From Goodreads: 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.
Originally I picked up this novel when I recently heard that the CW had turned it into a TV series. I generally like the CW’s shows, and I was extremely excited and interested in the premise. And while this is indeed a good story, it reminded me very much of These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. In both, the Earth is no longer inhabitable and an elite group of people have been living in space for years. In both, people from space find themselves sent to Earth against their will, and a battle for survival ensues. So, while I found the premise to by extremely interesting, I couldn’t help but continually feel like I’d read this before…
Now, there are a lot more characters in The 100 than in These Broken Stars, and having insight into the lives of characters both on Earth and in space was intriguing as well. I can totally see why the CW picked up the series, and I’m dying to watch it as I enjoyed seeing how people reacted in Space as well as learning about their culture—one that, even though removed from Earth, has not changed much in terms of hierarchy, though punishment for crimes certainly has.
Thrusting 100 “guilty” teens on Earth as an alternative to death was a nice plot twist, and learning about each main character’s individual “crime” definitely kept me glued to the pages because in reality, they’re all intertwined with one another, another awesome aspect of the story. But because we follow the story of four distinct characters—Wells, Glass, Bellamy, and Clarke—I didn’t feel like I really got to know the characters as well as I wanted to. There were a lot of questions left unresolved for me, and I did, in truth, find the character’s first few days on earth to be a bit boring. However, there is a fairly big cliffhanger at the end that turns everything on its head, so I can’t wait to read the next novel; I’m hoping that I get to know the characters even more as their stories continue, because while I don’t feel like I know them very well, I want to. The characters are very well written and I have a feeling that a lot more bombshells are going to be dropped in the sequel. Three stars.