Book Review | The 100 (The 100 #1) by Kass Morgan

The 100 (The 100 #1) by Kass Morgan

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on September 3, 2013

Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian

Format: eARC

Pages: 336

Source: NetGalley

Goodreads★ 1/2

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.

REVIEW

If you enjoy young adult dystopian novels, you need to pick up The 100! This book was sitting on my Kindle unread for over a year, and I can’t believe I didn’t read it sooner. I want to start out this review by saying that I have not watched the television adaptation of The 100, though I have heard the book and show are very different. Nonetheless, I highly recommend giving this story a chance if it at all sounds interesting to you.

The 100 takes place three hundred years after nuclear winter forced humans to escape to outer space in hopes of keeping humankind alive. Humans now live on a spaceship called the Colony, but this is a temporary solution, and humans must return to Earth before the Colony breaks down. The issue is, no one knows whether Earth is safe, or if the radiation levels still make the planet uninhabitable. The Colony decided to conduct an experiment by sending 100 juvenile delinquents down to Earth to see if they can survive.

We follow four main characters in The 100. First is Clarke, a girl who was confined for treason. Next is Wells, Clarke’s ex-boyfriend and the chancellor’s son. He committed a crime just so he could go to Earth with Clarke. Our next protagonist is Bellamy, who fights his way onto the dropship living for Earth so he can care for his sister. Finally, we follow Glass, who escapes the dropship bound for Earth in hopes of starting a new life with her boyfriend back on the Colony. The 100 is written in the third-person, but each chapter alternates between these four characters. There are also a lot of flashback scenes to help us get to know more about each character and what he or she went through up to this point in life.

I absolutely loved this book! The writing is exceptionally well done. Morgan does an amazing job at weaving together the past and the present, and creating well-developed characters. At times this felt like a slow read and as if nothing was happening in the plot. However, this is simply because we change character perspectives, and Morgan does a fantastic job making everything come together in the end. Thus, The 100 is a real page-turner because I always had to know what would next happen.

Similarly, this novel is full of twists and turns that I did not anticipate at all. The 100 doesn’t have a clear plot line, so I never know what to expect. I am always a fan of books where the author can create shocking moments that are logical, but difficult to predict. Morgan does this extremely well, and when I closed the book I immediately wanted to continue on with the series.

The only reason I deducted a half-star from my rating is because of the weak world-building surrounding the Colony. There are three ships connected together, Phoenix, Walden, and Arcadia, but I never fully understood how they functioned. There are different classes of people based on the ship you live on, but this was never explained. The different ships even have their own accents. I just wanted to know a bit more about the Colony and how it came to be organized.

Otherwise, I loved everything about The 100, and highly recommend it. I would describe this book as a mix of Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century and The Hunger Games, so if that sounds like your thing I would go for it. I cannot wait to continue on with this series and see what will happen in the sequel, Day 21.

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