Saturday 4 July 2020

Book Review - The 100

Title: The 100
Author: Kass Morgan
Series: The 100 (Book 1)
Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks
Release Date: 29 Aug. 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1444766882

No one has set foot on Earth in centuries -- until now.
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.

My Review
I've had this as a box set series on my shelves for a couple of years, bought because I love Dystopian fiction but not really a priority. Again, whilst I have a bit of extra time during Lockdown, I decided to give this series a try, the books themselves are pretty short, just over 300 pages with quite big writing so I knew it wouldn't take me long to read.
I have never seen the TV show or heard anything about the series really so I was going in with fresh eyes, not expecting much but hoping for the best. I liked the sound of the premise of the story - radiation on earth has driven civilization to flee onto spaceships and live in space. But after centuries of orbiting, those in charge are trying to decide if Earth could be safe again. Deciding that a group of 100 juvenile prisoners are expendable, they are sent on a ship pod to Earth to test out the condition of the planet and find out if it could be made habitable again.
The book is split between 4 different narratives, something I have found is becoming more popular in books. I always struggle to get into these at first but but the 6th or 7th chapter I usually have the different characters in my head and start to notice their individual styles of talking.
Our first narrator is Clarke, a young girl who lived in the upper class part of the ship, her parents well known scientists. She is haunted by things she knows and has seen. But her secrets go far deeper than anyone knows and she is grateful for a second chance, even if it is likely to be a suicide mission. I didn't dislike Clarke, but i didn't particularly like her either. She is very self-centered at times, internalizing all her problems instead of asking for or accepting help. However as the book progressed and she took on more of a main role, I did start to warm up to her a bit more.
Then we have Wells - the Chancellor, so used to power. But he is not particularly like his dad. Wells tries to do the right thing, but it nearly always ends up in a disaster. He is the typical nerdy best friend that means well and will probably end up being more of a hero as the books progress, but at the moment he's just a bit hopeless.
Our third narrator is Bellamy, a rogue who wasn't supposed to be on the ship. He snuck on so he could protect his sister. They are the only siblings in the whole galaxy after birthing laws were introduced to prevent over-crowding on the space ships. Bellamy is the devil-may-care character that you can't help but like. He has an air of cocky assurance and can come across as a bit full of himself, but he really does care about his sister and those around him. He can hunt, he's well-built and he has charm.
Lastly we have Glass, she didn't want to go to Earth, she just wants to be back with her boyfriend Luke, so she sneaks of the Space pod back onto the main ship, but things are just as dangerous there, and true love never does run smoothly. I quite like Glass as a character, she has a bit of attitude and she isn't afraid to go after what she wants but I did find her chapters became a little bit slower than some of the others - I wanted to know what was happening on Earth more than her tangled love life on the ship. But this did get more interesting as teh book went on and she developed more of a stronger personality.
There are a number of background characters - obviously we are dealing predominantly with a group of 100 - but they don't push in too much or interfere and are only mentioned when it is necessary so it keeps the story fresh and alive.
I found the book to be very fast paced, but it felt like this book was still working as a set-up to the rest of the series. There are still a lot of things we don't know and a lot of secrets that will have to be revealed. However what we are given is quite gripping and certainly makes you want to read on.
I read this in 2 sittings, though almost 200 pages were done in one lot. Once I got into the story I wanted to keep going to find out where it would take me. The book ends on a cliffhanger right when things start to get properly interesting, so I will be going straight onto book 2.
If you want a fairly easy read, with some dystopian and sci-fi elements then this is definitely worth a read.
I wouldn't say that I loved the book but I certainly want to keep reading and I enjoyed what I read, so it's certainly got some true positives to it. I think you should definitely give it a try.

My Rating

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