The 100 by Kass Morgan | Rating: ★★★☆☆
"You couldn’t expect anyone else to share your suffering. You had to carry your pain alone."
The 100 promises us thrilling and unique plots sprinkled with teen angst when looking at the stories summary and centers around a group of young adults in the distant future. Many of which have their own POV throughout this first installment.
At one point, each teen lived in “The Ark” which is a space settlement founded centuries ago, after their ancestors abandoned the Earth as it raced down a fast track of deterioration that remained dangerous for all living creatures who’d lived there. Although the description of conditions previously is vague, we are told that it was impossible to continue to live there and life had been evacuated with little to no choice.
Life has settled pretty commonly in this colony and they’ve lived in a “comfortable” manner through the decades of changes, however, as the years go by in space those in charge come to realize that they’ve hit a snag in their plan of living and that supplies, the oxygen essential to survive is running low. And with the space limitations in this time, population control is necessary for those who live to continue having the privilege to do so.
This sets in motion the plan to send lowly criminals down to Earth as an experiment. At one point in time, these lawbreakers would have been pardoned and allowed the opportunity to live on a second chance, time has hardened these rules and the chances of being excused have dwindled. Presently, we learn that if this group of criminals hadn’t been sent on this experiment, it is likely that they’d have died.
And that’s what our first narrator assumes is her own fate.
Clarke has been in confinement for an uncertain amount of time and has unfortunately lost not only her freedom, but her parents. After finding out a dark and disturbing secret her parents had been keeping from her, she is tried and found guilty on account of her parents treason. Her eighteenth birthday is fast approaching and with that date nearing, her chance of a retrial is also fading.
We’re introduced to the batch of main characters, who are all facing a certain death, besides Clarke: Glass, Wells, Bellamy and his sister Octavia.
Most of which had committed some sort of crime before the events of the novel and are told in backstory flashbacks periodically before this stories final chapter. Although it gets frustrating to continue reading in different POVs, it does keep the story fresh and moves it along quickly.
Out of each of these characters, only Glass remains on the Ark after having escaped during a heated altercation in which Bellamy holds a hostage to get himself on the dropship so he can look out for his younger sister. This sibling bond is a rarity in their world, due to couples only being allowed to have one child; I have to admit that their relationship is one of my favorites in terms of characters being connected.
It’s obvious that Bellamy would do anything for his sister and it adds depth to his character. Another male character that would do anything for those he loves is Wells, who purposely gets himself into trouble to protect his onetime flame, Clarke. Even if he’d done something Clarke viewed as the ultimate betrayal and currently hates him.
As for the rest…
A lot of people seem to dislike Glass and her point of view, deeming it useless. She is our only connection to what is going on in life in space and although I see why she isn’t particularly popular amongst readers, I quite enjoyed her side of things. It gives us our only link to this other side of life and provides us with something of a star crossed lovers storyline.
Glass has a backstory that is typical but she proves herself to be rather brave. She is connected to Wells, who is her best friend, and Clarke but these connections aren’t enough to keep her on the dropship. In fact, it is her relationship with a boy named Luke that causes her to bolt. Their scenes are sweet, tragic and have all the makings of some solid teen romance and angst.
During these times we find out what landed her in confinement and what threatens to keep these two apart.
My biggest surprise was the character of Octavia. Although her scenes were cut brief when compared to the others, she still remained an interesting character.
Seeing as she was born in secret, her backstory is the richest in terms of plot and most mysterious. I look forward to reading more about her in coming installments because she seems to be the character most likely to keep us on the edge of our seat. I’ve heard that her character is also one of the most interesting on the television adaption.
I have to admit I’m a little underwhelmed by a lot of things featured in The 100. Relationships, backstories, the history of the colony and how their government was formed — the setup of it all seemed lackluster. That is why my review, thus far, is rather all over the place and indifferent.
Our setting is fascinating: seeing these kids explore Earth and knowing that they are possibly the first humans to see it in hundreds years. We see familiar things through the eyes of this kids and feel their excitement and curiosity as they explore this land in which they’d only ever read about. And we see first hand how many things have changed.
It all felt rather anticlimactic and although part of me is interested in seeing how this series goes, there is a disappointingly large part of me that remains rather uninterested in a large chunk of the book. We’re left with a cliffhanger in the last chapter, promising us more intrigue and action in the next book, and while chances are I will find myself reading it, I can’t say whether or not I’m attached to this world.
With themes of romance, action, mystery and loss in this dystopian setting it serves as the perfect platform for a television series. Which is why it’s been a modest hit for the CW. It certainly has all the makings of a good series — but it doesn’t always hit the right marks. All the potential it has is only halfway met.
While I didn’t hate it, I just don’t find myself as intrigued by it as I’ve been by other series.
Mixed emotions, no?
I do recommend checking it out if this genre is a favorite of yours. It’s simple and a fast read; perfect for the final days of summer. I wouldn’t keep your expectations high, but I am positive that many of my readers will enjoy it more than I did.