Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Review: The 100

The 100 (The Hundred, #1)Title: The 100
Author: Kass Morgan
Series: The Hundred
Volume: 1

Why I Read It: Dystopian science fiction, which sounded up my alley.

A Quick Introduction: Three hundred years ago, humanity was devastated by a nuclear war that left planet Earth uninhabitable. The remaining humans fled to space, living in ships far above the radioactive surface of the planet. Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents, are being sent to Earth's surface to recolonize. Clarke was arrested for treason, but they don't know the worst of it. Wells committed an infraction in hopes of follow the girl he loves, especially because since it's his fault she's been sent there. Bellamy fought his way on to protect his sister, and Glass managed to escape back onto the ship, only to find out that she is no safer there.

What I Thought: I could not put this one down. I started it this morning, meaning to read a couple of chapters, and I didn't put it down until I finished it three and a half hours later. It is told in alternate points of view, between the four main characters, and that itself made it really difficult to put down. I was surprised how much I felt for the characters at times. They are all being haunted by choices they made, and everyone has a secret (or several). Some of which only come to light in the last few pages of the book. And these are big, dark, deadly secrets. The characters felt very real in their struggles in that respect- the choices they had made were probably not very good ones on some cases, and sometimes, even the right choice came with its own baggage. We only gradually find out the character's back stories, most chapters have some flashback, which is in a different font. I feel like the flashbacks really let the reader get to know the characters, and we constantly learn new things about them, both in the present and the past, some flashbacks lead to complete character reevaluations (I don't think it is a spoiler to say this: what Wells did in the last few pages, for example).

The decision that haunts Clarke so much is something that really intrigued me the most, I think. Were I in an English course, I would love to read this- there's so much material that could be analyzed in the character's stories and the way that the world of the ship is structured, especially with the revelations toward the end. Does anyone else think that this could be used in the English curriculum? There are a lot of issues that exist in the real, modern world that are addressed or mentioned in the book, as well.

For me, this book was driven more by the characters than by the plot, though it was interesting. I did call a lot of the plot twists, but mostly because, at least for the ones in the middle of of the book, and the revelations, like why Glass was arrested, and why Bellamy's sister Olivia had been confined had a good deal of foreshadowing. The storytelling in this book was fast paced, but also very well paced. As for the revelation at the end, about the apple trees (that's non-spoiler-y enough, since it only makes sense in context) was something that I suspected pretty early in the book, it almost felt foreshadowed.

All in all, this book was marvelous, not perfect, but I really, really liked it. I think it might be in my top ten reads this year. Definitely the top twenty. I'm looking forward to more from this series.

No comments :

Post a Comment