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BOOK REVIEW: The 100 by Kass Morgan

| 1 August 2014 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: The 100 by Kass Morgan

Little, Brown Books
September 2013, $16.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell


the 100


The premise had so much potential. I was picturing a cross between Earth 2 and Lord of the Flies.
This book is so not that. Not even close. 

Basically, about three-hundred years before the novel starts, people evacuated Earth because of giant nuclear issue of some sort. Something that left enough radiation to make it unsafe for people to live there. It’s not explained properly. 

100 juvenile delinquents are sent to Earth as human guinea pigs, to see if the radiation has dissipated enough and if it’s safe enough for the rest of the colony to join them. (Though, why they’re still circling Earth, three-hundred years later, is beyond me. It’s not explained properly.)

There are so many things wrong with this novel which could have been fixed with a bit of effort, but I feel like the author thought they might have gotten in the way of the story…. Oh, sorry, I mean the  romance.

Each of the four narrators is constantly beating themselves up about what horrible people they are, worse than anyone else in their group, and after 150 pages, I really started to hate them for it. Get over it, guys, you have surviving to do!

Speaking of which…


Everything came way too easily to them: 

– Bellamy had read about hunting, (had he read about using a bow, too?) when he was on the ship, so he becomes their hunter, and brings back food after his first hunting expedition, and is a master bowman.
He also studied everything he could about Earth when he found out his sister was being sent there… But he found out his sister was being sent there THE DAY it was set to happen.

– When they decided to build a wooden structure using the trunks of trees, they started on it immediately, Wells suddenly knowing the best way to make the logs slot into each other and hold together. They didn’t have to sit down and plan it out or anything.

– The freaking fire. There was no mention of them having found an incendiary device of some sort, and they’ve spent their entire lives on a spaceship, but they get a fire going without any hassle. 


A lot of things didn’t make much sense:

– On the ship, people gather scraps of Earth made material – three-hundred year old Earth cloth – in order to stitch together gowns and the like. They have the facilities on the ships to make Scrubs and other new clothes, but there’s something about a ratty, old, oil stained cloth that shows off your status. Yeah…

– There was no conflict. Not real conflict. 
One-hundred delinquents are sent to Earth, and there are NO disagreements between them? (There are a couple of arguments prompted by things, but they seem to resolve very anti-climatically. Nothing gets out of hand.)
Even if the colony has been super strict and locking people up for nonsense reasons, chances are SOME of the kids locked up WERE actually really messed up. Even a group of normal kids, suddenly out of their element and at risk of going hungry(that is to say, they know their protein packs are GOING to run out, but then deer-hunter Bellamy gets them animals, so they don’t actually find themselves close to going hungry at all) there would be SOME arguments, SOME craziness. 

– They’re also running out of oxygen on the space station, after three-hundred years, with no mention of oxygen generators, and something happens to “the last tree”, yet they have apples. And “the last tree” isn’t an apple tree. It’s almost as though the author wants us to believe that this one tree is responsible for the air, because it’s never explained properly.


I just get the feeling that Kass Morgan took the easy way out. Every single time. 

Maybe if there had been a little more description about the ship, the planet, and the events that lead to this situation, I might have found it more believable. As it sits now it seems like Miss Morgan just couldn’t be bothered working out the science in her science-fiction story.

My advice is to stick to the show, which has its own problems but is infinitely better than the book.

I’ll be reading the second book, if only to see if there are improvements now that the author knows the events of the show.



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