Author: Kass Morgan
It would be absolutely impossible to talk about this book without bringing up the movie (if you’ve experienced both, at least), so let’s start by pointing out that you are not reading the book about the TV show. Yes, you are reading the book on which the show was based, but aside from the concept and a few characters, you’re reading something completely different. The first book is basically the first episode of the first season, so reading it will not spoil anything.
About the book itself, now. This is a love story.
This is a love triangle between Clarke, Wells, and Bellamy. This is a love triangle between Glass, Luke, and Camille (three characters who do not appear on the show). This is the story of people falling in and out of love both on Earth, and on the spaceship. Intermingled with those stories are some exploration of the woods, some building, and the precious flashbacks about the protagonists’ lives on the ship before their confinement that interested me more than the present time story (<spoiler>aside from the shirtless Bellamy, because we can all appreciate the mental image</spoiler>). If you go in the book expecting that you are going to get the fights and the bloodshed and the struggle that personally attracted me to the show, you will absolutely hate it.
It’s slower, milder, and the focus is on relationships. Do. Not. Expect. The. Show.
I was asked by someone if they ought to read it because they love Bellamy, or Clarke. It’s hard to say, because the show’s characters have very different personalities than the book’s. Book-Bellamy is softer, more pliant; he does not have the rock-hard confidence of show-Bellamy. Book-Clarke is very different too, and although I was happy to read about a kinder Bellamy, I was disappointed because Clarke was my favourite character, and she feels a bit flaky in the book. Also, there’s Octavia. If you want an idea of what kind of character Octavia is in the book, think of Charlotte in the show. Book-Octavia is fourteen and basically isn’t as innocent as her brother believes her to be. She’s not the gorgeous warrior from the show, and it was terribly hard to dissociate one from the other whenever she appeared as the minor character she is created as.
So 3.5 stars although it’s not the tv show’s exciting tale? Yeah, 3.5 stars, because I’m still excited to read the next book. The series The 100 is a decent romance kind-of dystopian (again, not so much an adventure). I think it still reads very well, but then again, I think this is the type of book that only a die-hard fan of the show would like. It feels like a book based on the show, and not the other way around, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s really interesting to see the choices made by the original author.
Also, and this is my last thought, I saw that a lot of people hated how disjointed the book was. I agree, it’s storyline is terribly broken into a thousand pieces. We switch from Clarke, Wells, Bellamy, and Glass’s point of views, and there’s a flashback in the middle of almost every chapter. I personally liked it, but count this as my warning to those who enjoy a story with an on-point flow. I like piecing the flashbacks together to eventually understand the “present” text, so I really liked the breakdown of chapters. I assume that normal people would find it annoying, most likely.