Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
September 3, 2013
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon ($3.99 on Kindle)
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.
Kass Morgan's The 100, published in September, has been made into a TV show, premiering in the US tonight on the CW.
A sort of Lord of the Flies meets Lost meets After Earth, The 100 has one hundred teen offenders sent from their home of spaceships to Earth. After The Cataclysm, humans fled to space in order to survive. Now, three centuries later, they believe it may be safe enough to return.
The one hundred young people, from Confinement, are sent to see if the planet is yet viable.
Told from the points of view of several different characters, The 100 lets us know what it is like both on the ship and on the ground. The characters have their own reasons for being in Confinement and sent to Earth, reasons they don't want to think about and/or keep secret. The closer we get to finding out their 'crime' the more we learn about them, the other characters part of their life before the mission, and about their society and its operation.
The mission itself is a surprise to the hundred, as is everything they encounter there. Yet, the majority of the book seemed to focus on interpersonal relationships and romance. There was arguing, fighting after the landing about how to go forward, about any form of societal structure and rules. I wished for more, though.
They are teens - some tougher, harder than others - who are on Earth after spending their entire lives (as did generations before) aboard a spaceship city. Their adaptation felt too blase and too quick.
Reading of the characters' past interactions did lead to discovering why they were there in the first place and gave some insight into who they were, usually, and how they'd changed. It also made the romance(s) work. There was just too much focus on the romance, for me. If the science fiction side (from the ships to the Cataclysm to how Earth had changed, etc) were stronger or even if there had been more 'discovery' after the landing, it would have been better.
As it is, The 100 is a fun, fast read with some sci-fi elements that presents an interesting society aboard the ships that I hope to see expanded in the second book.
Several twists and big moments in the story, including one big one, were ones that were either heavily foreshadowed (to the point of being almost obvious) or I simply predicted it/
The television version of The 100 premieres tonight so I don't know yet how it will compare to the book. Based on the synopsis and the characters listed on the show's imdb page, the premise is slightly altered (after 97 years, not 300) and several characters either have different names or are not included. The 'series preview' on the CW show page also has some immediate differences (saying what would be spoilery for the book!).
I really like the premise of both the book and the show - as well as where the novel ended - so I'll be checking out the show (tonight, 9pm ET/8pm CT) and looking forward to Book 2, Day 21
thank you to LBYR and NetGalley for my egalley to review