Book Review: The 100

The 100
By: Kass Morgan
Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release date: September 3, 2013
Genre: YA dystopian
336 pages
Source: hard copy kindly provided by publisher

I'm a regular reader of YA dytopian; I think it makes me thankful for my own cushy life to read stories of a future that has humanity hanging onto the last thread of hope. This is the exact place we find the characters in The 100.

I give the author points for concept: in the aftermath of a nuclear war, the human race has survived by fleeing to a ship in space for several hundred years. They long to return back to Earth, so they send a team of 100 back to the surface to see if the planet is yet capable of maintaining life. Great story for setting up conflict and action.

The story loses something, however, in that most of the characters are criminals, and not very likeable. Those who aren't downright diabolical are a bit on the whiny side. They are faced with very real survival issues, yet seem to be primarily concerned with their love lives. Given the extreme circumstances, I would have expected more emphasis on basic needs: food, water, shelter. Those things are mentioned, just not highlighted as much as is realistic considering what they are facing.

There are several characters sharing the spotlight, and lots of time frame jumps. These two factors make for a story that feels very serialized; it's no wonder it's been made into a television show, because it reads very much like one, moving from one scene to the next with the plot arc stretching out into a slow climb. This made for pacing that I felt was a bit slow in places, though readers who stay with it will really love the last fifty pages or so- I loved how things picked up and moved at the end.

Fair warning to readers who are trying to stay away from love triangles. The drama of it was a little much, and the emotional push and pull was unnecessary and in the end just made one of the characters, who could have been a great heroine, seem foolish and immature. I found myself disappointed that I wasn't able to connect to her as much as I was hoping for.

There are details about the return to Earth, such as the rediscovery of sunsets, birds singing, and rain storms, that are really well written. There's definitely enough good material to drive a great sequel- and that's my next read. I hope the author capitalizes on the potential, and gives us a story that we can thoroughly enjoy.


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 recolonize the planet. It could be their second chance at life...or it could be a suicide mission.

CLARKE was arrested for treason, though she's haunted by the memory of what she really did. WELLS, the chancellor's son, came to Earth for the girl he loves -- but will she ever forgive him? Reckless BELLAMY fought his way onto the transport pod to protect his sister, the other half of the only pair of siblings in the universe. And GLASS managed to escape back onto the ship, only to find that life there is just as dangerous as she feared it would be on Earth.

Confronted with a savage land and haunted by secrets from their pasts, the hundred must fight to survive. They were never meant to be heroes, but they may be mankind's last hope.


  1. I've been so tempted to read this because hubs and I LOVE the show. It sounds like it's one of the rare cases where the visual production is better than the book. Loved your review Larky pal...

    1. Thanks, Michele. I have DVR'd the show, and plan to watch after reading Day 21. I have a feeling that it really is better on screen, kind of like TVD. The CW does well with that kind of material.

    2. Yes...CW knows how to make a book better....I'll give them that.

  2. I have this book for review, so I am just waiting to read it now. It has become a series so I look forward to when I will watch it. Also, it's a shame about having whiny characters because I am nor a fan of those, but the concept looks pretty cool.


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