Review: The 100 by Kass Morgan

Written By: Kellie - Apr• 18•14

the 100

Series: The 100, #1
Publisher:  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: September 3rd, 2013
Source: ARC

About the book: In the future, humans live in city-like spaceships orbiting far above Earth’s toxic atmosphere. No one knows when, or even if, the long-abandoned planet will be habitable again. But faced with dwindling resources and a growing populace, government leaders know they must reclaim their homeland… before it’s too late.

Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents are being sent on a high-stakes mission to recolonize Earth. After a brutal crash landing, the teens arrive on a savagely beautiful planet they’ve only seen from space. Confronting the dangers of this rugged new world, they struggle to form a tentative community. But they’re haunted by their past and uncertain about the future. To survive, they must learn to trust – and even love – again. -Goodreads

Thoughts: This has been a great year for sci-fi YA reading for me so far. I mean really fantastic. Spaceships, space stations, digital realities and now The 100 by Kass Morgan. The remnants of human civilization have been living in three massive ships orbiting the planet (which can no longer sustain human life) and due to dwindling resources they’re forced to send down one hundred juvenile offenders to test out the idea of returning to Earth. Earth has changed in the time that we’ve been away and so the book basically ends up reading like Lost mixed with some awesome science fiction elements.

I got my copy of this one at BEA last year but I was waiting until a bit closer to the TV start date (and didn’t end up publishing this review until long after the show had aired, even though I haven’t watcjed it yet) to read it so the book would be fresh in my mind, but now I’m kind of regretting that decision. These character and the plot are now so fresh in my mind that I’m probably going to end up all kinds of confused at the inevitable changes that the CW decides to make.

The book has five POV characters. The story switches up perspectives every chapter but also throws in flashbacks to show us how and why they got to the point they are now both in terms of criminal history, and of course romantically. The first two are wealthier than most of the other prisoners and not the types of people anyone really expected to find on this mission. The daughter (Clarke) of two leading scientists who were executed for treason, and the son (Wells) of a top political figure. And of course, they used to date, and early on it is alluded to that it is Wells’ fault that Clarke was detained and send to Earth in the first place. I really liked Clarke, but I always tend to root for the overly serious characters. I’ve yet to decide how I feel about Wells—he’s a bit of a know it all and some of the more spoilery stuff isn’t given enough justification for me to just brush it off as him being noble.

The other pair involved are a brother and sister duo, which everyone is shocked by because each family is only allowed one child, a rule that is strictly enforced. Mother’s pregnant with an unapproved child are detained until they give birth and then killed so that their child essentially takes their place in terms of rations. Not exactly sure how this works since if over three hundred years every two people are only allowed one child you wouldn’t be sustaining the population, but instead cutting it in half with every generation, but whatever. Bellamy and Octavia! I really enjoyed both of their characters and am really curious to see how they’ll evolve with the rest of the series. They’re flashbacks are less plot based and center more around their childhoods but you’ll definitely be rooting for them.

Finally, there’s Glass. Minor spoiler but although she’s initially supposed to be sent to Earth she escapes at the last second and stays aboard her home ship, essentially to give us an insider look what the politics of what is going on while the rest of the characters are trying to survive Earth. I’m not sure there’s much I can say about her without giving too much away but as far as I can tell she won’t be a character on the CW show which is surprising since her story has the most overt romance.

Overall I really enjoyed the whole package of this book and can’t wait to read more. I do wish it had been a bit longer and more fleshed out since there were some instances where things happened a little too abruptly for my taste which usually pulled me out of the story for a second to go ‘What?! Really?’ but not enough to hurt my enjoyment of the overall arc that the author planned. Definitely recommended!

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