April 20, 2017
By Gabriela Thur de Koos
SPOILERS AHEAD if you want to know more about The 100 novel/tv series without spoilers, check out my spoiler-free review here
From the 1st episode of the 100, I think I speak for many when I say we were all gripped by the fast-paced, climactic world that Clarke and the Hundred are living in. It took me ages to realize that this intense and complex story originally stemmed from the beautiful mind of Kass Morgan in book form. 4 seasons into the series, I’ve finally picked up the first book in the series and my overall impression is that it was surprising. It was easier to follow along with all the world-building because I had background of the show but that’s not to say that the novel was not different enough for me to become enthralled in the suspense.
In my opinion, Glass’ story was the most intriguing. Yes, it may have something to do with her being the only storyline completely different from the television adaptation but regardless, Glass was a wonderful character. Not only was her story with Luke indisputably adorable, but Glass was also revealed to be carrying secrets of her own.
Glass, the badass that she is, managed to escape the dropship during the confrontation between the Chancellor and Bellamy. Throughout the novel, we learn more about life in the Colony and how it so drastically contrasts with what the hundred are experiencing on the ground for the very first time. Glass, as it turns out, was not a lowlife juvenile delinquent who finally got caught. She’s a high class citizen from Phoenix who was impregnated by her secret boyfriend from Walden, the much lower class ship on the Colony. Eventually, Glass is pardoned and she reconciles with her boyfriend Luke after a year of being apart. As the story moves on, Glass’ secrets unfold, revealing just how far she went to keep Luke safe after her arrest. Towards the end, Luke’s gal pal/ ex-girlfriend, Camille, is still (understandably) bitter about Luke leaving her for Glass and reveals to Glass that she knows that Carter (Luke’s roommate) died because Glass claimed he was the father. But, here’s the twist. Carter tried to rape Glass. Which brings up the controversial issue on whether he deserved to die, especially in Luke’s place. It’s a tricky situation between right and wrong that I hope is further explored in the following novels, especially to see Luke’s viewpoint on this. On one hand, He loves Glass and would absolutely do anything to protect her but on the other, Luke has a long history with Carter- his roommate and guardian. But for now here’s what we know- Carter tried to rape Glass and would definitely have if Luke hadn’t walked in. Glass got pregnant with Luke’s child and both of them would be killed for breaking the law so it’s understandable why Glass chose someone else to give up instead of the boy she was hopelessly in love with. Regardless of what your views on the decision are, Morgan brings up an issue I didn’t expect to find in a novel like this.
Glass’ section left me with burning questions and high hopes for the next book. Do you think the Chancellor will re-arrest Glass when he wakes up? Was Glass justified in sacrificing Carter for Luke? Inevitably, Luke is bound to find out but where will he stand? How long with the oxygen last on Walden? And finally, will Glass ever reunite with her best friend Wells? Part of me hopes Glass comes to Earth and she can see Wells(as annoying as I find him, he deserves a friend on Earth-but we’ll get there later).
Clarke Griffin- high class like Glass but the daughter of scientists rather than socialites. Clarke is quite straightlaced and cold after the death of her parents. She’s still angry towards Wells for accidentally getting them executed. She’s quite harsh towards Wells but wouldn’t you after your boyfriend came forward with a secret you told him to keep QUIET and then got your parents killed? (spoiler alert: I’m not really Team Wells). She forgave him for like 2 seconds before another person she loved died and she was angry all over again. Wells means well but he’s not getting anywhere with Clarke for a loooooonnnnggggg time, if ever. So far, Clarke doesn’t have a storyline that I’m necessarily anticipating in the future but her sections were suspenseful and I really like Clarke as a character. She’s developing into a smart, clever, and resourceful leader like in the tv adaptation that I can’t wait to see.
Wells- … ok. I tried to like Wells. I really did. The young Chancellor’s son has great qualities that make him a good person. He’s intelligent and definitely a leader. But his arc in the novel just bothers me to no end. Wells had great intentions with Clarke and, no matter what, he has a good heart, but he. Just. does. not. make. good . decisions. Not to mention his interest in Clarke is a smidge past obsessive, in my opinion.
So Wells’ timeline. Mourning his mother in a library, he meets Clarke, falls in love with Clarke and now all he can think about is Clarke. Son of the Chancellor and besties with Glass. So obviously, he’s one of the elites’ elite. Then, Wells ruins Clarke’s life by bringing forward the fact that the Griffins are experimenting with radiation on children and they get executed while Clarke is confined. Wells commits a massive crime of burning a tree that means a lot to the people so he’s confined and can come down to Earth to protect Clarke but in reality he just wants to be around her and earn her forgiveness (Clarke can take care of herself). Through his perspective, Clarke simply reads as a manic pixie dream girl. Sorry Wells. Then he lands on earth, and finds resistance as he tries to take charge but it’s understandable considering his father imprisoned literally all the people around him. Also its revealed that he loosened an air valve or something that is the reason like ⅔ of the station is f**king dying now. All so Clarke could get to the ground sooner than her 18th birthday which was 6 months away. Nice.
