The 100: Day 21 (The 100 #2)
Author: Kass Morgan
They had been sent to Earth as living test subjects, the first people to set foot on the planet in three hundred years. But they were mistaken.
Some people had never left.
Day 5. Day 11. Day 17. Day 21. 21 days since 100 kids from confinement were put on a dropship and sent down to the Earth to see whether it was finally habitable or not. To see if it’s safe for the rest of Arcadia could come down from space to repopulate the planet. It’s not. Safe that is. There are others, survivors, that survived the great cataclysm that made the world uninhabitable for the last 300 years due to radiation.
There was so much unaccounted for when this mission began so many years ago. What happens if Arcadia malfunctions, threatening the lives of everyone on board? How do you retaliate against a mutiny? How do you try to prove that you’re not foe but friend? That you’re not the delinquents that were sent to Earth just as a last chance?
The lives of those on the ground and those still up in the stars are threatened and they have to figure out a way to protect themselves. Will they resort to drastic, dangerous measures or can there be peace?
So this is book #2 of The 100 series. Clarke, Bellamy, Wells, and Glass are all struggling with tough decisions they’ve made, and with the ones they will make.
Okay, so let’s not yell at me. I know this is the second book. And nope, I haven’t read the first one. This came into the bookstore and the first one didn’t. The bargain store does that a lot-give you every other book in a series except the very first one. I’ve never had an issue reading out of order with a series. I did it with A Series of Unfortunate Events and that’s one of my FAVORITE series aside from Morganville Vampires, which is my #1. As it turns out, that’s all okay. Kass Morgan does a wonderful job in keeping you updated about what’s happened already during these characters’ adventures.
Arcadia (AKA The ARC in the TV show) is split up by class. Ration points determine whether you survive. The smallest infraction could land you in confinement, but only if you’re under eighteen. At eighteen and older you get floated into the dark depths of space. On the ground, 100 kids that were held in confinement for crimes committed on the ship are the ones to discover what’s changed on Earth and if it’s safe. They have no idea what to expect. Radiation? Influenza? Dangerous animals?
What they didn’t expect were other people. The 100 have to figure out how to co-exist or how will the others survive when they come down to join them on the ground?
All of that being said, this wasn’t that great of a read for me. I just wasn’t taken with the writing style. The book focuses on four characters’ POVs: Wells, Clarke, Bellamy, and Glass.
Wells is a do-gooder and just truly wants to keep peace and figure out how to make a home. Clarke, like her mom, works to keep everyone safe and in good health, but just like Wells, she doesn’t believe in violence as a solution. Bellamy, hard-headed, but protective of those he cares about and he’s well-known for jumping to conclusions (usually the wrong one). Glass, sneaky and spry, she proves that one will do anything for the ones they love, even get locked up and break out.
This is not what steered me awry though. I don’t mind getting to know multiple characters throughout a book. It’s a great close-up. What I got hung up on was the lack of intensity. These guys are on Earth where nothing is what is seems. This generation doesn’t even know what it’s like because they were raised in space, but I got the vibe that they didn’t treat this experience with enough caution. Everything was taken with a grain of salt. It bugged me. I was scowling a lot.
That also leads me to my next issue with the book. I didn’t find it all that believable. I know, sci-fi/dystopian should be enough to tell me it’s not real, but like any reader, I want to be there in the moment with these characters. I just didn’t get there. Because if I were on a planet that was once called home and I’ve only ever studied it from a classroom then I’d be overly cautious and not all that assuming that everything is okay. I wouldn’t be able to shrug it off. I’d be watching my back. You have to adapt over time, not right away.
More so, some of these plot twists that were constructed in the book were super obvious. I won’t give them away, but each one felt like a whoopie cushion getting sat on. Drawn out fart sounds and all.
I do watch the TV Show and I have to say, this is one of those rare instances where the show is better than the book(s). There were so many characters that are in the show and aren’t in the book(s). I couldn’t get enough of a visual from the imagery of the book, so I mostly went off of what I’ve seen on the show while I read. Same with what these characters looked. I had no visual to go off of when picturing what they looked like. What really got me the most was the fact that when issues arose they were immediately solved and the happy ending was inevitable. Everybody just made up and forgave each other a little too easily. You what I mean? When there’s a heavy subject approached, one doesn’t just let it go. We humans are funky that way. But by the end of the book that was the case. It made me really itchy and made me make a screwy face.
The character development was much stronger in the show as well. Characters grew stronger with each season and I didn’t feel like there was any growth within the book. Clarke’s character worried me the most in this area. So did Octavia’s. These young women are given an opportunity to be tough and solidify a place in a new world and they didn’t. They fell flat in my opinion.
However, there was one difference between the book(s) and show that was very cool. Bellamy and Clarke are together in the book(s) and when I say together, I mean very together. My heart was pattering away like hummingbird wings at that discovery. I love their relationship on the show and completely accept that they might never be romantic during the entire series. I do believe they love each other though. I totally think they’re soulmates and if one of them bites the bullet the other will, right behind them, as well. And before I go further here’s my thought on that sentence—soulmates don’t have to be romantic; they can be best friends, family, lovers, anything that creates such an intense bond that one won’t make it without the other. They’re lives are so interconnected. And if you’ve kept up with the series so far, you know what I’m saying. Anyway, back on point, in the book the two of them are very involved and it’s so sweet because I’ve wondered what it would be like if they were. They’re such great partners, very strong.
And for those of you who need that dose of them before the new season promos come up…
I don’t know if I’d recommend this book. I was so iffy. I’m so glad such a great show was inspired and created from it, that’s for sure. And seeing the differences between the two were very interesting and surprising. But I was so thrown off my axis. This just wasn’t my thing.
I say give it a shot, but stay on guard. You could go either way. This one is all about taste. The story isn’t terrible at all.
“She’d just saved hundreds of lives—and drastically shortened hundreds more. Including their own.” (Clarke, p. 139)
“Nothing is worth losing our chance at getting to Earth.” (Luke to Sonja, p. 194)
“Its job isn’t to time anymore. It’s to remind us of our past, of all the things that are important to us. It may no long tick, but it carries the memory of every life is recorded. It beats with the echo of a million heartbeats.” (Clarke’s Dad to Clarke, p. 208)
More to come soon…
P.S. Song today? Yellow by Coldplay.