The idea behind the 100 series may seem rather familiar to some of you as it has recently been adapted into a TV series by US network The CW but today I'm going to be discussing the original books. The novels follow a group of teen criminals living in space years after a nuclear apocalypse left the Earth uninhabitable. Although the ship has been home to several generations the real story begins when 100 of the teens are chosen to be sent back to Earth to investigate as oxygen on the ship is running out quickly, putting everyone's lives at risk.
At first I found it difficult to get into the story of The 100 which is a shame as I thought the premise sounded intriguing. I had expected it to be more of a survival story but instead found it to be very focused on the various relationships between the main characters. The teens we meet are Clarke, Wells & Bellamy who are all sent down to Earth, and finally Glass the only one of the group who remains on the ship. The chapters alternate between these four characters who are all connected in some way and although I thought it was interesting to include perspectives from both on and off the ship, in this case I didn’t feel that the multiple points of view on the ground necessarily added much value to the story.
Something else I was disappointed in was the lack of solid world-building which definitely contributed to the fact that I didn’t feel like I could really invest in the characters and their stories. In addition it didn't feel like much actually happened in the book plot-wise and sadly overall it left me feeling underwhelmed and with a lot of unanswered questions.
In an attempt to enjoy The 100 more I also dipped in and out of the first few episodes of the new TV adaptation but sadly I couldn’t muster up much enthusiasm here either. Still, I persevered and picked up the second book in the hope that it would contain more answers, and more of the survival tale I was hoping for.
Newly released sequel Day 21 picks up where The 100 left off and whilst still fairly focused on the relationships between the characters also starts to give more of an insight into what’s been happening on Earth and how the Colony became to be. For me the fact that the world-building was stronger and new elements were added meant I enjoyed the second book more than the first.
Although overall this series isn’t one of my personal favourites I still believe the premise has a lot of potential and perhaps a third instalment could be very interesting. Fans of the TV adaptation may be surprised at some of the changes from the original novels but will most likely enjoy these reads!
This post was written by regular reviewer Erin, get to know her here