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The 100 Kindle Edition
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|Length: 327 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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|Book 1 of 4 in The 100|
|Age Level: 15 - 99||Grade Level: 10 - 17|
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About the Author
- File Size : 2335 KB
- Publication Date : September 3, 2013
- ASIN : B00BAXFCO0
- Print Length : 327 pages
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publisher : Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (September 3, 2013)
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Language: : English
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #24,719 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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At first I was excited to get a new story from the characters I love and to get more background on the ship life. But as it went along it became very clear this writer preferred cliche characters to the inspired writing that the TV show uses.
The 100 is set approximately 3 centuries after a nuclear event makes earth uninhabitable. The only known survivors were on space colonies designed to escape Earth and keep the human race alive until the radiation levels lowered to a survivable level. Unable to get any conclusive data from their tests and with the space stations deteriorating, the council decides to send the 100 teens awaiting re-trial on their 18th birthdays to the surface to see if their data is correct and the surface is survivable. For obvious reasons, this idea is fraught with danger. Beginning with the fact that an entire group of teenagers is who have never even been out of a climate controlled area are now expected to survive and feed themselves in the woods- with little to no shelter/ supplies provided by the adults sending them there. Of course, on the way down the incredibly old and ill maintained ships begin to fall apart upon re-entering the atmosphere so supplies are lost as well as lives.
Most of this book is spent in flashbacks. Hardly anything on Earth actually happens. The flashbacks of main characters give the reader background of why they are on Earth and how they relate to each other. They also provide context for the society and culture they left. I am not against flashbacks; but this was too much set-up. What actually happens on earth is perhaps 10% of book one. As usual, the book and characters are so much better than in the TV series.
This book is neither terrible or good. It was interesting. It had enough to keep me reading until the end. I will probably read the second book mainly due to curiosity of whether the story line becomes more current even focused vs. flashback focused. It was the perfect book to read while on the Stairclimber, easy and requiring no real brainpower. All-in-all; it's your typical shallow YA story, love triangles included.
UPDATE: Since reviewing The 100, I've finished the first two seasons of the TV show, which I will say is almost completely different from the book series. I'm a glutton for dramatic teen TV shows, and since The 100 is produced by the same people as The Vampire Diaries, I was destined to fall in love with it! If you've seen the show and are inclined to try the book because you liked it so much... I'm sorry, but they will disappoint you sorely. Just stick with the TV show (A+ COMPLETELY RECOMMEND). The books, while similar enough in premise to serve as the foundation for the show, are much more slowly paced (the entire first book, The 100, is basically the time frame of the first episode of Season 1), and definitely less gracefully executed than episodes are. Just a little disclaimer.
REVIEW: The book is told from four different teenagers' perspectives—Clarke, Wells, Bellamy, and Glass. All narratives aside from Glass's are told in a concurrent timeline, through the eyes of the delinquents who have been forced to settle on Earth for the first time in centuries. While Glass's story, which takes place back on the mothership, was initially the least interesting, it eventually pans out to serve as an anchor—a tie to the surviving, but still unstable lifestyle back in space.
Kass Morgan creates a vivid high-tech world in The 100, where citizens are divided by social standing and resources are limited—of course, except to the upperclass. Back on Earth, the prospects are obviously grim, but it's still a thrill of a journey to follow Clarke, Wells, Bellamy, and the other 97, as they each rediscover a planet that they've only read about in books, yet have such a deep internal connection with. I appreciate the idea of providing different points of view, but think it was slightly too ambitious for the author to try to squeeze a Lord of the Flies-esque conflict AND a love triangle AND an undercurrent of radiation's aftereffects (say what?) into everything. It's all interesting until it just becomes too much; I'd have much preferred one central conflict with stronger relationship-building and more background insight.
While there is no one thing fatally wrong with any of the characters, all four of them are too generic, too idealized. Everyone loves having attractive/smart/clever characters to read about, but they all start to blend together when the author tries to make them all perfect, especially since everyone thinks in close third person. The unrealistic and unextraordinary characterization prevented me from developing any sort of attachment to any of them. The only one that seemed remotely human and believable was Bellamy, our resident rebel. But then again I've always been a sucker for bad boys with a past...
That said, the story itself is filled with drama and tension between the main characters (and secondary characters!) which makes The 100 exciting to read. The sheer nature of the resettlement of our planet is enthralling; Morgan does well with engaging readers to the surprises and twists scattered throughout the novel. There's definitely lots of action-filled scenes and, love it or hate, an INTENSE cliffhanger ending, that just leaves you thirsty for more.
Structurally, I found The 100 quite hard to work with. The constantly changing perspectives get a bit disorienting because it's not just a "he said, she said," but rather a "he said, she said, another he said, another she said." Kind of exhausting. On top of that, each of the narratives are very heavy on backstory which, in good fiction, is absolutely necessary. But when it takes up 50% of the book in the form of italicized flashbacks, it gets out of control.
