Author: Kass Morgan (Twitter)
Publisher: Little, Brown BYR
Publish Date: September 3, 2013
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Sci-Fi
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.
Clarke, Wells, Bellamy and Glass live in a world in which the Earth has been abandoned. To survive, humans live in vast cities in space, but it was never meant to be a permanent solution. The population is growing, and the resources are growing slim, leading the government to find a way to repopulate the Earth. 100 convicted teen felons are to be sent to Earth including Clarke, Wells and Bellamy - but Glass fights tooth and nail to stay on the ship. Which is more dangerous though? The wild, untamed Earth that's long-since been abandoned, or life aboard the ships?
For a long while now, I've been avoiding dystopian novels. It's not that I don't still love the idea of a broken world desperate to rebuild. It's simply that genres grow tired, and it takes a really strong book to break that mold. The 100 by author, Kass Morgan, seems to fit that bill in a nutshell. Combining genres, and giving us a shattered, dysfunctional future world in which we cannot even live on our own planet, The 100 explores what lengths we might go to to reclaim what was once ours...and how we might survive doing so. Dramatic, futuristic and deceptive, this is one world that you'll want to explore.
Before I begin my review, I must start out saying that I truly believe this is going to make one heck of a CW television series. It embodies teen drama, and it embraces the dystopian genre that is now thriving on both the big and small screens. The 100, however, perhaps translates better cinematically than on paper. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy this book (because I really did)...but we get a little bit different than what we've bargained for when we begin. The novel follows four points of view - Clarke, Wells, Bellamy and Glass - and the aftermath of both boarding the ship to Earth and staying behind in space. Now, it's difficult to manage two proper points of view in a great novel, so to balance four distinct characters and voices in a fairly slim novel for the genre would be quite the feat. While I felt like I got to know the gist of each of their characters, I also felt as though I never really got the essence of them either. For example, I understand Clarke's demeanor due to her wrongful conviction, but I never really got to see past her hurt, betrayed exterior. Wells was abrasive and manipulative, and I actually felt dirty reading from his perspective. Bellamy was the rare exception, as I actually really liked him, but I feel as though his character is like an onion, and we only managed to peel back maybe one or two layers. And, to be entirely honest, I didn't feel as though Glass stood out all that much. However, we're also offered characters who really stand out, but we don't get nearly enough of them. I think that my biggest issue with The 100 was that I was expecting a battle for survival once the teens got to Earth because they all had their own agendas and something to lose, plus they'd never not lived on the spaceship. What we got though would imply otherwise. Seemingly flawlessly, the teens can hunt and survive with limited distress. There were definitive highlights to the story though, too. Ms. Morgan has given us a great setup to a broken world. Society is so irreparably damaged that execution is the solution to breaking the one-child limit. Classes are distinct and set apart from one another. It's a world that I'd really, really like to explore more, though perhaps with less points of view.
All in all, The 100 really sets the state for a fantastic TV series because, frankly, it reads like one. With a cliffhanger that, despite my reservations, had me salivating for more, I can't help but get invested in this series. I give it a 3.5 out of 5, and I recommend it to fans of YA, especially those who enjoy dystopian and science fiction.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.