Review: The 100

◆ The 100 by Kass Morgan
◆ Read March 2015
◆ English Edition
◆ Purchase: The Book Depository
❝ In the future, humans live in city-like spaceships orbiting far above Earth's toxic atmosphere. No one knows when, or even if, the long-abandoned planet will be habitable again. But faced with dwindling resources and a growing populace, government leaders know they must reclaim their homeland... before it's too late.

Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents are being sent on a high-stakes mission to recolonize Earth. After a brutal crash landing, the teens arrive on a savagely beautiful planet they've only seen from space. Confronting the dangers of this rugged new world, they struggle to form a tentative community. But they're haunted by their past and uncertain about the future. To survive, they must learn to trust - and even love - again.
So this was a disappointment. I realize now that I should not have started reading The 100 with the expectation that it would be nearly as good as the TV adaption. Because it is not, not even close. However, for reviewing purposes, I'll focus solely on the book.

I got drawn in by the promise of an original concept. The idea of the human race living in space sounded interesting to me. The concept of one hundred (teenage) criminals being send to Earth sounded even better. I fell in love with the concept and was excited to start reading The 100 because it had so much potential. Unfortunately the actual story did not live it up to it. There was almost no information about how the human race remained alive in space or why they had to go there to survive in the first place. I had expected the ground storyline to be all about survival, about building a new society. Instead the story was mainly about hormones flying all over the place, with lots of kissing and useless drama. 

Morgan's choices in narrative tired me out pretty quickly. The story was told from a lot of different point of views that changed too often. Moreover, some perspectives - like Glass' - had no value to the plot and might as well been left out. In addition to this, there were a lot of flashbacks. I personally like flashbacks because they add deeper understanding most of the time. However, as with the perspectives, there were too many flashbacks. More often than not I couldn't distinguish between present and past events. The writing itself was actually nice and straightforward, so it's a shame that these flaws cast a shadow on that. 

What I disliked most of all was how shallow and undeveloped the majority of the characters were. If I'm completely honest with myself, I loathed most of them because they were such selfish and annoying creatures (especially Wells). I wanted to find out what all the characters did to be considered criminals. I wanted their actions to be defined by more than an infatuation for a boy or a girl. Bellamy was the only redemption for me, the only interesting one of the bunch. Characters make or break a story and in my opinion the author failed to make them realistic, interesting or even remotely likable. 

In conclusion, The 100 fell completely flat for me and that made it incredibly hard to pick strengths to outbalance the weaknesses. I do think Kass Morgan has the potential to do better, but frankly I do not recommend this anyone. 

2 stars because:
✓ Interesting concept
✗ Too many POV's
✗ Too many flashbacks
✗ Despicable characters

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