The 100 (The 100 Series #1)

The 100 (The 100 Series #1)

3.9 89
by Kass Morgan
     
 

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No one has set foot on Earth in centuries -- until now.

Ever since a devastating nuclear war, humanity has lived on spaceships far above Earth's radioactive surface. Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents -- considered expendable by society -- are being sent on a dangerous mission: to recolonize the planet. It could be their second chance at life...or it

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Overview

No one has set foot on Earth in centuries -- until now.

Ever since a devastating nuclear war, humanity has lived on spaceships far above Earth's radioactive surface. Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents -- considered expendable by society -- are being sent on a dangerous mission: to recolonize the planet. It could be their second chance at life...or it could be a suicide mission.

CLARKE was arrested for treason, though she's haunted by the memory of what she really did. WELLS, the chancellor's son, came to Earth for the girl he loves -- but will she ever forgive him? Reckless BELLAMY fought his way onto the transport pod to protect his sister, the other half of the only pair of siblings in the universe. And GLASS managed to escape back onto the ship, only to find that life there is just as dangerous as she feared it would be on Earth.

Confronted with a savage land and haunted by secrets from their pasts, the hundred must fight to survive. They were never meant to be heroes, but they may be mankind's last hope.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"It's easy to be drawn in by the Lord of the Flies-style tension that builds as the teens struggle to set up a new society on a battered Earth, and by the smoldering romances that hang in the balance."—Publishers Weekly

"Dark and riveting...A mash-up of The Lord of the Flies, Across the Universe, and The Hunger Games."—Booklist

"A mash-up of the hit TV reality show Survivor and traditional science fiction...Morgan's weave of pop-culture elements and politics make for a gripping read."—School Library Journal

"Likely to be a hit with readers who want their Pretty Little Liars mixed with Lord of the Flies."—The Bulletin

