Review: The 100 (The Hundred #1)

Book Title: The 100 (The Hundred #1)

Book Author: Kass Morgan

Book Rating: ☆ (1 out of 5 stars)

Synopsis: “In the future, humans live in city-like spaceships orbiting far above Earth’s toxic atmosphere. No one knows when, or even if, the long-abandoned planet will be habitable again. But faced with dwindling resources and a growing populace, government leaders know they must reclaim their homeland… before it’s too late.

Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents are being sent on a high-stakes mission to recolonize Earth. After a brutal crash landing, the teens arrive on a savagely beautiful planet they’ve only seen from space. Confronting the dangers of this rugged new world, they struggle to form a tentative community. But they’re haunted by their past and uncertain about the future. To survive, they must learn to trust – and even love – again.”

So, the first thing to note about this book is that it is told from the perspective of four different people.  Yes, four.  Also of note is the fact that apparently none of these narrators are able to make good decisions as they each immediately make an individual choice that could get themselves or other people killed.  The premise of the story, in which this group of individuals are residing on a space craft because Earth is no longer hospitable, would normally be right up my alley; I love a fresh spin in the popular post-apocalyptic genre. But this is not really what this story is about. This story is about a group of teenagers who make selfish decisions based on whatever emotion they are feeling at the time, when the world has literally fallen apart.

Were it not for the plot synopsis that is provided for the book, I honestly wouldn’t have really known what was going on for the first several chapters.  We are told that these people are on some sort of space craft, but it is not explained why or how long they’ve been there or any meaningful details about their way of life.  I truly feel that the lack of world-building is the author’s biggest failure with this novel.  Readers have to have some kind of background to make the story work, but the details provided were very sparse and vague.  Besides what is going on up in space, we are given few details about what happened to Earth as well.  Apparently there are fears that the levels of radiation are too high for anyone to live there, but no explanation or background is given for this.  There are also numerous “flash backs” throughout the book, and the way they were written made it very difficult to keep up with what was happening in the present and the past.

This book is an excellent example of the reason why I often hesitate beginning a new book series because I always feel an obligation to finish all of the books even if I don’t like the first.  However, in this situation, I have no problem not returning to this fictional world.  I have never publicly rated a book as “one star” before, but this one definitely fits the bill.  I watched most of the first season of the TV series that is based on this book, and you are honestly better off watching that if you are still on the fence about whether or not to begin this series.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book through Netgalley.

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