When Tobias Eaton takes his aptitude test, he unsurprisingly discovers that the test places him in Abnegation, the faction of his birth. A part of him wants to remain in the environment that's familiar to him, but another part of him is screaming to get away from a controlling father who beats him at the slightest provocation. On Choosing Day, Tobias must make a hard decision and take a leap of faith in more ways than one to get to the place where he earns the nickname Four.
The Transfer begins with Tobias taking his aptitude test, which like Tris's test, was administered by Tori. My one and only slight complaint and the reason I knocked off a half star is because I seem to recall Tori telling Tris (albeit reluctantly) that she was Divergent, whereas, she didn't seem particularly phased by Tobias's test and didn't tell him anything about being Divergent. This seemed a little inconsistent with the rest of the series, so I'll be interested to find out exactly how he learns this about himself.
Otherwise, I very much enjoyed The Transfer, in all honesty, even more so than the series as a whole. Even though I already knew about most of the information that's revealed in this story, I found Tobias to be a compelling character. We get a glimpse of his life with his abusive father before he transfers factions on Choosing Day, as well as how he came to make the decision to leave Abnegation even though his aptitude test supposedly pegged him in the faction of his birth. I thought this showed him to be a courageous character to make that kind of stand. In addition, we get to see his first day in Dauntless initiation, how he fared compared to Tris, and how he came by the nickname Four.
I felt much more connected to Four as a character then I did when reading the rest of the Divergent series. I also, in many ways, found him to be a more interesting character than Tris, which is why I was rather surprised to read in Veronica Roth's introduction to the book that she originally began writing the series in Tobias's perspective, but then stalled out thirty pages into it because she didn't feel like he was the right narrator for the story. She didn't pick it back up again until four years later, when she came up with the character of Tris. I try not to second-guess authors, because as one myself, I know you can't always please everyone and sometimes, you have to do what you think is right for your story. However, in this case, it's my humble opinion that Tobias could have made a great narrator and perhaps I might have liked the Divergent series as a whole better if he had been. In any case, I look forward to reading the remaining stories about Four, to learn more about him and his history. The Transfer was originally published as a stand-alone e-book novella, but was later reprinted in the anthology Four, along with its other three companion novellas.
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