Book Review: The 100 (Kass Morgan)
Publisher: Little Brown
Release Date: 18th March 2014
Ever since a devastating nuclear war, humanity has lived on spaceships far above Earth’s radioactive surface. Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents — considered expendable by society — are being sent on a dangerous mission: to recolonize the planet. It could be their second chance at life…or it could be a suicide mission.
CLARKE was arrested for treason, though she’s haunted by the memory of what she really did. WELLS, the chancellor’s son, came to Earth for the girl he loves — but will she ever forgive him? Reckless BELLAMY fought his way onto the transport pod to protect his sister, the other half of the only pair of siblings in the universe. And GLASS managed to escape back onto the ship, only to find that life there is just as dangerous as she feared it would be on Earth.
Confronted with a savage land and haunted by secrets from their pasts, the hundred must fight to survive. They were never meant to be heroes, but they may be mankind’s last hope.
I’ll admit I only heard about this book because I saw adverts for the TV show on E4. I was intrigued by the idea and am a stickler for reading a book before watching a TV show/film, so here we are.
I found the multiple P.O.Vs a little confusing in the beginning, as it felt like quite a rush of character information. Because of the nature of the names as well (Glass, Clarke etc) I wasn’t always sure who was male or female and struggled to keep up, but I soon warmed to it.
I’m a bit of a space story fan – Battlestar Galactica is my secret nerdy(ist) passion – so I was glad that (minor spoiler) one of the 100 actually stays on the ship and we see what life is like on there. It’s interesting to see the kind of daily struggles of living permanently in space: artificial food, timed water allowances and the rarity of ‘Earthmade’ goods.
It was more of a slow burner than I’d anticipated after seeing the TV adverts, and a lot of story is told in flashbacks to months and years earlier in the narrators’ lives. I thought this would be a bit irritating but I enjoyed seeing how they got to where they are, and have their past secrets be slowly revealed like this, rather than in a clumpy dialogue confession or something.
And boy are there a lot of secrets! Some you might be able to guess at, others may take you a little more by surprise, but everyone seems to be hiding multiple things. And everyone thinks their’s is the biggest and most important secret of all, which I did get a little tired of hearing sometimes. Their is a tendency towards big, dramatic statements which I found a bit jarring to the narrative and think they could have easily been left out.
The focus on the love stories also irritated me a little: I do enjoy a good love story, but this seemed one of those situations where you’d put things like that on hold a little, you know, when you’re returning to Earth after 300 odd years. And while I liked Clarke as a character, I found the boy’s views of her got very irritating: there were too many occasions where she looked more beautiful than ever watching a sunset or sniffing a flower.
I’d say this is a gentle read, and I expect more of the action will occur in the following two books (one which I shall be reading, the other is out in March). It’s a good background start to a trilogy and really builds its world against some interesting characters. I look forward to reading the next one, and I hope you will look forward to reading this one.