Octavia was the only person in the world who truly knew him. There was no one else he really cared about ever seeing again. But then he glanced over Clarke, who was leaning over to breathe in the scent of a bright pink flower, the sun catching the gold strands in her hair, and suddenly he wasn’t so sure” The 100, Kass Morgan
Initial Thoughts: I had originally attempted to read The 100 a few years ago when the series first began airing. I ended up putting it down, and placing it at the far back of one of my shelves. I ended up attempting it again by listening to an audiobook version. I was so close to the ending, but I ended up putting it aside. Finally, I finished the novel this summer. You can probably tell by now how I feel about this book.
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.” – Goodreads
A few years ago, when I saw The 100 in a book store, I was instantly captivated by the premise. There is a dystopian storyline where earth has been made uninhabitable by some sort of nuclear war which has forced humans to build spaceships until the radiation subsides. There is a strong female heroine, Clarke, whose medical knowledge is really advanced for her age. But then, here is where everything goes sour… the writing is just terrible.
Most of the time, I can excuse poor writing skills if the story shines through. Except, the writing is so pitiful that I couldn’t get a true sense of who the characters were. It was as if I was looking at them from a foggy distorted mirror in a funhouse. I initially had sympathy for Clarke, but she was so distant to me that my sympathies drifted off into a state of indifference. Also, the multiple perspectives did not feel very distinguishable in the tone and diction, instead it just made the book confusing. If each chapter was told in first person, I probably would have been able to have a better sense of danger and action.
I did end up watching the series, and it is a thousand times better. I would definitely recommend the television series rather than the novel(s). The characters certainly have a lot more depth. There is a lot more at stake than a bunch of petty teen dramas. If I wanted to read about teen dramas, I would have stuck to Gossip Girl or something. The series also removes the character Glass, which I was very grateful for. Glass is replaced by Raven, a brilliant and tough mechanic. Also, Clarke’s mother is living in the series, whereas both of Clarke’s parents have died before the first book. The relationship Clarke has with her mother in the series is very complex and mysterious. In the novel, there are distinct “bad guys” and “good guys,” which I believe makes the novel appear to be very flat and bland. In the series, the characters are given rounded personalities and many of them do not necessarily fall into the good guy/ bad guy category. For a story which is focused on survival, it seems necessarily to present dualities within characters. After all, when it comes to survival, not every character can do the right thing all the time without suffering some sort of negative or positive consequence.
Instead of recommending The 100 if you are in the mood for a science fiction/survival young adult novel, I would recommend Across the Universe by: Beth Revis. The premises are different, but Revis’ novel is very well executed, but just as imaginative. I would also recommend the series for its strong female characters and intense surprises.
About the Book Title: The 100 Author: Kass Morgan Series: The 100 (Book #1: The 100, Book #2: Day 21, Book #3: Homecoming, Book#4: Rebellion). Pages: 323 Year Published: 2013 Genres & Subjects: fiction, dystopia, survival, young adult, science fiction
Until Next Time,