Monday, 2 September 2013

Review: The 100

The 100

Publication Date: August 29th 2013   
Source: A copy was provided by Hodder & Stoughton in exchange  for an honest review.

 In 3010, humanity lives in city-like spaceships orbiting far above Earth's toxic atmosphere. No one knows when, or even if, the planet will be habitable again. But faced with dwindling resources, government leaders know they must reclaim their homeland . . . before it's too late.

Now a hundred juvenile delinquents are sent on a high-stakes mission to re-colonize Earth. After a brutal crash landing, the teens arrive on a savagely beautiful planet. Confronting the dangers of this rugged new world, they struggle to form a tentative community and to get over their dark pasts. In order to survive, they must learn to trust - and even love - again.

After a nuclear war spread out, only few of the population managed to escape and now three ships make up the Colony;

Phoenix- The rich and powerful.
Walden & Arcadia- the lower ranks, who are supplied on limited rations, with stricter rules and suffocation.
Curfews are reprimanded, strict rules and punishment are enforced, more and more people are being confined and trialled resulting in death if found guilty for all over 18, the juveniles are pending until retrial on their eighteenth birthday.
Now a lucky 100 are given a second chance, and an important mission. They're being sent to earth on the intention of testing what's left of the Earth, testing the radiation levels to see if Earth has become habitable after all these years.
For prisoner Clarke, it's a chance to make what happened for nothing.
For prisoner Glass, it's a death sentence in itself, for all she wants is already on the ship, she manages to escape.
For prisoner and Chancellors' son, Wells, it's a chance to protect the girl he loves and a second chance at forgiveness, a second chance for love.
For engineer Bellamy, who manages to hitch a ride, it's a chance of protecting, and looking after his sister- the other half of the only siblings since the Colony formed.
A crash landing wasn't what they were expecting, and neither is what they find.

Let me start by saying, this wasn't perfect, it had its weakness, but it had its strong points, it was fast, action-packed, exciting with some truly good characters.
Within the first few chapters you're pretty much thrown into the thick of it, which kind of reminded me of the first episode of Lost. And you have no idea how many times I've watched it. So I was excited, started off good, could only get better.
It did.

But like I said, it had its downside, the main one being the world building.
It  was good, it wasn't strong, I would've liked a bit more behind the history, and we had answers to things, but I'm not too bothered by it. it didn't lower my enjoyment of the book because sometimes I'm a sucker for romance, and it's usually the way within the first of a series, you get the general idea, you get dropped into the middle of something foremost, and learn the rest along the way. After all, this was alternating between four- yes, four- point of views, it's easy to get lost, along with flashbacks to get to know the characters, other information dump might have been a little overload.
The second being, well, Wells.
I loved Clarke, and Glass and Bellamy, but there was something about Wells that really just irked me.
Maybe it was because of his determination of getting Clarke back whether she liked it or not, or the fact that by saying sorry for the unspeakably bad things he did would make things up to her.
He was a little overpowering, and compulsive, a little too much of everything.
He wasn't a bad person, but the things he did were, and though he wanted to do the right thing, it felt like he was doing it more for himself, to ease his conscience than for Clarke.
I think there's something underneath there that could make him a better character, because he seems lost and unsure, he put his trust in the wrong person- a trust that really shouldn't have been in doubt, but I'm not condemning him for it. It's a learning curve.
Clarke was the strongest, even with everything on her shoulders and the sting of betrayal. She never wavered, even if she was way out of her depth and scared just as everyone else. She wouldn't show it. She cares for people and hates the injustice and the hypocrisy of the Council.
I'm not sure how I feel about Bellamy, I liked him in the beginning because of his bluntness, looking through his eyes of the world. He was a little blinded at time, and his relationship with his sister was turning a little unhealthy through the flashbacks. But, I get the forge of the bond, and their mother was a nutcase.  He was protective but a little psycho about it, too.
There's no doubt about it.
Glass was my favourite. Maybe it was because though she was scared, and hurt and fragile, she was determined and strong and wanted Luke to be happy- even if it was without her. She had secrets, things that he really should have known since it involved him, too, but she wanted to protect him, to keep him safe. She sacrificed herself, her own happiness for his. She may have been fragile, but she knew what she wanted, she knew who she was, she always knew who she was
Maybe I preferred Glass because I knew who she was, too- not what she could have been. With Clarke, there was always the what-if, what and who she would've been if she hadn't been confined.
I'm going to mention Carter, just so I can say.
You deserved it, you dick.
I mentioned the flashbacks, each character has their own to show us how they ended up there. You have a lot of questions, and you'll get them, slowly. It's also a way to get to know the characters better and to see the contrast to who they've become because of that outcome.
Some are better for it.
Some are not.
The biggest reveal behind The 100 and everything, is a real shocker. And a little twisted.
I love a good plot just as much as the next person, and the 100 has it.
I've also heard a few people saying that they couldn't distinguish one voice from the other. I get that, if you aren't invested you won't. This is my first I've read that have had more than two p.o.v's, so at first I didn't, I had to double check which character I was reading from, but the more I kept reading (and seriously, I couldn't put it down.) you couldn't mistake them, especially Bellamy and his distinctive voice. The abrasiveness, the distrust, the ready for a fight at all times, the promises and protectiveness over the ones he loves.
Glass, the longing in hers, the ache of wanting to do the right thing, and not the best thing for her. The not belonging in a class that she belongs to because now she sees it, and the sureness of her love for Luke.
Clarke, the pain of betrayal, the grief, the bitterness, the hatred. The strength and poise, the passion and loyalty, and even the flame of love that she doesn't want to have.
And finally, Wells. The wanting to belong, to be accepted, the grief, the undeniable (and sometimes borderline stalker alert) love for Clarke. The wanting to do the right thing for Clarke, and the betrayal and uncertainty of some decision he made, the mistakes. Even a little optimism throughout it all.
It sort of crept up on me, you know? I totally got sucked into The 100, with its flawed but real characters, fast pace and unpredictable outcome. Whether you love the hype or hate it, don't miss out on this, make you own verdict, I made mine. And it was one hell of a ride.
Rating: 4/5