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Book Review: The 100
The Title's Origin
The 100 is named for the group of one hundred juvenile delinquents sent to Earth. These one hundred must determine if the earth is inhabitable or not. The story also revolves around the group as they attempt to make new life on planet Earth.
Synopsis of The 100
The 100 chronicles the lives before and after a group of one hundred delinquents were sent from their home to the planet Earth. They are the first people in ninety-seven years to walk the earth since it was poisoned by nuclear war. These citizens were to be killed, however, they were selected for a project in which to test the world's livability in order to save the dying space stations that make of the remaining population of humans.
Upon their arrival, the four protagonists learn much about living on earth and determining a sense of order for the happenings around them. Some lead while others follow and only some of them make sense of their new lives. Suspicions rise whether or not the government that ordered their departure will embark to the Earth as well. It's curious whether their crimes will be absolved due to their service to the human race.
The 100 is about discovery and self-exploration. It's about the qualities of being human and being one with the earth. It's actually an interesting topic for a science fiction work. Definitely worldly over other-worldly.
About Kass Morgan
Kass Morgan is an American author who attended Brown University for her undergraduate studies and then to Oxford University to study 19th Century Literature. She then settled in New York to begin working in publishing. Even at an early age, she has had a love for literature, beginning as early as the 3rd grade. She is a colorful person who has been seen as original personality. In grade school she was accused of wearing too much black. In college she wore too much pink and spent time reading many dark poems from poet Edgar Allen Poe.
Kass Morgan is energetic, loves to pet stranger's animals, and fight for writing space in Brooklyn coffee shops. The 100 is her first novel geared for teen readers. She is currently writing its sequel entitled Day 21. Also she has written a Gossip Girl novella entitled, It's The End of The World and I Love It.
Review of The 100
I've begun to write reviews for books because one, I like to read and two, I am a writer. As a reader and a writer, I have to breakup elements of prose and storytelling and also assess the themes within the work. The 100 has some pretty intense themes intertwined a simple, but complex storyline.
At first glance, I thought The 100 would be a pretty interesting science fiction work describing fancy technology and things yet to come in our present time. However, what I discovered, was an expansive narrative chronicling the lives of four characters. Their importance is yet to be realized, I think. This story stops abruptly just as things are getting really good. I think the author wanted to lure us into the characters, give us some interesting backstory, and then get into the juicy parts of the plot. However, that part is halted at the end, leaving a lingering question that happens at the end of every book: What happens next?
The prose of this work is fairly strong, not the strongest, but casual enough for any reader. There are no overly complex sentences or plot structures. It's all pretty linear save for the occasional flashbacks within the minds of these four characters. The characters include Wells, Bellamy, Glass, and Clarke. The story starts out with Clarke who discovers that the one hundred prisoners are being sent down to Earth to determine if it's livable.
Earth has been abandoned for nearly one hundred years after an intense nuclear war take place. There are no details as to how this came about, but it doesn't prevent our protagonists from questioning the past and coming to full realization of the present. The government is run by a Chancellor and Vice Chancellor who uphold harsh laws separating classes, preventing births, and otherwise stifling society up in space. Of course this makes sense once we realize that this colony is in danger of extinction. Supplies are running low and there aren't any options except for returning to Earth. This is how the 100 are involved.
The 100 is a bit jarring at first with the switching of POVs. It happens as often as every five or six pages. It's quick paced and its execution is unlike most reads. However, each character has a voice that is clear as a bell in my head. They all have distinct motives and have all acted out of desperation. This work is not about the otherworldly, but about the worldly. It explores human interaction, human desires, and human desperation. This isn't a story about delinquents being sent back to Earth, it's about an expression of humanity.
These qualities definitely make an interesting read. However, if you're looking for nonstop action, you won't find it here. You'll instead find a story told through very unique and distinctive narrative. The plot isn't much to boast about it, but it makes up for the beautiful characterization. Plus the end definitely gives me enough reason to read the next in the series. A pretty good read, I'd say.
The 100 will be adapted into a television of The CW (I will be writing reviews for the show as well). It was called to be adapted by Alloy Entertainment which also acts as Kass Morgan's book publisher for the series. The show is to premiere on The CW on March 19, 2014. The YouTube video of the show's preview is on your right.
Also, keep in mind, that the show is an adaptation. From careful research, it's apparent that some names and plot elements have been changed in order to fit a TV format. Also, Kass Morgan is not listed as a writer or producer for the show. For fans of the book, take heed that things might be very different from the novel.
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© 2014 A.E. Williams