Booklist
"Dark and riveting...A mash-up of The Lord of the Flies, Across the Universe, and The Hunger Games."
The Bulletin
"Likely to be a hit with readers who want their Pretty Little Liars mixed with Lord of the Flies."
Publishers Weekly
Morgan’s ambitious dystopian novel, set to become a TV series on the CW network, starts with 100 teenagers living in a tightly controlled society aboard an orbiting colony; all are facing their 18th birthdays and have been convicted of various offenses. As an alternative to retrial and probable execution, the teens are being sent back to Earth, abandoned centuries earlier when it became too toxic to inhabit. Third-person narration shifts among four teens—three who return to Earth, and one who escaped and remains on the station. The plotting is fast-paced, and the story volleys rapidly between multiple characters, action in the present, and flashbacks, which doesn’t always make for smooth reading. Morgan’s flair for the dramatic (“He tasted like joy, and joy tasted better on Earth”) can be forced, but it’s easy to be drawn in by the Lord of the Flies–style tension that builds as the teens struggle to set up a new society on a battered Earth, and by the smoldering romances that hang in the balance. A last-page cliffhanger sets up the sequel. Ages 15–up. Agent: Sara Shandler and Joelle Hobeika, Alloy Entertainment. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
In this first installment of a gripping new dystopian, post-apocalyptic series, Earth has been rendered uninhabitable in the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust. Only a remnant of human civilization survives on outposts orbiting in space, where draconian population controls are enforced and harsh criminal sanctions squelch any incipient rebellion. But now one hundred youth who have been "Confined" for various misdeeds are given a terrifying reprieve from the death sentence they would have faced at age eighteen: they are to be sent back to Earth to see if it can once again support human life. Told from alternating points of view of four principal characters, with abundant flashbacks to their dark backstories, the novel weaves together tales of love-driven sacrifice and wrenching betrayal. Take, for example, Wells, son of the space station's powerful Chancellor. He has himself confined on purpose so that he can depart Earth with the girl he loves. Complicating their romance, her parents have been executed as a result of his testimony. Bellamy fights his way aboard the departing vessel so that he can protect his cherished younger sister, the only sibling in a society that forbids more than one child per family. While it is always unsatisfying when series installments end without any closure or resolution, readers are unlikely to complain; instead, they should be busy clamoring for the next dazzling plot twists that drive this compelling story forward. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
VOYA - Bethany Martin
After the Cataclysm, which resulted in nuclear winter, the last remnants of the human race fled Earth and sought refuge on space ships orbiting the planet. Three hundred years later, resources are running low and the government decides to send a group of one hundred teenagers, who have been imprisoned for various crimes, on a secret mission back to Earth to find out if the planet is once again inhabitable. The novel centers around Clarke, a seventeen-year-old convicted of treason; Wells, Clarke's ex-boyfriend, who happens to be the son of the highest government official, Bellamy, who fights his way on board the Earth-bound ship to protect his younger sister; and Glass, Wells's best friend who was convicted of violating the population laws, but escapes before the mission to Earth. The 100 brings nothing new to dystopian fiction, but it is a fast and enjoyable read. Chapters alternate focus between the four main characters and include flashbacks to help fill in each character's backstory. These stories are rather stereotypical—the son seeking the approval of the father, the wealthy girl falling for the poor boy—and the characters, particularly Wells, feel flat. The novel is being adapted into a television show for the CW network, which should help its popularity. Purchase this title for collections where readers are clamoring for novels in the vein of The Hunger Games or Divergent, but are not particularly concerned with originality. Reviewer: Bethany Martin
School Library Journal
11/01/2013
Gr 9 Up—In this debut sci-fi action adventure, humans inhabit the Moon after migrating over a century ago to escape radiation poisoning on Earth. After evaluating the diminishing resources as well as the population explosion, the government decides that the time is ripe for recolonizing Earth-starting with a secret mission involving 100 teenage criminals shipped off to battle for survival. Morgan recounts the experience through a key group of Confined. Glass Sorenson is the only one to escape the ship before it blasts off; her narrative offers insight into both the wealthy and poor districts of the space colony, in addition to the terrors of living in a deteriorating atmosphere. Clarke Griffin, friend of Glass and medical student Confined as an accessory to her parents' crimes, is dispatched to Earth along with the 100 and followed there by her ex-boyfriend, Wells. Wells is the antihero, his character driven by radical love for Clarke, an obsession with keeping her safe (especially at the expense of those she cares about), and determination to establish a civilized colony. The novel's political message noticeably emulates the ancient debate over the ability to lead vs. the predetermined right to lead. The 100 is a mash-up of the hit TV reality show Survivor and traditional science fiction such Arthur C. Clarke's "Space Odyssey" series and H.G. Wells's An Experiment in Prophecy, down to the names. Overall, Morgan's weave of pop-culture elements and politics make for a gripping read.—Jamie-Lee Schombs, Loyola School, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
One hundred teen convicts may be the only hope of the human race. Three hundred years after the Cataclysm made Earth uninhabitable, the remnant of humanity lives in an aging space station. Strict population-control laws help conserve the dwindling resources, and adults convicted of crimes are summarily executed. Criminal teens held in Confinement are given a retrial at 18, and some go free. Fearing the colony has few years left, the Chancellor decides to send 100 of these teens to Earth with monitoring bracelets to see if the planet's surface is survivable. The story concentrates on four of them. Wells commits a crime in order to accompany his girlfriend; Bellamy breaks into the dropship to go with his sister; in hopes of reuniting with her boyfriend, Glass escapes the dropship to return to her privileged mother. And Clarke, the object of Wells' affection, struggles with demons and hormones. Will they survive? Morgan's debut, which has already been optioned for a CW series, has a promising premise as long as readers don't apply too many brain cells. (Why convicts? Why not give them communication devices? Isn't there birth control in the future?) However, it slowly devolves into a thrill-free teen romance. Lengthy flashbacks flatten the action in nearly every chapter. The characters do little to distinguish themselves from their run-of-the-mill dystopian brethren. Steer teens in search of science fiction to Beth Revis, Robison Wells and Veronica Roth. Perhaps the television incarnation will have some life. (Dystopian adventure. 15 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316234498
Publisher:
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
03/18/2014
Series:
The 100 Series, #1
Edition description:
Media Tie
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
13,693
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

The 100


By Kass Morgan

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Copyright © 2013 Kass Morgan
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-316-23447-4


CHAPTER 1

Clarke


The door slid open, and Clarke knew it was time to die.

Her eyes locked on the guard's boots, and she braced for the rush of fear, the flood of desperate panic. But as she rose up onto her elbow, peeling her shirt from the sweat-soaked cot, all she felt was relief.

She'd been transferred to a single after attacking a guard, but for Clarke, there was no such thing as solitary. She heard voices everywhere. They called to her from the corners of her dark cell. They filled the silence between her heartbeats. They screamed from the deepest recesses of her mind. It wasn't death she craved, but if that was the only way to silence the voices, then she was prepared to die.

