After graduating at the top of his class in Dauntless, Four has been tapped by faction leadership as a possible candidate to fill an open position within the leadership council. They want to bring in some young, up and coming Dauntless members who might have fresh ideas, but Four isn't certain this is where he wants to go. However, realizing it's a great opportunity, he decides to give it a try, but once again, he's pitted against his chief rival for the job. In the midst of all these life-changing decisions, Four becomes aware of possible misdeeds among faction leadership and also deals with a surprising revelation about his past.
In The Son, the third novella that explores Four's life before meeting Tris in Divergent, he has completed the Dauntless initiation at the top of his class. As such, he's eligible to choose pretty much any job he wants within the faction. He thinks he might want to be a trainer, but Max, one of the faction leaders, thinks he's qualified for much more and wants him to go through the process of trying to become a Dauntless leader. This leads to a lot of contemplations on Four's part as he tries to decide if this is what he wants to do with his life, while also continuing his rivalry with Eric for the same position. At the same time, Four accidentally discovers that there may be something foul afoot between Dauntless and Erudite, which makes him realize that hiding his "differences" are all the more important. Also for the first time, he hears the term Divergent applied to his awareness during simulations, and he also deals with a shocking revelation from his past.
The more of these novellas I read about Four, the more I'm convinced the Divergent series as a whole would have been better, IMHO, if either he had narrated it or if it had been done in dual narration. I've been enjoying these stories more than the main part of the series, and one of the reasons why is because they're written in Four's perspective. I feel like his character is really developing and coming alive in my mind's eye far better than he ever did before. And for some reason, this particular story seemed to have an even deeper POV than the previous two or the series in general. Four is still the loner, preferring to take up residence in his own apartment after initiation, rather than with others within the faction, but he does still have a few friends. He also struggles between his two identities as someone who supposedly tested with an aptitude for Abnegation, but fearing his father's abuse, chose to leave and become Dauntless. Four really starts figuring things out, both in his own life and in the events that are going on around him, which leads to more introspection. Overall, it was a really good read that I very much enjoyed. In addition to feeling more engaged in Four's POV, I liked seeing more of the secondary characters who become a part of the main series: Eric, Zeke, Uriah, Shauna, Lynn, and Marlene. I also liked learning about the history of various plot points within the Divergent series and how those things came about. It was enlightening as well as entertaining, and very much makes me look forward to reading the final novella in this group of stories about Four. The Son 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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