Book Review: The 100 by Kass Morgan

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.

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After hearing friends rave about CW’s adaptation of The 100, I thought that I should give it a try. Its plethora of action scenes and relationship drama made me understand why it was optioned, but unfortunately it was nothing more than a quick, shallow read.

The 100‘s first failing is its world-building, or lack thereof. The details of the ship, how it came to be, and the Gaia Doctrine are incredibly vague. Any explanations that are mentioned were so brief and minute that they failed to answer any of my questions, so I would have loved if there was an extra hundred pages or so to elaborate upon this world.

What disappointed me the most, though, was the fact that the romantic aspects of the plot took the forefront over more important matters, like trying to survive on a potentially dangerous planet. Wells and Glass love their respective partners more than anything else, including their own lives, and their POVs are continually filled with romanticized thoughts. And, to make matters worse, there’s the beginning of a love triangle, and many, many poor decisions made in the name of love. Including my absolute favourite line: “To save the girl he loved, he’d have to endanger the entire human race.”

Despite the fairly similar thoughts, it wasn’t difficult to tell the characters apart – which was nice, considering there were four distinct perspectives to deal with. I wasn’t able to connect or empathize with any of the characters, as none of them felt three-dimensional or real. I suppose that Bellamy irritated me the least, since he at least had a backstory that wasn’t centred around romance, and his unfailing support for his sister was quite nice to read.

Overall, The 100 didn’t contain a lot of substance, but I can certainly see it making a decent television show.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.