She'd been Confined for treason, but the truth was far worse than anyone could've imagined. Even if by some miracle she was pardoned at her retrial, there'd be no real reprieve. Her memories were more oppressive than any cell walls.

The guard cleared his throat as he shifted his weight from side to side. "Prisoner number 319, please stand." He was younger than she'd expected, and his uniform hung loosely from his lanky frame, betraying his status as a recent recruit. A few months of military rations weren't enough to banish the specter of malnutrition that haunted the Colony's poor outer ships, Walden and Arcadia.

Clarke took a deep breath and rose to her feet.

"Hold out your hands," he said, pulling a pair of metal restraints from the pocket of his blue uniform. Clarke shuddered as his skin brushed against hers. She hadn't seen another person since they'd brought her to the new cell, let alone touched one.

"Are they too tight?" he asked, his brusque tone frayed by a note of sympathy that made Clarke's chest ache. It'd been so long since anyone but Thalia—her former cell mate and her only friend in the world—had shown her compassion.

She shook her head.

"Just sit on the bed. The doctor's on his way."

"They're doing it here?" Clarke asked hoarsely, the words scraping against her throat. If a doctor was coming, that meant they were forgoing her retrial. It shouldn't have come as a surprise. According to Colony law, adults were executed immediately upon conviction, and minors were Confined until they turned eighteen and then given one final chance to make their case. But lately, people were being executed within hours of their retrial for crimes that, a few years ago, would have been pardoned.

Still, it was hard to believe they'd actually do it in her cell. In a twisted way, she'd been looking forward to one final walk to the hospital where she'd spent so much time during her medical apprenticeship—one last chance to experience something familiar, if only the smell of disinfectant and the hum of the ventilation system—before she lost the ability to feel forever.

The guard spoke without meeting her eyes. "I need you to sit down."

Clarke took a few short steps and perched stiffly on the edge of her narrow bed. Although she knew that solitary warped your perception of time, it was hard to believe she had been here—alone—for almost six months. The year she'd spent with Thalia and their third cell mate, Lise, a hard-faced girl who smiled for the first time when they took Clarke away, had felt like an eternity. But there was no other explanation. Today had to be her eighteenth birthday, and the only present waiting for Clarke was a syringe that would paralyze her muscles until her heart stopped beating. Afterward, her lifeless body would be released into space, as was the custom on the Colony, left to drift endlessly through the galaxy.

A figure appeared in the door and a tall, slender man stepped into the cell. Although his shoulder-length gray hair partially obscured the pin on the collar of his lab coat, Clarke didn't need the insignia to recognize him as the Council's chief medical advisor. She'd spent the better part of the year before her Confinement shadowing Dr. Lahiri and couldn't count the number of hours she'd stood next to him during surgery. The other apprentices had envied Clarke's assignment, and had complained of nepotism when they discovered that Dr. Lahiri was one of her father's closest friends. At least, he had been before her parents were executed.

"Hello, Clarke," he said pleasantly, as if he were greeting her in the hospital dining room instead of a detention cell. "How are you?"

"Better than I'll be in a few minutes, I imagine."

Dr. Lahiri used to smile at Clarke's dark humor, but this time he winced and turned to the guard. "Could you undo the cuffs and give us a moment, please?"

The guard shifted uncomfortably. "I'm not supposed to leave her unattended."

"You can wait right outside the door," Dr. Lahiri said with exaggerated patience. "She's an unarmed seventeen-year-old. I think I'll be able to keep things under control."

The guard avoided Clarke's eyes as he removed the handcuffs. He gave Dr. Lahiri a curt nod as he stepped outside.

"You mean I'm an unarmed eighteen-year-old," Clarke said, forcing what she thought was a smile. "Or are you turning into one of those mad scientists who never knows what year it is?" Her father had been like that. He'd forget to program the circadian lights in their flat and end up going to work at 0400, too absorbed in his research to notice that the ship's corridors were deserted.

"You're still seventeen, Clarke," Dr. Lahiri said in the calm, slow manner he usually reserved for patients waking up from surgery. "You've been in solitary for three months."

"Then what are you doing here?" she asked, unable to quell the panic creeping into her voice. "The law says you have to wait until I'm eighteen."

"There's been a change of plans. That's all I'm authorized to say."

