Thursday, January 22, 2015

The 100 - Book vs The TV Series Verdict

Its actually been a few months since I devoured the 2 books currently available in this series - The 100 and Day 21. Admittedly I was a little bit disappointed in these books, though my expectations may have been a tad high coming from a fan of the TV series point of view.
Like Charlene Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series, which was adapted to the TV series True Blood, the producers of The 100 TV series have definitely made the concept their own, totally removed from what happens in Kass Morgan's book.
When it came to True Blood, I enjoyed the Sookie Stackhouse novels as a separate entity to the TV series. Yes, they started off with the same plot and characters, but then each medium took to the concept with their own ideals, and both were equally satisfying for different reasons. Except for the last two season of True Blood, but I'm not going to get into that now.
The separation between The 100 books and the TV series happened even faster. Really, the only thing they have in common is that they started on a space-station orbiting Earth and the kids were sent to the ground.
After this point in the books, we're jumping between (I think, can't remember clearly now) 4 characters, who are telling their current story, but also giving us flashbacks. Now, I am not a fan of flashbacks, especially when a book is built on them. It seems to me, if the more interesting stuff is happening in the flashbacks, then quite possibly the author has started the story at the wrong point in the character's journey. I'm not sure why Ms Morgan couldn't have started the books a bit earlier, and have all the flashbacks happen in real time, before the kids are finally sent to the ground. Of course, it would have made the series and individual books much longer, and maybe the publisher and/or author didn't want that.
Anyway, the other thing I found a little disappointing was the lack of world building and character development. This had the potential to be a really gritty interesting post-apocalyptic survival story (which the TV series has done really well) but instead the story focused more on the usual teenager angst and romance stuff. I'm not saying I don't want to see that, I love romance and I'm totally shipping Bellarke (Bellamy and Clarke being together) both in the books and on the screen. But I just would have liked to see a more even balance. These are still really good books--don't get me wrong. I started them and almost didn't put them down until they were finished and the author's writing is easy reading. But I feel like they could have been great books, like Divergent or Hunger Games great, unfortunately they just didn't hit the mark. 
Now, for the TV series, they're almost getting it exactly right... except for the agonizing lack of Bellarke.
The creators of the TV series have done a great job of really solidifying this post-apocalyptic world and rounding out the characters so we get a satisfying sense of who they are, what they might be capable of and how far they might go when pushed to extremes. In case you can't tell, I really love the TV series at the moment, its right up there with Arrow and The Originals as one of my favorite TV shows.
If only the creators would give us even a hint of Bellamy and Clarke, then it would make this all prefect. I'm not saying I want the characters to get together right away or too quickly. More often than not, seeing the characters grow closer and overcome hurdles to get together is more entertaining and satisfying than the actual relationship anyway.
So that's my verdict. Both the books and TV series are good in their own way, but also lacking in some aspects as well.

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