No one has set foot on Earth in centuries – until now.
Ever since a devastating nuclear war, humanity has lived on spaceships far above Earth’s radioactive surface. Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents – considered expendable by society – are being sent on a dangerous mission: to re-colonize the planet. It could be their second chance at life… or it could be a suicide mission.
I will admit that I only picked up ‘The 100’ because I found it for £2 in a discount bookstore, and had heard about the TV adaptation. I was not expecting it to be particularly enticing, but after finishing it in one sitting, I was very glad to be proved wrong.
This story is not my conventional read; yes, I do read a lot of paranormal books, but the spaceship-orbiting-Earth concept is something I haven’t read in a long time. However, I found the idea very fresh. I’m sure there are countless similar books out there, but this one was unlike anything I have read.
Once I had started this book, I could not put it down. Aspects of the outcome could be guessed easily enough, but were not blatantly obvious, and as someone who likes to guess at plot twists, the fact that I guessed some but not all of the plot was very satisfying; I got the feeling of accomplishment when you realise that your idea was correct, but I was still shocked by the elements which I did not predict coming. The book was a good length (at 323 pages, Hodder UK paperback), did not feel rushed at all, and came to a natural ending – albeit with huge cliffhangers – which left me desperate for a sequel (I have been assured that one is scheduled for release this September).
I did like having four points of view. I am a person who enjoys split viewpoints, as there is more information to be gained by seeing multiple perspectives, however I was sceptical of having four points of view, as I thought it would be overly confusing. I can say now that it wasn’t. It was easy to keep track of which viewpoint it was at the time, so there was little confusion. These views (with the exception of Glass) all tend to pick up from where the others left off, so there are no questionable gaps left when switching to another character.
I grew very attached to the characters of Glass, Octavia, Clarke and Luke very quickly, and on the whole, I did care about nearly every character, which is a rarity. The one character I could not stand was Bellamy, however this was due to particular aspects of his personality which I find disagreeable – his arrogance, violent nature and lack of care for anyone but himself and Octavia – and was not at all due to bad writing or characterisation. Unlike in other books where I find a main character irritating or aggravating, this dislike for Bellamy did not actually impact my enjoyment of the book, as having another three viewpoints from characters who are a lot more pleasant meant that I could deviate away from my dissatisfaction at the character, unlike with books such as The Hunger Games or Divergent, where I could not escape my anger at the protagonist as the story is seen only through their eyes.
The flashbacks are very well done. They are spaced a decent length apart, so that there is no overload of memories at one time, and they reveal a little bit of often-encrypted information at a time , instead of handing it to us on a platter, meaning that I was eagerly anticipating the next snippet in order to find out what the subtle hints meant. This contributed to why I read the book in one sitting at 1 in the morning; I just could not stop as I constantly wanted to know more and more.
Overall, ‘The 100’ was a satisfying book with a dramatic ending, which left me so eager for the sequel that I am likely to go out and buy it as soon as it is out. I would definitely read this over and over again, although after a lot of research, I am not going to venture into watching the TV programme, as it sounds so different that I do not want to tarnish my love for the book. This book definitely has a place on my favourite reads list.