"So you're authorized to execute me but not to talk to me?" She remembered watching Dr. Lahiri during her parents' trial. At the time, she'd read his grim face as an expression of his disapproval with the proceedings, but now she wasn't sure. He hadn't spoken up in their defense. No one had. He'd simply sat there mutely as the Council found her parents—two of Phoenix's most brilliant scientists—to be in violation of the Gaia Doctrine, the rules established after the Cataclysm to ensure the survival of the human race. "What about my parents? Did you kill them, too?"

Dr. Lahiri closed his eyes, as if Clarke's words had transformed from sounds into something visible. Something grotesque. "I'm not here to kill you," he said quietly. He opened his eyes and then gestured to the stool at the foot of Clarke's bed. "May I?"

When Clarke didn't reply, Dr. Lahiri walked forward and sat down so he was facing her. "Can I see your arm, please?" Clarke felt her chest tighten, and she forced herself to breathe. He was lying. It was cruel and twisted, but it'd all be over in a minute.

She extended her hand toward him. Dr. Lahiri reached into his coat pocket and produced a cloth that smelled of antiseptic. Clarke shivered as he swept it along the inside of her arm. "Don't worry. This isn't going to hurt."

Clarke closed her eyes.

She remembered the anguished look Wells had given her as the guards were escorting her out of the Council chambers. While the anger that had threatened to consume her during the trial had long since burned out, thinking about Wells sent a new wave of heat pulsing through her body, like a dying star emitting one final flash of light before it faded into nothingness.

Her parents were dead, and it was all his fault.

Dr. Lahiri grasped her arm, his fingers searching for her vein. See you soon, Mom and Dad.

His grip tightened. This was it.

Clarke took a deep breath as she felt a prick on the inside of her wrist.

"There. You're all set."

Clarke's eyes snapped open. She looked down and saw a metal bracelet clasped to her arm. She ran her finger along it, wincing as what felt like a dozen tiny needles pressed into her skin.

"What is this?" she asked frantically, pulling away from the doctor.

"Just relax," he said with infuriating coolness. "It's a vital transponder. It will track your breathing and blood composition, and gather all sorts of useful information."

"Useful information for who?" Clarke asked, although she could already feel the shape of his answer in the growing mass of dread in her stomach.

"There've been some exciting developments," Dr. Lahiri said, sounding like a hollow imitation of Wells's father, Chancellor Jaha, making one of his Remembrance Day speeches. "You should be very proud. It's all because of your parents."

"My parents were executed for treason."

Dr. Lahiri gave her a disapproving look. A year ago, it would've made Clarke shrink with shame, but now she kept her gaze steady. "Don't ruin this, Clarke. You have a chance to do the right thing, to make up for your parents' appalling crime."

There was a dull crack as Clarke's fist made contact with the doctor's face, followed by a thud as his head slammed against the wall. Seconds later, the guard appeared and had Clarke's hands twisted behind her back. "Are you all right, sir?" he asked.

Dr. Lahiri sat up slowly, rubbing his jaw as he surveyed Clarke with a mixture of anger and amusement. "At least we know you'll be able to hold your own with the other delinquents when you get there."

"Get where?" Clarke grunted, trying to free herself from the guard's grip.

"We're clearing out the detention center today. A hundred lucky criminals are getting the chance to make history." The corners of his mouth twitched into a smirk. "You're going to Earth."

CHAPTER 2

Wells


The Chancellor had aged. Although it'd been less than six weeks since Wells had seen his father, he looked years older. There were new streaks of gray by his temples, and the lines around his eyes had deepened.

"Are you finally going to tell me why you did it?" the Chancellor asked with a tired sigh.

Wells shifted in his chair. He could feel the truth trying to claw its way out. He'd give almost anything to erase the disappointment on his father's face, but he couldn't risk it—not before he learned whether his reckless plan had actually worked.

Wells avoided his father's gaze by glancing around the room, trying to memorize the relics he might be seeing for the last time: the eagle skeleton perched in a glass case, the few paintings that had survived the burning of the Louvre, and the photos of the beautiful dead cities whose names never ceased to send chills down Wells's spine.

"Was it a dare? Were you trying to show off for your friends?" The Chancellor spoke in the same low, steady tone he used during Council hearings, then raised an eyebrow to indicate that it was Wells's turn to talk.

"No, sir."

"Were you overcome by some temporary bout of insanity? Were you on drugs?" There was a faint note of hopefulness in his voice that, in another situation, Wells might've found amusing. But there was nothing humorous about the look in his father's eyes, a combination of weariness and confusion that Wells hadn't seen since his mother's funeral.

