Author: Kass Morgan
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
My Rating: 3.5/5
When Earth becomes uninhabitable due to nuclear war, humanity continues on spaceships. These spaceships have strict rules, with crime being punished by death for adults and prison for those under 18; now 100 of those young convicts are being sent to Earth to find out if it’s habitable once again. While Clark, Wells, Bellamy and 97 others are trying to survive the dangers of Earth (including each other), Glass manages to escape back to her life on the spaceship only to find that has dangers of its own.
I watched the first season of the series a while back and quite enjoyed it, so when I saw the book at the library I had to pick it up to see if it was as good/better than the TV show. Honestly I was surprised at how truthful to the book the series was, though it moves at a much faster pace (something that doesn’t really surprise me) to the point that spoiler: [the current inhabitants of Earth don’t appear in the book til the very end, whereas I remember them appearing quite quickly in the series]. The characterization and back stories were pretty much as I remembered them, to the point that at certain points it felt as if I’d already read the book.
The book is written through the viewpoints of 4 young people, all from different walks of life (guess I shouldn’t be surprised to know in the future the class system is more pronounced than ever). It took me a while to work out who was who as I was reading as the narrative doesn’t change style and to begin with everyone is in the situation and it was only as the story unravelled I was able to distinguish which name went with who. For me this spoilt the book, especially at the start, as I was spending more time trying to work out which story I was following.
To be honest by the end of the book I didn’t feel I knew or connected with any of the characters, meaning I didn’t feel invested in the story enough to want to keep constantly reading. I think if I hadn’t already seen the TV show, I probably wouldn’t have bothered from reading the book. While the scenario was interesting, the entire book felt more like a lead up to the main story – I know it is the first in the series, but in my opinion needed a little more action or emotional turmoil for the book to be able to stand on its own.
I don’t know if I’m going to continue reading the series, though will likely watch the next season when it becomes available. Overall, I liked the idea behind it, but just didn’t find the story or characters particularly engaging. However, if you are looking for a quick, light read and enjoy teen futuristic books, you might still want to check this one out.