Veronica Roth’s gripping young adult science fiction dystopian series is a must-read! And in addition to the 3 main books, there are also several Novellas, an extra scene, and a not-to-be-missed add-on.
Once you‘ve heard of all the novella stories and add-ons interspersed before, after, and between the main books, you may be wondering in what order you should read them. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to read them in the storyline’s chronological order.
That said, however, there are a great many fans who have devoured each book as soon as it was published. But crucially, this was not the same as the storyline’s chronological order.
In this article, I’ll carefully go through the storyline’s chronological order, giving you the gist of each book and its pros and cons. And in case you want to see it, I’ll also give you the publication order as well, so you’ll have two ways to read the series.
About The Divergent Series By Veronica Roth
The world of the Divergent series is set on Earth in the distant future. And its most striking feature, other than the ruins the characters find themselves among, is that their society is divided into 5 groups (called factions) according to each individual’s nature.
There’s Abnegation, the selfless; Amity, the peaceful; Candor, the honest; Dauntless, the brave; and Erudite, the intelligent. The story begins with Tris’ choosing day, where she has to choose which faction she wants to be part of.
And shockingly, she chooses a different faction from the rest of her family. She joins the Dauntless faction, which values bravery, daring, and courage above all else, and whose job it is to defend the city and its population.
Tris must first earn approval in the faction, and after several very daring and dangerous acts, she becomes accepted. Soon after, however, she discovers that the Erudite faction is up to some kind of big conspiracy that puts a whole faction of people at risk.
And as you imagine, Tris is not going to stand for this, and she does everything in her power to put things right. Much action ensues, and along the way, there is also a great deal of character development, and even a romantic interest to boot.
The Divergent Series In The Storyline’s Chronological Order
This is the story of how it all begins for charismatic Tobias Eaton, known as Four in the first movie, told through his eyes and revealing his intriguing backstory.
- A fascinating look into Tobias’ upbringing
- It’s only 30 pages long – wish it was longer
This short story is the next installment of Four’s story, revealing previously unknown dimensions of his personality and relationships before Tris that are integral to the main story.
- While the first novella explains how Four got transferred to the Dauntless faction, this one deals with his initiation to the group and his training
- Too short once again
The third novella written from Four’s point of view, this story tells of his first ever date, what really happened to his mother, and how he learns to become independent, and more importantly that he truly belongs to no one faction.
- You get to see how Four discovered there was something wrong with Dauntless’ management
- You get to witness Four finally becoming independent and faction-free
- It only provides a tantalizing glimpse of Four’s life before the main story and may leave readers wanting more
This was the first of the books to be published and is the book on which the first movie is based.
This is the book in which the 5 factions of the society are explained, and it follows the story of Beatrice Prior, beginning with her choosing day when she shockingly chooses a different faction to the rest of her family.
- Explains the 5 factions, Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite
- Action-packed with danger at every turn, and told with emotional depth
- If you’ve already seen the film, then you will already know the plot
Let’s be real, knowing a story from only one point of view is never the same as knowing the full story. And that tense knife-throwing scene in Divergent? Here we get to relive it from Four’s point of view.
- It’s a prominent bestseller in the category of 30-Minute Teen & Young Adult Short Reads
- It reveals the nature of Four’s attraction to Tris, and what it was that made him start to fall head over heels in love with her
- This same scene is already covered in Divergent, albeit through a different point of view
- Some readers may consider this to be bad value for money because it’s only 13 pages long
This story runs parallel to that of Divergent, and another novella told from the point of view of Tobias, and it takes place two years following the previous Four novellas, The Son.
- Explains how Tobias uncovers Erudite’s plan to change their society as they know it forever, and how Tobias makes plans of his own
- Shows Tobias getting to know Tris from his point of view
- Fans may already be familiar with the dialogue since the words that are spoken are the same as those in Divergent
This is the second book of the main story, once again narrated from Tris’ point of view. It takes place 5 days after the end of Divergent.
Tris and co are on the run in post-apocalyptic Chicago. Characters have to fight for answers, fight for justice, and fight for their lives.
- It has all the action you’ve come to expect from those who can make it to the Dauntless faction
- It’s not just action – it has real emotional depth, with themes such as dealing with sacrifice and grief, and lessons learned
- It’s even more thought-provoking than the initial book from Tris’ point of view
- Some readers may find it a little dark, and possibly even painful to read
I’m going to level with you here – this isn’t a story or a novella. This is an add-on to the Divergent series, consisting of faction manifestos, an interview with the author Veronica Roth, series inspirations, discussion questions, book playlists, and a fun faction quiz.
I’ve placed it here in the order because it features ten enticing teasers for the final book in the main series, Allegiant.
- It genuinely helps to place the reader right in the middle of the dystopian Divergent world
- There’s no additional storyline here
This is without a doubt the most mind-blowing book of the series! Without giving too much away, our Tris learns that life, society, and Chicago as she knew it is not at all how it truly is.
Again, there’s plenty of action, drama, emotion, and life lessons along the way. This time the tale is told alternately between Tris’ and Tobias’ points of view.
- This book in the series has a completely different feel to it
- Compelling reading with a daring conclusion that raises important questions
- The constant switching between Tris’ and Tobias’ points of view
- It is only because we already know the central characters that this story carries more meaning
In this book, the focus is on Tobias (naturally). Following the end of the previous book, the last in the main series, this novella demonstrates how Tobias can and does heal, despite everything.
- It’s a prominent bestseller in the category of 45-Minute Teen & Young Adult Short Reads
- Many readers were satisfied with the ending
- This novella sees a new love interest for Tobias
- Some readers have described it as little more than an epilogue
The Divergent Series In Publication Order
Here’s how the earliest Divergent fans may have read the books, in order of their publication:
- Free Four
- The Transfer
- The Path to Allegiant
- The Initiate
- The Son
- The Traitor
- We Can Be Mended
The most striking feature of this series is the concept of society being divided up into factions according to their values.
There’s compelling writing from the very beginning when the central character has to choose which faction to be assigned to for the rest of her life.
Action and adventure ensue when Tris chooses the faction of the brave, and the tension ratchets up significantly when she learns that one faction plans to eradicate another faction.
Among the various twists and turns along the way, there is considerable character growth and development. It’s also incredibly thought-provoking, which makes it an excellent series for a book club or a study group.
In addition to the main three books, there are also several noteworthy novellas by the same author written from the perspective of Tris’ love interest, which shed more light on the intricacies of the story.
The series has also inspired a great deal of fan fiction, which may also be of interest to readers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is There A 4th Movie In The Divergent Series?
Unfortunately, the director of the first 3 movies decided against returning, but it has since been reported that the final installment of the movie adaption will go straight to TV screens, and potentially a spin-off series as well.