Q #1: Which series should I read first: The Lord of the Rings, Percy Jackson, The Maze Runner, or Divergent?
A: It depends on what you like to read and who you are! I myself have read all of them except for The Maze Runner and they were all great. I would recommend Percy Jackson to anyone who’s in middle-school or approaching middle-school. It is probably the most relatable and interesting for that age-range. On the other hand, I’d recommend The Lord of the Rings for older readers – anyone who loves complex worlds especially. If you’re in college or beyond, or an advanced reader in high school, and love fantasy that’d probably be the best read. If you like Game of Thrones it’s probably the most similar of any of these to that. Divergent is quite a bit different – I would probably recommend it to high school or college kids, and I would especially recommend it to anyone who loves romance – it has some pretty heavy romance in it, and would be great for any readers who enjoyed books like The Hunger Games or Twilight.
Q #2: In Divergent, what is the point of an aptitude test if you choose your faction anyway?
A: This is up to interpretation I think, but here’s my interpretation. I think that the aptitude test is there to reinforce the idea of factions, and to reinforce factions as the right thing. By having everyone take an aptitude test, kids are basically being prepared for the fact that they fit in better with some people and in some places than in other places and with other people. The aptitude test is one of the first ways in which people are divided and separate and put into different buckets. It starts the narrowing down, and then I think that the choice is given about what faction to be in as a way for the people in control to trick those choosing their factions into thinking they are making the choice. But in reality the choice has already been made for them, and the choice isn’t the choice of what faction to be in; it’s the choice of whether to accept a world in which everyone is divided into different factions.
Q #3: What would the Dauntless faction think of space travel?
A: The Dauntless would love space travel! As the most adventurous and daring of the factions, I think they’d probably be the ones to be astronauts, or go up in space first, even though the technology would have to be something that Erudite developed. I think that if space travel did progress to the point where things were like Star Trek in the Divergent universe, then the Dauntless would probably be the dominant faction due to their bravery and willingness to venture into the unknown and make discoveries.
Q #4: Why do authors of novels like The Hunger Games and Divergent prefer not to spend time and effort on detailed world-building?
A: I know it may seem like they don’t, but I would argue they do. As a writer myself, I know there is a lot of preparation and work that is done before even putting pen to paper. One thing to keep in mind is that Veronica Roth and Suzanne Collins likely chose not to include every single detail about their worlds because it would be too much, slow down the story, and not make for as interesting as a narrative. Part of being a writer is to know how much worldbuilding to show in your story and how much to withhold. One thing that is often used is the metaphor of an iceberg. Icebergs are huge, but we only see the small portion that is above the water when we encounter them. Worldbuilding is like that too. The best stories show you only a small portion of the world, while promising that there is a whole lot more underneath the surface waiting to be seen later.
Q #5: If Tris and Four from Divergent went to Hogwarts, what house would they be in?
A: I think they’d be in Gryffindor! The reason why is because they are brave, but they are not cruel, like some of the Dauntless. I think that all Dauntless would probably be in either Gryffindor or Slytherin. The Erudites on the other hand could be in either Ravenclaw or Slytherin, the Candor in either Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw, and Amity I would say are probably usually in Hufflepuff while the Abnegation are probably either Gryffindor or Hufflepuff.
Q #6: Something similar to Divergent?
A: The most similar thing I can think of is The Hunger Games! They both came out around the same time too. I would say that Twilight could be something that most readers of Divergent might enjoy also. Another lesser known series I would suggest is called The Guardians of Time by Marianne Curley. It isn’t a dystopian story, but it does deliver a similarly heavy dose of romance. Here’s a link to the Amazon page for the first book: The Named.