Imara Ember was born Abnegation. She lives a simple, selfless life devoted to helping those around her. However, Imara feels as though she is an outcast in her faction. When the time for her aptitude test approaches, she desperately hopes her result will be different; however, in her case the results are inconclusive, labeling her as a Divergent. Imara, heavily thrown off by her results, has to choose for herself. She makes the conscious decision of choosing Dauntless, the faction dedicated to protecting the people.
On the parallel end is Darcie Brenton, born of Erudite faction. Her aptitude test reveals that she is destined to be Dauntless. Despite her results, Darcie fears she is not brave enough to transfer due to the impounding pressure of her controlling mother. However, when she sees a fellow Erudite effortlessly switch to Dauntless, she decides to make the change herself.
When Imara and Darcie cross paths in the Dauntless initiation, they find an immediate connection. They both share a goal of wanting to overcome their past and prove those who doubt them wrong. The two befriend Tobias and Eric, who are constantly at war with each other. Eventually and with much hesitation, they band together and form an alliance. Imara and Tobias, with their alternate thinking, begin to uncover secrets behind their faction system: every second of every day, they are being observed by some unknown power in attempt to find the perfect society for sustaining peace.
- A Divergent Abnegation-born. Her aptitude test reveals her to have the qualities of Dauntless, Erudite, and Abnegation. Upon her choosing ceremony, she makes the transfer to Dauntless.
- An Erudite-born Dauntless transfer.
Tobias "Four" Eaton
- Born of Abnegation faction. His results confirm that he is fit for Abnegation, but he transfers to Dauntless regardless.
- Erudite-born Dauntless transfer.