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. (from Goodreads)
Interestingly, the author chose to use an alternating point-of-view structure for the story – which I love – but she used four points of view. Now, this may turn off some people and an argument can certainly be made that it may be too many viewpoints at the same time, but I believe that the author is trying to set up her story and I think that each of these viewpoints brought something entirely different to the table. As it goes, I really had no trouble keeping up with which character was speaking at which time because their voices were so unique – I guess you can so that for me, four POV’s in this story worked well.
Before I introduce the four POV’s, a little background: what’s left of the human population has been living aboard three connected spaceships for years and years now after abandoning earth after some sort of cataclysmic event. Nuclear war, perhaps? They’ve abandoned earth and stayed away because they fear the levels of radiation are too toxic for habitation BUT they realize that their time aboard their spaceships is coming to an end – those ships weren’t made to last forever and are deteriorating. What better way to test out earth – to see if it is ready for the human population again – than to send the dispensable criminal population? After all, they’re to be executed anyway if they stay aboard the ship and they’re only depleting the ship’s precious oxygen supply anyway! So…100 teenage criminals are sort-of secretly being sent to earth for ahead of everyone else wearing these interesting information-collecting-and-transmitting bracelets that will track their vital signs and radiation levels and send the information back to the ship – if everything looks okay after a while, the rest of the people on board the ship will follow and they’ll begin to repopulate the planet again. If the young people succeed at the mission, they’ll be pardoned and everyone will live happily ever after. Piece of cake, right?
Heh. Heh. HeHe. Ahem.
Okay, so now that we have a little of a background, let’s meet our four main players:
- Clarke – The book begins with Clarke in confinement. She is visited by a guard – believing it is time for her execution, she steels herself mentally for death…but what actually happens is that Clarke finds out that she and 99 other teenage criminals are being sent to Earth on a mission to see if it is radiation-safe after the huge event years and years ago. Clake is fitted with some weird bracelet and eventually herded into the group of the rest of the criminals to await transportation to earth. ~ Clarke is a very smart girl, and she ended up in confinement for a reason that was very unfair. She’s been there for a while now, and the way that she ended up there…well, she feels it unforgivable. Clarke was in love once with a boy named Wells but that’s over now. She used to train to be part of a medical team but that all ended when she was thrown in confinement.
- Wells – Wells is the boy that Clarke loved and oh, how he
lovedloves her back. It’s true that he’s responsible for landing her in confinement, which was basically sentencing her to death – but he didn’t mean for it to end up that way. It was an honest mistake and he would do anything, anything, anything to right his wrong – so he does. Or he tries to. ~ Wells’ father is the Chancellor, the head guy on the ship. Wells is a star student and the highest ranked cadet on board. BUT! When he found out that Clarke was being sent to earth, he knew he had to go with her – so he did an unthinkable crime, one that he knew would land him in confinement as well – just so he could accompany her to earth. Despite the fact that he very much still loves Clarke, he isn’t sure that she will ever forgive him for what he has done to her – it goes far beyond simply landing her in confinement. But he vows that he will do everything that he can to try to make her see how he feels about her and to protect her. (I really like Wells – such a stand-up, great character. I feel like he has a hard time because the rest of the criminals tease him/treat him poorly just because his father is the Chancellor and probably sentenced them to their confinement times. It must be so hard to be him.)
- Bellamy – Bellamy is such an interesting guy. Bellamy started out with a very difficult and controversial family life, which is revealed in bits and pieces as the story progresses. What we know from the beginning is that Bellamy punches out a friend of his that is a guard, steals his uniform, and shoots the Chancellor. Why? Just so he can hop on board and also go to earth. Why would he want to do that? Because his sister Octavia is being sent with the 100. Why is this a big deal? Because nobody on the ship has siblings and Bellamy feels a fierce, almost feral need to protect her. ~ YES, he commits a crime in shooting the Chancellor (Wells’ father) but it is really brave of him to do so just so he can protect Octavia. ~ Once on earth, Bellamy surprises everyone with his unusual knowledge of and ease with hunting and gathering and basically living on earth. It’s almost like he’s looking forward to it rather than nervous about it, like everyone else. People are a little bit unnerved by him – I think I was too, to begin with, but by the end of the book, I was definitely intrigued by this character and I want to know more about him as soon as possible. Very curious.
- Glass – Oh, Glass. This gal actually is the only one that is able to escape back onto the ship and not leave for earth. She’s actually the only one that even tries. She does this because she is so in love with this one boy that is still back on the ship that she just can’t bear the thought of being without him. Now, this boy has no idea why Glass was confined – she never told him – and her reason for not telling him?…well I get it. I understand why. I don’t fault her. ~ Slipping back onto the ship is extremely risky and dangerous and could get her killed right away, without question. But what ends up happening is wildly interesting and very unexpected and just WOW. I have to say that even though Glass is one of the main players in the book, it’s actually her love interest that is one of my favorite characters in the entire story. I’m extremely interested in seeing what will play out for these two and for this guy as the next book is published (and also as the TV show is aired – I won’t lie). ~ Glass and her love interest stand apart from these other POV’s in that they are the only ones left aboard the ship while the others are now on earth.
Ultimately, The 100 by Kass Morgan is a fun space and earth science-fiction adventure story that takes place years after some apocalyptic event that has ruined earth for many years. I love the thought of sending 100 teenage criminals to earth to see if they can manage down there on their own before the rest of the population shows up. Will the rest of the population show up? Who the heck even knows? Because guess what? The 100’s ship crash landed and nobody can tell if they are still being monitored, so these young people are kind of winging it as they’re learning to hunt, heal, govern, and do everything else a civilization would have to do.
(Possibility for triangle in the future? Hard to tell at this point.)
Great Setting: Space (always fun) and uninhabited Earth
Books in The Hundred Series:
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