Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Counting The Ways To Where You Are

Published:  September 3rd, 2013
The 100 (The Hundred #1)
By: Kass Morgan
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN-13:  9780316234474

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.


     Clarke, Wells, Glass and Bellamy all have something in common.  Soon they'll be sent to Earth to live, as an experiment to see whether or not it's truly habitable for people once again.  Two of them are going voluntarily, following the people they love.  One of them is going along with it to avoid certain death and the last is going to find a way to stay behind at any cost.  Bellamy's main concern is his sister Octavia, Clarke and Wells have a complicated love/hate relationship to work out, and Glass is in love with Luke who seems to have given up on them.  The air is breathable on Earth, but there are plenty of dangers to keep the teens on their toes.  And with the government keeping secrets up on the ship, Glass may be running out of time to save herself and Luke.  Will all of the teens be able to survive in the cutthroat worlds they're part of and the web of lies they've been dropped into?  What if Earth isn't quite as abandoned as they always thought?
     This is definitely perfect material for a CW television show.  I will say that can be both a good and bad thing, when talking about a book.  It has plenty of detailed descriptions, I could really picture the ship they were on and the wild, regressed back to primitive Earth they get sent to.  The characters all have interesting backstories and their relationships with each other are honest and full of a stark combination of pain, love and that strange self-centeredness that comes with being a teenager in any society.  I definitely believed in the reality of the characters.  It was the rest of it that could use some more work.
     The plot has major potential, but I shared the feelings of a lot of other readers that not much really happened when it comes down to the deconstruction of what I just read.  I liked the idea that the ships were running out of resources and were using the delinquents to test out the viability of moving back on to Earth.  It's a very interesting premise.  But the plot is mostly consisted of flashbacks and long conversations/angsty moments between the main characters.  The Lord of the Flies dynamic once they got to Earth wasn't explored as much as I would have liked.  I think Clarke forgave Wells for his stupidity a little too easily.  Octavia was a little to mysterious for me to draw a strong sibling connection between her and Bellamy.  She really uses him pretty badly in the present time the book's set in.  I did like the mystery concerning whether or not there were people still inhabiting Earth.  Overall it was an interesting science fiction read (if a little light on the true sci-fi elements).  In practice it reads a little too much like a TV show to make a phenomenal book though.  If you want your book to be something above and beyond, it needs to stand out.  It was a good setup and I hope the rest of the series has more meat and depth to it.  Otherwise the promise will be unfulfilled.
VERDICT:   3.5/5  Stars
*I received this book as part of Around the World ARC Tours, run by the lovely Princess Bookie.  No favors or money were exchanged for this review.  This book was published September 3rd, 2013.*

1 comment:

  1. Oh, yeah Lord of the Flies totally came to mind for me, too! LOL Maybe it'll be explored more in the sequel - here's hoping, right?


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