Sunday, 25 August 2013

Review: The 100 by Kass Morgan

Title: The 100 (The Hundred #1)
Author: Kass Morgan
Release date: September 3rd 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction/Post Apocalyptic
Format: ARC
Pages: 277
Source: ALA 2013 (Thanks to Rabiah for getting this for me!)

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.

I first heard of the TV show based on this book, and I thought it had an awesome premise. I decided I would watch it when it comes out. Imagine my surprise when I find out it's originally a YA book! My friend Rabiah brought me back an ARC of The 100 from ALA 2013, and I was so stoked to read it. The 100 is an amazing post-apocalyptic debut, and I can't wait to see how this series turns out.

The entire human population lives in a ship in outer space, known as the Colony, which is divided into three main parts - Phoenix, the upper-class, and Walden and Arcadia, the lower-class. The 100 is told in the perspective of four teens - Clarke, Wells, Bellamy and Glass. A hundred juvenile delinquents are sent on a mission to Earth, to find out if it's habitable. Among them are Clarke, Wells, and Bellamy. Though Wells and Bellamy have something in common - they weren't supposed to go. They chose to, in order to protect people they care about. Glass escapes the pod and manages to stay on the ship. But is the ship any safer than Earth will be?

I liked the four POVs we get, because it gave me a broader sense of what's going on. Plus, we get to see what's happening on the ship as well as on Earth. At first I thought it would be difficult to manage four POVs in my head, but all four are so distinct that I had no trouble with it. As I've already mentioned, the premise of this book is great, and there's suspense throughout the novel. What irked me a little is the romantic focus. There's a lot of romance in this book; a little too much for my liking. At some points it seemed like the novel revolved around the romance rather than the plot. But there was enough of sci-fi and build-up of action to satiate me, so that was good. Plus, I did like the tension between the characters. It's quite drama-like, but very captivating.

My favourite out of the four teens whose perspective we get is Clarke, probably because she's the most level-headed. She's an aspiring doctor, and takes charge of the wounded immediately upon landing on Earth. Clarke has a history with Wells, and as a result of that there's a lot of tension between the two. I welcomed that, since I couldn't wait to find out more about it. Wells seems a little extreme to me, especially based on what we find out later on in the novel. But I liked how much he cares for Clarke and wants to protect her.

Bellamy is a little different from the other three, because he's not exactly a teen. He's twenty, and the only reason he goes down to Earth is to make sure his little sister, Octavia, is okay. Octavia is one of the hundred, and there's definitely a good reason behind why she was Confined in the first place. Bellamy really loves her, and siblings are practically unheard of in the Colony, so they do draw a lot of attention. I'm not sure what to think of Bellamy yet, but he's loyal and I think he's pretty trustworthy. But he'll do whatever it takes to protect Octavia, and nothing will stand in his way.

Glass stays on the ship, and that's how we get to know what's going on up there. She's probably my least favourite, because she seems a little too dependent on Luke, her boyfriend. I mean yeah, they love each other, but she doesn't seem to be able to have a life without Luke in it. I really hope her character develops more in the next book.

Throughout the novel, we get flashback scenes of the characters' pasts, which is another thing I really enjoyed. We get to find out why some of the teens were Confined, as well as what their relationship with each other used to be and why it changed. The teens find a lot of surprises when they land on Earth, and some of those things really made me appreciate this planet more. They were awed by simple things like a sunset and rain, and the descriptions are so touching that you immediately sympathize with them, with what they lost.

All in all, The 100 is definitely something you guys should check out, and if you like a lot of romance in your books, this one's up your alley. The novel's well-paced and secrets are gradually revealed, so I was practically glued to the pages. There's never a dull moment. I can totally see this becoming a TV show, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the CW will portray this novel!

Rating: 4/5

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