"No, sir."

Wells felt a fleeting urge to touch his father's arm, but something other than the handcuffs shackling his wrists kept him from reaching across the desk. Even as they had gathered around the release portal, saying their final, silent good- byes to Wells's mother, they'd never bridged the six inches of space between their shoulders. It was as if Wells and his father were two magnets, the charge of their grief repelling them apart.

"Was it some kind of political statement?" His father winced slightly, as though the thought hit him like a physical blow. "Did someone from Walden or Arcadia put you up to it?"

"No, sir," Wells said, biting back his indignation. His father had apparently spent the past six weeks trying to recast Wells as some kind of rebel, reprogramming his memories to help him understand why his son, formerly a star student and now the highest-ranked cadet, had committed the most public infraction in history. But even the truth would do little to mitigate his father's confusion. For the Chancellor, nothing could justify setting fire to the Eden Tree, the sapling that had been carried onto Phoenix right before the Exodus. Yet for Wells, it hadn't been a choice. Once he'd discovered that Clarke was one of the hundred being sent to Earth, he'd had to do something to join them. And as the Chancellor's son, only the most public of infractions would land him in Confinement.

Wells remembered moving through the crowd at the Remembrance Ceremony, feeling the weight of hundreds of eyes on him, his hand shaking as he removed the lighter from his pocket and produced a spark that glowed brightly in the gloom. For a moment, everyone had stared in silence as the flames wrapped around the tree. And even as the guards rushed forward in sudden chaos, no one had been able to miss whom they were dragging away.

"What the hell were you thinking?" the Chancellor asked, staring at him in disbelief. "You could've burned down the whole hall and killed everyone in it."

It would be better to lie. His father would have an easier time believing that Wells had been carrying out a dare. Or perhaps he could try to pretend he had been on drugs. Either of those scenarios would be more palatable to the Chancellor than the truth—that he'd risked everything for a girl.

The hospital door closed behind him but Wells's smile stayed frozen in place, as if the force it had taken to lift the corners of his mouth had permanently damaged the muscles in his face. Through the haze of drugs, his mother had probably thought his grin looked real, which was all that mattered. She'd held Wells's hand as the lies poured out of him, bitter but harmless. Yes, Dad and I are doing fine. She didn't need to know that they'd barely exchanged more than a few words in weeks. When you're better, we'll finish Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. They both knew that she'd never make it to the final volume.

Wells slipped out of the hospital and started walking across B deck, which was mercifully empty. At this hour, most people were either at tutorials, work, or at the Exchange. He was supposed to be at a history lecture, normally his favorite subject. He'd always loved stories about ancient cities like Rome and New York, whose dazzling triumphs were matched only by the magnitude of their downfalls. But he couldn't spend two hours surrounded by the same tutorial mates who had filled his message queue with vague, uncomfortable condolences. The only person he could talk to about his mother was Glass, but she'd been strangely distant lately.

Wells wasn't sure how long he'd been standing outside the door before he realized he'd arrived at the library. He allowed the scanner to pass over his eyes, waited for the prompt, and then pressed his thumb against the pad. The door slid open just long enough for Wells to slip inside and then closed behind him with a huffy thud, as if it had done Wells a great favor by admitting him in the first place.

Wells exhaled as the stillness and shadows washed over him. The books that been evacuated onto Phoenix before the Cataclysm were kept in tall, oxygen-free cases that significantly slowed the deterioration process, which is why they had to be read in the library, and only then for a few hours at a time. The enormous room was hidden away from the circadian lights, in a state of perpetual twilight.

For as long as he could remember, Wells and his mother had spent Sunday evenings here, his mother reading aloud to him when he was little, then reading side by side as he got older. But as her illness progressed and her headaches grew worse, Wells had started reading to her. They'd just started volume two of Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire the evening before she was admitted to the hospital.

He wove through the narrow aisles toward the English Language section and then over to History, which was tucked into a dark back corner. The collection was smaller than it should've been. The first colonial government had arranged for digital text to be loaded onto Phoenix, but fewer than a hundred years later, a virus wiped out most of the digital archives, and the only books left were those in private collections—heirlooms handed down from the original colonists to their descendants. Over the past century, most of the relics had been donated to the library.
(Continues...)


Excerpted from The 100 by Kass Morgan. Copyright © 2013 Kass Morgan. Excerpted by permission of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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