Book Review: THE 100 by Kass Morgan

20
Posted 04/30/2014 by alicemarvels in Science Fiction
The 100 by Kass Morgan

Rating

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Overview

Genre:
 
Author:
 
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Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
 
Release Date: September 3, 2013
 
Page Count: 323
 

PROS:

a cool premise; a few compelling storylines
 

CONS:

horrible character judgment (like shake your fist at them bad); wand-waving worldbuilding; abrupt end; love triangle
 
BOTTOM LINE

An entertaining sci-fi romance that is a little too light on the sci-fi.

Do you know those ‘first book in a new series’ stories that seem to have more emphasis on the word series than book? The 100 is definitely one of them. I’m not sure whether this book was conceived as source material or a novelization of the CW TV series, since they were packaged at the same time, but the emphasis on romance, love triangles, flashbacks and cliffhangers makes me think the narrative eye was always more solidly fixed on the TV show.

The worldbuilding is rather sloppy—what’s left of humanity is on a spaceship hundreds of years after some apocalyptic bomb went off on Earth, and we really don’t know much more than that about how generations of humans have survived, or how the rigid class system on the ship formed (my cynical answer is because it makes for star-crossed romance, but I’m sure more thought went into it than that, we just don’t see it). Earth is uninhabitable, but 100 teen prisoners of varying degrees of guilt are being sent to test the waters again.

Bellamy, Wells, and Clarke take up the majority of our attention on Earth, and their love triangle dominates that page time, with survival coming second to kissing and angsting. I was hoping for more Lost / Lord of the Flies style survival drama, but we only get a slight preview of how difficult life on Earth will be for these 100 before it’s time for the old “until book two” cutoff.

There are four different perspectives in this book, and it was difficult to get too heavily invested in any one character’s voice. I did find Glass’s story aboard the spaceship rather interesting, but again the motivations for this world and its rules came into question over and over again as she and her ex-boyfriend Luke sort through the inconvenient circumstances that keep them apart. Clarke’s perspective on Earth was also one of the more compelling ones, as she tries to keep the surviving teens alive as the only person with any medical training. However, more than one character had me absolutely stunned at their epic stupidity, like distracting stupidity. It’s still interesting enough stupidity that I’m not breaking up with the book yet, but frustrating nonetheless (and it takes away whatever minimal amount of fun the love triangle may have been because it is impossible to root for one character now).

Overall, The 100 is an interesting enough start to a series that I will give the next book a try. But I think this might be an instance of the TV show being better (or just more satisfying) than the book. Time will tell.


20 Comments


  1.  

    I hate to say it but the tv series is also “sloppily” done. I keep watching hoping it will get better and I think I am just going to give up on it to be honest. It really isn’t worth my time anymore, I gave it 5 episodes and that should have been more than enough to capture my attention and make me at least like..someone.




  2.  

    “but the emphasis on romance, love triangles, flashbacks and cliffhangers makes me think the narrative eye was always more solidly fixed on the TV show.”

    Too bad! I hate it when it feels like a book is merely a jumping off point for something even bigger. I know there have to be some threads that carry through the entire series so it has somewhere to go, but it’s frustrating when the first book feels more like setup than anything else. I think I’ll take a pass on this one for now, at least until more books come out and I can see if they improve upon this first one! Thanks for your thoughts:)




  3.  

    I guess I won’t be reading the book or watching the show because all the negatives you listed are things that drive me crazy and they can’t overcome the positives.




  4.  

    I’ve heard this isn’t that great…I suppose it would make sense that the book came out to introduce the show, but I don’t know…




  5.  

    I thought about giving the show a go but then..eh




    •  
      elknfg

      No it really is worth a watch! Season 1 is admittedly similar to how the book is portrayed (in this review) but Season 2 is showing some gREAT promise:-)




  6.  
    Dramagirl94x

    Totally agree that the workd is poorly written and But i dont think it mattered as much as you say it did. The characters make dumb choices but I cared for them. I was on the edge of my seat every single page and that rarely happens in teen Sci-Fi books. The love trianlge could be done without yes but it doesn’t ruin the book! Maybe its just me but I can really appreciate a book that hold secrets from the reader till the very end and still keeps our attention. The end was so predictable but left me wanting more.

    Love your reviews just thought id share mine :)




  7.  

    The tv show didn’t capture me so… plus that stupidity will have me probably quitting the book quite easily. Hm… do think I’ll pass but brilly review!!




  8.  

    Ooo, nope sloppy world building and fit inducing characters..nope. We ended up ditching the show too. Great review.




  9.  

    There were parts of this book that I liked but the cons definitely outweighed the pros, especially with an ending that made me want to throw the book across the room. And have you seen the TV show? I swear the characters are even worse. I didn’t make it past the first episode.




  10.  

    What with world building leaving more to be desired, love tirangle and a cliffie ending I think I will pass, but thanks for honest review Lauren




  11.  

    It’s so disappointing when the world building isn’t fleshed out in a book like this that kind of is supposed to depend on that. I haven’t seen the show because I hear mostly bad things and now I think I will be skipping both the show and the book! Characters like that just frustrate me. Great review though :)




  12.  

    I’ve been really excited to watch the TV show and had no idea it was a book, too — hopefully when I do get around to watching the show, it’ll be more satisfying than the book like you said! It does sound a bit like the show was the main focus, though. I’m sorry this one was a let-down for you and that it was difficult to get invested in the characters. This sounds like another case of good concept, not-so-great delivery. Fabulous review!!

    –Mckenzie @ A Belle’s Tales




  13.  

    Wait…

    the show is based on the book?

    Oh… I don’t know if the show is any better. I watched it, it’s…okay I guess.




  14.  

    I had no idea this show was a book as well! I’ve been watching the show, and it’s ok, but there are such giant holes in the plot and so many bad decisions made by the characters! From the sounds of your review, the book is the same! While I don’t mind shoddy tv shows, I do mind bad books ;)

    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist




  15.  

    I tried this one out last year and I came to the same conclusion — that perhaps this was a better story for a TV show. As a book, it didn’t quite do it for me….
    Great review!
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics




  16.  

    I’m sorry to hear this was a disappointment for you, Lauren. I didn’t read it although I was initially interested, but everyone was complaining about the sloppy world-building and the unnecessary drama. I can tell just from reading your review that this is a book that I would probably dislike.
    I haven’t good things about the TV show either, but it seems like it’s improving.
    Great review! Hopefully your next book will be better. :)




  17.  

    The fact that this book has sloppy world-building, yet managed to get turned into a TV show troubles me, but then again, what else can one expect from a packaged book? And the multiple narrators making it difficult to connect has me iffy on picking this up anytime soon. Thanks for the lovely, honest review!




  18.  
    Anonymous

    The tv show is so cool and we’ll put together,it is very unique and has a lot of good special effects,I assure you to watch it,and different people like different things so give the book a try,I did and I loved it!




  19.  

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