Free Four: Tobias Tells the Divergent Knife-Throwing Scene

By: Veronica Roth

Series: Divergent

Book Number: 1.1

Star Rating:



Spoiler Disclaimer


During the initiates knife-throwing training, which Four is overseeing along with his rival, Eric, an incident occurs in which Eric exhibits his cruelty by demanding that one of the initiates retrieve a knife while everyone else is still throwing theirs. When the initiate refuses and Eric then demands that he stand in front of the target while having knives thrown at him, Tris steps in to defend him, which results in her standing in front of the board instead. When Eric insists that Four do the throwing, can he hit the mark without harming Tris and still satisfy Eric's sadistic request?


While I can't call myself a big fan of the Divergent series, I have enjoyed all the novellas written from Four's POV. That's part of why I decided to buy and read Free Four. Even though I knew it was only a retelling of the knife-throwing scene in Divergent, I thought it would be interesting to see it through Four's eyes. The other reason is that I wanted to complete the series, which for me means reading everything associated with it, although it doesn't seem like that's going to happen now that there's another wrap-up novella. It appears that novella was only given as a special gift to readers who pre-ordered Veronica Roth's new book Carve the Mark (which I didn't), so it will probably be next-to-impossible to get my hands on a copy. Not to mention, IMHO, the author seriously broke faith with readers by ending Allegiant the way she did, and based on critical reviews of We Can Be Mended, the final novella, she's ruined the story even further, so I can't say that I'm all that interested in reading it anyway.

So back to my review of Free Four: I enjoyed it every bit as much as the other novellas from Four's perspective. Throughout reading these novellas, I couldn't help feeling that Four is a much more dynamic narrator than Tris was. While it's hard to say whether I would have liked the series better if the entire thing had been written in his POV, I really think that Ms. Roth did Four a disservice by not including his perspective. It should have, at the very least, been written in dual perspective. Of course, that's just my opinion, but I felt like Four brought a whole new depth to the story that just wasn't there for me in the original read. However, that's water under the bridge now, so I'll simply have to console myself with the knowledge that Four was a much better character than what was originally portrayed in the three novels and leave it at that.

While I did enjoy this novella and I did only pay $0.99 for it, I still felt like it was just a money-grab and that the publisher should have given it away for free. After all, it is a rehashing of a scene that we already knew about, whereas the other novellas about Four were mostly original content. The other thing that was deceptive about it is that Free Four is only approximately ten pages or so, which is a tiny fraction of the full e-book file. The rest of it consists of a two-chapter sample of Divergent, a two-chapter sample of Insurgent, The Transfer, which is the first of the Four novellas and is included as a sample of the anthology Four, a one-chapter excerpt of Carve the Mark, and ads for Veronica Roth's other books. This means that the vast majority of this "book," (more than fifty pages by my eReader's count) is nothing more than advertising. So do I think Free Four was worth the read? Yes. But was it worth the price? Probably not.


Veronica Roth