ends on a surprising note, but leads well into the third book in to the series, Allegiant.
Ultimately, Insurgent failed to hold my attention as well as it could. The moral was clear, though the telling was a little cloudy.