Book Review: The 100 (The Hundred #1) by Kass Morgan

17332969Title: The 100 (The Hundred #1)

Author: Kass Morgan

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance, Science-Fiction

Age Group: Young Adult

Rating: 2 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest reivew.

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 watched the TV series (season one) before I read the books, or well, before I even knew the series was based on books. I loved the TV series though (thank God it got renewed) so when I saw this book and its sequel on Netgalley, I had to read it. Unfortunately, the TV series trumphs the books in almost every way.

The story starts with a bunch of people living on a space ship (the Arc), but the resources aboard are dwindling, and the growing populace has caused them all to be in danger. The only way to survive, is to return back to Earth, the planet they abandoned over a century ago. One hundred juvenile delinquents are being sent to Earth. But once they arrive, problems arise that no one could’ve forseen.

The 100 is told from the POV of several different characters: Clarke, a doctor-in-training, whose parents got executed and who blames her ex-boyfriend, Wells, for their execution. Part of the story is also told from Wells’ POV. He’s the son of the chancellor, Jaha, and thus well-respected back on the Arc. He messes up on purpose in order to get on the space ship back to Earth, so he can be with Clarke and make it up to her. Then there’s Bellamy, the only person on the Arc who has a sibling- Octavia – and he went along to Earth to protect his sister. He wants to get away from the others as soon as possible, because he had to do something horrible in order to get on board the ship, and if the guards from the Arc find him, he’ll most likely be executed.

So far, the remotely-interesting characters. I say remotely, because they never portray any depth or personality. Clarke is a Mary Sue character. She’s boring, perfect, not a single flaw, except if you count not forgiving her ex-boyfriend for betraying her trust, and thus having her parents executed. Oh wait. She does forgive him, about halfway through the book. Guess her love for her parents just didn’t reach any further than that.

Wells is a cardboard figure who serves no purpose but to be a love interest for Clarke. He’s a douchebag, he only thinks about one thing (yes, you know what I mean) and all he wants to do, is protect Clarke. Because when you land on Earth, your colony is about to be eradicated, and you have to survive on a foreign planet, then love is the first thing on your mind. Yeah, makes sense.

Bellamy isn’t much better. He went along to protect Octavia, which is at least somewhat understandable. But then, he falls head over heels for Clarke, and forgets all about his darling sister. Now Clarke has not one, but two boys pining over her.

The last character the story focuses on, is Glass. If you thought the others were ridiculous, Glass brings ridiculous to a whole new level. She escapes the space ship, in an effort to be reuined with her long lost love, who she hasn’t seen in years, since she was in prison – which, by the way, he had no clue about – and then he falls for her all over again, like nothing ever happened. Also, great idea – stay on the deadship where you will die in just a few months. Yep, real smart.

If it wasn’t clear from the descriptions so far, the characters are laughable. The boys serve no purpose but to set up a love triangle with Mary Sue – okay, Clarke – in the middle. Glass’ storyline is boring, and she has even less personality than Clarke has.

The thing is – the book certainly had potential. If it wasn’t so romance-centric, and instead would focus on the amazing fact that they’re on Earth, and no one has been there for centuries, and oh my God, they have to survive in this wilderness, and no one of them knows any basic survival skills. Except, you know, Bellamy, because he can hunt, shoot deer, rabbits, and so on. Yep, just like that. Or were there any training grounds on the Arc where you can shoot animals? I know he’s a Guard, and probably had weapon training, but this is too easily glanced over in the book.

The world-building is greatly lacking as well. As in, there is none. We have this supposedly dystopian society on the Arc, but it’s never explained. Heck, even when the kids land on earth, Earth itself feels more like a scenic background than anything else. Some sectors have more resources than others, but it’s never explained why, or why they hate each other so much, or how one ends up in one or other sector. Heck, nothing is explained, not even where the colony is. Orbiting around earth? I can only guess.

If it’s not clear by now, this book was a dissapointment. After seeing the awesome TV series, I’d hoped the book would be just as good. Alas, no such luck. Not recommended, unless you’re in the mood for some sloppy romance.

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