I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for the opportunity to read this book!
This book had an awesome premise. One hundred criminals are sent to Earth to determine if humanity can return there after being ravaged by some kind of nuclear attack three hundred years before. Sign me up! …unfortunately, what The 100 promised in its blurb is not what it delivered, and I was majorly disappointed.
For a book with just over three hundred pages, The 100 covers four different POVs. While I normally don’t mind multiple POVs in a story, four is too many for a book this short. The reader doesn’t really get to spend enough time in anyone’s POV to really get to know them, so as a result, I didn’t find myself attached to anyone. I generally need to be engaged with the characters to enjoy a book, so that was a major problem for me personally. Some of the main characters are flat-out unlikable, and others just aren’t developed enough for me to care.
The reader is also given very little to go on in terms of the two major settings in this book. The Colony is split into three sections: Phoenix, which seems to be for the richer or otherwise more privileged inhabitants of the ship, and Walden and Arcadia, where the poorer or more disadvantaged people live. Other than giving us the information that there is a bridge between the sections of the ship and that each section has a market and residential areas, I finished the book not really knowing what anything looked like or what the general layout was other than that there is a bridge (somewhere) and there is more than one level. There is also one section of the entire ship that we only know of by name and know pretty much nothing about, and none of the characters visits it across the entire three hundred pages of the book, which made me wonder why the ship was split into three parts in the first place, if one of them is basically not even in the book.
It’s also heavily hinted that the Earth the hundred criminals are landing on is going to be a savage, dangerous place, but the reader is given almost no details to differentiate it from Earth as we know it today. The surrounding area the hundred live in is also fairly vague. I never really got a feeling for where they end up living, other than knowing of a few landmarks that are some vague distance away. In the end, what could have been a really interesting, awesome setting just turns into a vague blob with some not-so-vague blobs around it.
It is also important to note that while The 100 frames itself as a science fiction novel with some romance novels, it is more of a romance novel taking place in a sci-fi/post-apocalyptic setting. The focus is definitely first and foremost on the romance, and everything else takes a backseat, to the book’s detriment.
The writing itself wasn’t bad, and I think I could have enjoyed the book had it trimmed the POVs down to two (one on Earth and one on the Colony would have been fine) or even just one, but as it is, I couldn’t get to know any of the characters or the place, which made it really hard for me to care about what was happening. :(