Pros: Fascinating storyline and world-building // Engaging; keeps you hanging on constantly // Dramatic Earth-bound adventures and minor plot twists // Bellamy is a strongly written character // Ending makes me want to read the second book! That's what ultimately matters, right?
Cons: Abundance of flashbacks is annoying; causes disorder in the flow of the storytelling // Constant narrative shifts also gets chaotic // Stylistically unimpressive // All the characters are grossly idealized (i.e. sweet, pretty/handsome, kind, brave, etc.) and thus pretty forgettable (with the exception of Bellamy) // Cliffhanger ending may cause distress
Verdict: Despite my numerous quips with the lacking characters and structure of The 100, I found myself enjoying it while reading and left wanting more once finished. It's definitely a plot-driven sci-fi novel with lots of action and lots of suspense; if that's your thing, you should totally give it a chance. Kass Morgan's debut is one of those books that isn't mind-blowing, but is still hard to put down, so I definitely understand its appeal to mainstream young adult audiences. While unimpressive in a literary lens or by composition, The 100 is still a promising first installment in an exciting dystopian series.
Rating: 7 out of 10 hearts (4 stars): Not perfect, but overall enjoyable; borrow, don't buy!
Source: Complimentary copy provided by publicist in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, FSB Media!).
Top reviews from other countries
The narrative is split between four POV characters: Wells, Clarke, Bellamy, and Glass. And I guess because I read this after having watched the series, I can’t help but compare it. I soon realised that characters who’d died in the TV series early on weren’t going to die in the book—instead, we get to know a lot more about them. And these four characters are really well written. They’ve got flaws. Though I have to admit that with the exception of Bellamy, their narrative voices sounded a little similar.
While these four characters are extremely well written, I found many of the secondary and minor characters a little flat. I’d have liked to see Luke and Thalia especially fleshed out a bit more. Octavia’s characterisation seemed a little stronger, but again, not as strong as the POV characters.
So I loved the worldbuilding in this book. Perhaps more than in the tv series, though it is of course similar. But the book feels a lot more realistic.
The narrative is told through a mixture of present day action for all four POV characters and their flashbacks. And the flashbacks are what really held the book together. They made everything so much more cohesive; they also really helped me understand the lead-up to the book’s set up. Reading the final flashbacks at the end was an “aha” moment as it made me truly understand what had been happening at the beginning. Not to say that there hadn’t been enough info provided at the start—there had, but the ending just gave it all that little bit of extra meaning.
So this book is shorter than I was expecting it to be. And although Glass had a clear arc in her narrative, there wasn’t so much a complete arc for Clarke, Wells, or Bellamy. Instead, the final few pages introduces another element—the other people who have survivor on earth. This clearly sets up for the next book, and because of this, for me, the book’s written more like a TV series than a novel series. I thought that was especially interesting.
And I do just want to say that although Clarke has two love interests--Wells and Bellamy--it's not really a typical love triangle, which I really appreciated. We see her with both of them at different times in the book, but the romance is definitely not a huge drive-force of the book, which I really appreciated.
The writing is so addictive though, and I couldn’t put it down. Highly recommended if you want a YA dystopian/post-apocalyptic/science fiction read.
The premise is pretty simple - there was a nuclear war on earth 300 years earlier and some of humanity have survived by living on spaceships above the earth's radioactive surface. Oxygen is running out on the spaceships so 100 juvenile delinquents have been sent down to earth to see if it is safe for humans to live there again. Being delinquents, no one on the spaceships really cares if they live or die. We follow various characters as they land on earth and try to survive there.
My positives: This book is a YA book, so very easy to follow, the characters are likeable and the story is captivating enough to keep me interested. The chapters are told from the POV of the different characters and there is just the right amount of plot suspense and drama to keep the story flowing. The characters come from really varied backgrounds, so that keeps their stories and thoughts and approaches to situations interesting and different.
My negatives: The characters are a bit predictable and fickle and they are completely at the mercy of their teenage hormones(!). Some elements of the story can been seen coming from a mile off and some of the situations are too crazy even for a sci fi book.
Overall, this book has action, romance, trauma, drama, betrayal and every other element for a captivating adventure. Combine that with an easy-flowing read and it’s a good book. I will continue to read the rest of the books before I watch the TV series (which sounds very different).
The story is relatively simple, but works at a good pace, and I'm constantly excited to keep reading and find out what happens next. Despite several issues with inconsistancy where parts of the plot contradict other parts of the story, such as timelines of how long people are in certain places etc, the stories flow well. If you're a stipler for accuracy then I'd maybe recommend avoiding them but if you can ignore the occasional thought of 'I'm pretty sure it said they were there for double that amount of time in the first chapter' then it's a really exciting read with some moments of thoughtfullness and consideration of class and poverty. Ultimately it seems that these issues aren't too relevant to the plot.
If you have watched the show be warned this is completely different. This book is most similar to the pilot episode but after this book they go in completely opposite directions! I loved both the show and the books but don't expect them to be similar