Thursday, September 11, 2014

Review: "The Hundred" by Kass Morgan

The novel is told from the POV of four characters: Clarke, Wells, Bellamy and Glass. The first three are on a suicide expedition to earth, to see if it's still habitable, while the fourth remains on the ship where humanity has spent the last three-hundred years.
The members of the expedition are teenaged convicts, offered a second chance, since on the ship even perpetrators of petty crimes are put to death. If they survive the experiment, they will be pardoned and given a new life on earth. 
The only problem is that last time they checked, the level on radiation on earth meant a slow and painful death. None of the main character, at least one of whom knows this fact, seem particularly concerned about this.
Another problem might be how to survive in the wildness after having lived their whole lives in a place where there was exactly one tree and meat didn't exist. No problem, though. Bellamy's on the case, and he clearly has great learning skills, since he learns to hunt in a matter of days (never having held a bow before in his life, ladies and gentlemen), and the kids somehow manage to cook the deer he's caught without burning it or leaving it raw. 
Also, there seemingly are no predators in this forest where they have landed and the kids don't immediately catch a bunch of earthly viruses their immune systems are not shielded against. Lucky them!
So, you'll ask me, what is this book about, if none of the characters are trying to get off the earth/get lead suits to fight off radiations and all survival problems are either swept under the rug or resolved in annoyingly easy ways?
Well, my dears, it's all about love.
Everyone's constantly worrying about their love lives, and not about impending doom. And if only the love stories were actually interesting. There's no chemistry between these people, no reason why I should believe that they'd value this person's life more than they value the lives of innocent bystanders. Yeah, you heard me right. Not one, but two main characters (that's fifty percent, you guys), knowingly cause the death of other people in order to protect their loved ones. In one case, the survival of the human race is but in jeopardy. Why should I like these people, again?
And yet, despite all the terrible things they do, the point of view characters in "The Hundred" are not allowed to be flawed, not really. We are not meant to hate them, despite the fact that they are terrible human beings. There are always circumstances that are meant to make their actions excusable. I don't want that, not when the book takes on some really challenging issues. Simplifying things means doing things half-ways, and that never works.
The only character I thought was really interesting was Bellamy's sister and I wish she'd been explored more. I would have loved to have her as a POV character.
I also didn't hate Clarke. She was definitely the best out of the four main character, although that's not really saying much.
There are two good twists at the end of the book, but it's too little, too late. It definitely doesn't make me want to read the next one.
I am really conflicted about how to rate this book. Don't get me wrong, it's really bad, but I don't think it's terrible enough to deserve a one-star-rating. I usually do that for books that I found painful to read, and this wasn't the case. Also, Clarke's chapters are bearable, and Bellamy wasn't all that bad in the beginning.
So a star and a half it is.

 Rating: 
★1/2

I received this book as an eARC from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

2 comments:

  1. Kayla (The Bookish Owl)September 12, 2014 at 3:47 AM

    I didn't like this book either! My mom says that the TV series is much better but I can't bring myself to watch it because of all the painful memories it brings back of reading this book. I'm not really interested in reading the sequel either.


    Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wasn't a fan of this book! I just found that I had too many issues with it to rate it very high; the story was largely uneventful, and personally I didn't much like many of the characters. Though, in saying that, I've read the second novel from Netgalley (Day 21) and I actually thought that it was an improvement from The 100. Still not brilliant, but enjoyable, in the least. :)

    ReplyDelete