On one hand, I can understand why Wells did what he did- love makes you do crazy things and all that (evidently shown through Glass’ actions as well). However, Glass’ actions did not leave ⅔ of what’s left of the human population to die in space. I’m referring, of course, to Wells breaking a piece of the Colony’s air valve thing that leaves Walden and Arcadia severely weakened by lack of oxygen at the end of the novel. And he does it all to get Clarke to the ground sooner.
While Wells’ dopy love for Clarke also led him to get her parents killed and Thalia left for dead in a burning tent, this is a whole new level of extreme. But, while Wells’ own personal romantic choices are really not my cup of tea, I want to understand him more. I’d really like to hear another perspective to make me like Wells a little more. Are his actions really justified? Rationally, I don’t think so but he’s also a boy in love. Which leads me to follow with would you have done what he did? Would you sacrifice thousands of lives to save one person? In Thalia’s case, do you think Clarke could have saved her if Wells did not hold her back? Honestly, I would have thought that if he really wanted to keep her safe, he would have just gone to save Thalia instead? Finally, should Clarke forgive Wells?
Bellamy Blake- the loyal brother who snuck, or rather, forced his way onto the dropship to keep his sister safe on Earth. Bellamy has a good heart and is loyal to a fault but the extreme to which he takes it raises a lot of questions. Of course, what wouldn’t you do for family? But Bellamy shot the Chancellor and faces heavy consequences if the rest of the Colony ever joins them on Earth. This leads Bellamy to plan a departure from the rest of the hundred as soon as Octavia heals from her injured ankle. While it makes sense that Bellamy would want to go on the run with Octavia, my logically speaking, how will they survive? There are so many unknown factors in this post-cataclysmic world and these are teenagers who have just landed on Earth. Moreover, the end of the novel ends with the discovery that there are still humans on Earth who survived the Cataclysm. This goes to show that there is still so much that no one knows about this new Earth. Will Octavia and Bellamy eventually go through with fleeing the camp? I doubt it.
Besides getting a few basic characteristics for each character, there’s not much we currently know about any of them. Certainly, it’s difficult to learn a lot about an ensemble cast in one book, especially when they’re busy fighting for their lives. No one has time to play 20 questions with each other. Nonetheless, Morgan leaves several hints here and there that there is more of each character that we can anticipate learning in further novels. I for one want to understand more about Bellamy’s life beyond how he took care of his sister. Did any of you notice Bellamy often compared many of Earth’s beauties such as sunrises and the woods to embracing a woman or waking up next to someone. On top of some offhanded comments from Graham and Wells, I’m starting to think Bellamy was a sort of womanizer back on Walden. Yet, he also mentions being in love only once before and how she broke his heart. So Bellamy has a history with women that I’m looking forward to exploring in Day 21 or Homecoming (the next 2 books in the series).
Overall I rather enjoyed the multiple storylines. When I first saw the multiple perspectives I’ll admit to being a little apprehensive. Usually there is always a perspective I don’t really like and I have to slowly muddle my way through about 20 pages of that person but these were brief and still felt thorough enough to not feel rushed. Even Wells, I still decently liked his storyline- well actually I found him annoying as hell but his storyline and secrets were somewhat interesting. I’d give it 4.5 stars! But as much as I loved the series (and Bellarke), again, that’s not to say I don’t enjoy the changes made in the series. For example, I like the way the series goes about Bellarke- Bellamy becomes her confidant, her best friend. Their relationship is slow burning and builds up while exploring Clarke’s romantic endeavors in other forms. The audience was introduced to possible other amazing love interests that are good for Clarke and make for great character arcs and development (CLEXA!!!).
Top 5 Things Different in Book vs. Tv Series
- Characters- Glass is not in the series and Finn is not in the book nor is Jasper, Monty, Kane, and Raven… as far as I know in the first book
- Wells dies early on in the series
- Only Clarke’s father dies in the series. In the book, Wells is responsible for both her parents deaths. In the series, Father dies for trying to reveal that the ship is dying while in the series it’s for conducting radioactive experiments on children.
- Finn serves Bellamy’s role in the first season
- Clarke is bisexual and explores other storylines with different characters such as Lexa. It’s my favorite change because it’s a great move towards further diversity. Also, Clarke is the first openly bisexual lead character in a CW series as far as I know.
All rights of images go to the CW. They are not my own. I got them on Google Images.