‘The 100’ is probably the first legitimate science fiction I’ve read. Of course, all the dystopian novels I’ve completed could also be categorized as sci-fi, but this story takes place in space. My very first space opera. (I wonder if there’s a card for that?)
This was the first book in a series about a colony of humans that had been evacuated from Earth to live in the safety of a spaceship. Because I’ve read ‘Cress’ by Marissa Meyer, I could guess something would go wrong with the ship. I wasn’t disappointed. Therefore, one hundred juvenile delinquents (because ninety-eight just doesn’t have the same ring to it) are sent to Earth nearly a century later to see if Earth had become inhabitable.
Written in third person and following the storylines of four characters, who are very well linked together, ‘The 100’ has a lot to offer. There’s always something going on, even if it is only for a sentence at the end of the chapter. My general opinion was that each story line could have been told in a much shorter timespan, or with lots more detail.
Let me set the scene.
So, Clarke was in love with Wells, and Wells committed a felony just to go to Earth with her, but it turns out Clarke isn’t in love with Wells anymore, she likes Bellamy. Bellamy likes Clarke too, but he has to protect his sister Octavia. Later he doesn’t like Clarke, and then he does again, then Clarke likes Wells, and then settles for Bellamy…. meanwhile aboard ship, Glass, Wells’ best friend, loves Luke but Luke doesn’t love her, he loves Camille, but then he actually loves Glass and Glass still loves him.
Is anyone else thinking these characters are completely unable to make up their minds?
When it came to the romantic relationships between the characters, the same cookie-cutter pattern was followed: one person in the couple is unhappy because they are hiding a HUGE secret that could tear their relationship apart. When the secret finally comes out, as it inevitably will, the relationship fails because of mistrust and dishonesty. I can read about this once, but not on eight separate occasions.
I’d definitely say that the romantic relationships drove the plot more than I thought they would. I know ‘The 100’ has been made into a popular TV show, though haven’t seen an episode. My friend, Sarah (‘The 100’ super-fan) says that the show focuses more on the survival element of the book because that’s actually quite interesting. Just under 100 teenagers, (about ninety three after a few deaths to prove the scene was important) with no experience of Earth, trying to survive without many resources? That sounds killer! I can see why it didn’t chose repetitive romance to draw in the viewers.
So you know what I said about no survival experience? Well, it turns out Bellamy is a dead shot with a bow and arrow, without any earlier practice and having only read about hunting in books. If only Tudor History was that easy to master!
The book ends in quite a cliffhanger, but let’s see if you can guess it! A colony of humans think they’re the only people alive and that Earth is uninhabited. They stress this fact quite a bit. What are they completely not expecting to find on Earth? Other humans.
What do they find on Earth? You guessed it. Other humans.
I severely hope this conflict is played up to it’s full potential in the second book. (More on that later!)
Overall, I’d give ‘The 100’ 2.5 stars. It didn’t impress me as much as I wanted it too because I was expecting something more like the TV show and what that offered. However, Kass Morgan has left the story relatively open ended so it could get better. Fingers crossed.