Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Book review: The 100 - Day 21 by Kass Morgan


My edition: Paperback, published on 25 September 2014 by Hodder, 311 pages.

Description: It's been 21 days since The 100 landed on Earth. They're the only humans to set foot on the planet in centuries... or so they thought.

Facing an unknown enemy, Wells attempts to keep the group together. Clarke strikes out for Mount Weather, in search of other Colonists, while Bellamy is determined to rescue his sister, no matter the cost.

And back on the ship, Glass faces an unthinkable choice between the love of her life and life itself.



Rating:



Last year one of the most unexpected television shows to grab me in its addictive clutches was gritty sci-fi young adult series The 100. Based on a novel by the same name it chronicles the lives of one hundred teenage delinquents that are send in a dropship from a space station to planet earth. They're the guinea pigs, because nearly a hundred years earlier a select group of privileged humans left just before a Cataclysm hit, leading to a Third World War and leaving billions suffering before dying a horrible death.

Those that made it off earth in time have lived in reasonable comfort in space but the ship is becoming overcrowded and the time has come for the offspring of those that escaped to once more walk on the ground and be surrounded by natural wonders such as forests, mountains and lakes. However, before the entire population of the space station can go back to earth they want to ensure that the air is safe to breathe again and that is where the one hundred come in.

The TV-show finished on a huge cliff-hanger and so when I saw that publishers Hodder were offering proof copies of the second instalment in the book series for review on bookbridgr I quickly hit "request" as surely I couldn't be expected to wait several more months for the second series to start?! Unfortunately for me, I was wrong to make the assumption that the TV-show and book series were running parallel and the second book in the series, titled Day 21, seems to chronicle a period in timeI  had already seen on the small screen.

Having said that, the television and book series are vastly different, for example characters that are dead in the TV-show are very much present in the second novel and the bad guys, the Earthborns, actually seem to be reasonable people. So, if like me, you have seen the television series, the best thing to do is to see the books entirely separate and read them on their own. I would also advise to start with the first book, rather than the second one like I did, as I admit that I was pretty confused for the first few chapters because the story and the characters' actions were so different from what I'd come used to when watching them on television.

The title of the second written instalment, Day 21, refers to the time it takes people to start showing signs of radiation poisoning when it's only lingering in the water or the ground and so doesn't show any immediate effects. As some of the one hundred are starting to get ill, the medically knowledgeable Clarke is worried that radiation though not obvious from the moment they landed on earth is still very much a problem.

However, she doesn't have much time to contemplate the matter as they've just been attacked by Earthborns and Bellamy's younger sister Octavia has been kidnapped, so Clarke and Bellamy leave the camp and try to rescue the young girl before it's too late.

Meanwhile, time is running out for those remaining on the space station. Oxygen levels are low in large parts of the colony and Glass is trying to smuggle her boyfriend Luke into the more privileged Phoenix so she can be with her mother and the three of them have a better chance to make it to one of the dropships being prepared to go to earth.

Interspersed with the discoveries on earth and Glass and Luke's mission are flashbacks from all of the leading characters before the one hundred left; we learn more about Bellamy and Octavia's harsh life in the care center, Clarke's friendship with Bellamy's girlfriend Lily and the terrible secret Clarke is carrying around, and another horrible secret which when revealed will undoubtedly break Glass and Luke apart.

While vastly different from my expectations, especially with characters acting contrary to what I was used to, I was swiftly pulled into the intriguing world of both the one hundred teenagers on earth (those that have survived from the first book at least) and the unlucky ones still remaining on the spaceship; desperate to make it to that very same green world they'd been wanting to return to for the past few generations.

Despite the large cast of characters, Author Kass Morgan manages to make each of her main boys and girls diverse and interesting in their own right, no matter whether a chapter is focusing on Clarke, Bellamy, Welsh or Glass, each of them is equally compelling and the storylines from earth and the spaceship are balanced well to create a hugely gripping and action-driven novel. There are also new twists around every corner, particularly in the flashback sequences which in turn provide a fascinating backdrop and are a great way to develop the characters in unexpected directions.

Day 21 is not a very thick novel and because I was so engrossed by the well-written story I finished reading it in just a single day. I initially requested it as I was desperate to find out what would happen to the characters in the TV-show next, but instead I've become invested in the book series in a completely different way and I'll now be eagerly anticipating not only the start of the second series on the small screen but also the release of the third book.

You can purchase the novel from Waterstones, Amazon.co.uk or your own preferred retailer.



Would you like to know more about the author? You can connect with her online at:

Twitter: @kassmorganbooks


Many thanks to the publisher and Bookbridgr for a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share Button