Okay, so the sequel to The Hundred was slightly better although it still suffers from the same shortcomings as the first book. Once again there’s so much potential that literally suffocates under the crushing weight of boring, boring romance. It’s twenty one days since the group landed on Earth, and that number of days is significant to Clarke for additional reasons – we know from the first book that Clarke stumbled upon her parent’s experiments. Twenty one days, to her, is the average time for the subjects to start showing symptoms. This is ~explored a bit more as events progress in the novel. New characters are introduced and it’s revealed that despite everything the space people have been taught, Earth has been inhabited since the Cataclysm by those descendants of the original survivors who weren’t important enough to be ‘saved’.
In this book, to my endless glee, Wells and Clarke get over each other so that the Bellamy and Clarke relationship can progress *crowd cheers* Their relationship is sweet and it was fun to get involved with theirs ups and downs. I also liked Luke (Lucas? Whatever) and Glass as a couple and enjoyed seeing that relationship play out over the course of the book. Wells begins a romance with a new character but since I endeavour to ignore him as much as possible I have nothing to say about that other than ‘why is he kissing people when he could be dying instead’. Now here’s the thing: I liked two out of three of the main romantic relationships but given the potential of the story I didn’t want so much of the book to focus on that when there were more interesting things that could be happening. This is what I mean when I say the story loses itself amidst all the angst and the will they/won’t they – there’s no balance and for a book that aims to be science fiction/dystopia, there really should be.
For instance there are so many interesting questions the second book arises – a new character points out that there is a very clear, simple reason why there are almost no POCs on the spaceship – because only those who were deemed worthy and important got to leave during that time. Everyone else: the poor, the uneducated, POC…anyone who wasn’t deemed good enough to start off a new generation was left behind on a dangerous, radioactive planet. I wanted to know more, to find out why and how this had come about, if anyone had suspected…but other than that one remark this is just left hanging and it’s frustrating to me as a reader. There are also issues with supplies – how those left to fend for themselves on Earth are going to feed themselves, and up in the spaceship there are huge political conflicts that are pushed to the side for the sake of progressing Luke and Glass.
I mean this is a fast read and it’s light and easy to get through. It’s not the worst thing I’ve read this year by any means but I won’t be continuing with the series because it doesn’t seem to be going in a direction that would hold my interest. And I prefer Bellamy and Clarke in the show anyway, which I will catch up on…one day.