Thursday, September 4, 2014

Recommendation: 'The 100' by Kass Morgan

Hundreds of years ago mankind fled into space to survive the destruction of the Earth's surface. Their descendants now live a life of relative safety as the Waldenites, Arcadians, and the privileged Phoenecians.  Strict laws keep them all alive, restricting the population and punishing serious crimes with a death sentence.  Adults are sentenced for their crimes immediately, but young offenders are "confined" until they are eighteen and can be tried for their crimes as an adult. 

But lately no one has received a reprieve and the young offenders feel a distinct lack of hope.  When one hundred of the confined teens are bundled into a space ship and sent to Earth it may seem an act of mercy, but in reality they are nothing but human guinea pigs as the ruling powers of the space colony seek a desperate solution to their dwindling supplies.  The surface is a strange and dangerous place for the forced colonists, and it quickly becomes clear that not all of them will make it. 

I picked up The 100 because the television series has just started on TV2 and I wanted a chance to read the book that was the inspiration for the series before the series got too far ahead.  What I discovered very quickly is that the television series is based on the book rather than a faithful reproduction of the book and for that I am actually pretty grateful - otherwise I would have to put off watching the series until the rest of the book series has been released! 

While The 100 has dystopian elements, it is not just a case of Hunger games in space, it has depth and substance and really makes you think about what would happen if you were in the same situation.  In some respects the television series is a light and fluffy, mass produced version of the book - some of the depth of the book is missing, but then again the book is driven more by the teen point of view, while the television series has the adult viewpoint as well.

If you enjoy a good adventure story with a tightly written and well paced plot then you will enjoy The 100.  There are elements of the dystopian novel, the adventure novel, the human drama novel, the coming of age novel, the survival novel - I think you get the point.  This book is well worth reading, and because it diverges from the television series you can safely read the book while watching the series.

Title: The 100
Author: Kass Morgan
ISBN: 9781444766882
Published: 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

- Em, Central City Library

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