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"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
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."
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.
"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.
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.
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.
Posted October 9, 2013
Getting into the characters and liking it more or less then. BAM! Acnowledgements..... um where did the rest of the book go? Oh you split it up to make a sequal how kind of you to give us some time to prepare for the second half, and bonus yall, we get to pay for the privelege. Aint that thoughtful.
4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 14, 2013
This book is incredible. I will have to admit that there were some snoozer parts in there. I just finished it and just about screamed of irritation because there is a second half to the book. I should have known. now I will have to wait for the next to come. yay....I LOVE waiting.
word of advice...don't read it until the second book comes.
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 20, 2014
Unlike many books, I find that the tv series may out do the book. I was forcing myself to read it and did not care much for the characters.
2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 7, 2013
This was truly a great book, I could not put it down- literally. I got it at 10 in the morning and finished at 5 at night. It was good, the plot was really interesting and futuristic. I loved the settings, characters and plot. The only thing or things I absolutely hated about the book is the ending and the fact the next book isn't out and the let downs on some of the characters. But the characters certainly made a very interesting book and plot. Overall, this book was a 4 throughout the book but the ending for somethings made it a 3. But if you are thinking of reading this book, read it!
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 16, 2014
WOW! I was skeptical of reading this because I have started watching the tv version of the 100( a must see, but you have to go into it with an open mind because the two versions are COMPLETELY different), but I am sooo glad that I did. The author chose to show the thoughts and feelings of the characters from each point of view,which I thought was very unique and indepth. The whole story is about a group of teenage convicts who are chosed to go down to Earth to test and see if it is habitable( they are the test trials in a desperate attempt to save the human race). Once they land they have to fave their fears of the unknown, and they have to struggle to survive. The whole story is a tornado of emotions with a certain love triangle that will leave you wanting more. . .
Clarke- The daughter of two doctors with big secrets that lead to their deaths and also leaving Clarke alone with only her guilt and anger. She is one of the chosen convicts to have the " privledge" to go down to earth with her ex- boyfriend Wells, a new stranger who tempts her to let go of herself (and open up to him) named Bellamy, Bellamy's sister Octavia, and her best friend who gets injured in the crash to Earth. All the while a girl named Glass escaped to stay on the spaceship for her love Luke. But as Clarke struggles to let go of her past, she can't stop being as serious as she is and the emotions that she carries around just make you want to cheer her on.
Bellamy- The stranger who shot the Chanceler to escape onto the ship to earth for his sister. Bellamy has led a hard life for a 20 year old, he has had ro raise his sister( who wasn't even suposed to be born because of the law saying that each person can only have one child), and now he is on Earth a planet he has only ever heard and read about. On the outside he is the fierce brother that would do ANYTHING for his sister, but on the inside he is a romantic almost in a rough poetic type of way. He was hurt once by a girl and is afraid to open up again, but Clarke just might change that. . .
Wells- The typical nice guy who is son of the Chanceler. He broke a law just so he would be forced to be one of the 100 so that he could be with Clarke. Once on Earth he tries to restore order to unwilling people who don't want to be under rule again, all the while he is trying to win Clarke over. I have mixed feelings about Wells, he tries so hard to make up for his mistakes with Clarke, but everything he does just turns jut wrong. He seems too much of a pushover for Clarke who is strong and independent. If I was Clarke I would want Bellamy. . .
Glass- A girl who has struggled through a relationship for the love of her life Luke. She was convicted and forced away from him, yet things change since the 100 leave because she escaped the drop by hiding. Her mom sees that she gets pardoned, but what will happen once Luke learns why she was convicted in the first place. . .
I really reccomend this book, and I give a two thumps up to the author, amazing story!!!
Posted April 13, 2014
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Posted April 11, 2014
This book is amazing! It has...action, adventure, and romance. There are a lot of characters to keep track of, but each one has so much personality it isn't difficult. The story line is about a huge space station housing the remnants of Earth's population after a nuclear war destroys the planet. Now, the station is falling apart and there aren't enough resources left to keep all the inhabitants alive. Not sure if Earth is habitable, a group of 100 kids who are criminals are sent to down to the surface to see if they can survive. I highly recommend this book. It is a syfy Lord of the Flies in Land of the Lost. A tv series of the book was just launched, so far the book is better. JpWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 10, 2014
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Posted October 5, 2013
Soon to be a CW TV Series, The 100 follows a group of 100 delinquents in the dystopian future where no one has been on Earth for a while. There should be another installment coming soon. This reminds me of Divergent, The Hunger Games and the Lord of the Flies.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 2, 2013
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Posted March 26, 2014
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Posted April 7, 2014
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Posted January 18, 2014
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