I’ve been watching and enjoying the first series of the TV show based on this book and I’ve received the second book in the series from Bookbridgr, so I was excited to see the first book available on NetGalley.
It was really interesting to read this book and see the differences between the book and the TV series. The basic premise and some of the characters are the same, but the TV producers have made some fascinating decisions about where to deviate from the book, all of which made a lot of sense to me. As a result, it’s easy to enjoy the book without the storyline being spoiled by the TV series and vice versa.
The book follows four characters: Wells, Clarke, Bellamy and Glass (yes, they all have stupid gender-indeterminate names). The first three are amongst 100 juvenile delinquents sent down to Earth from a space colony 300 years after a nuclear cataclysm on Earth to test whether it is habitable. The fourth character, Glass, manages to escape the dropship to Earth and remains on the spaceship. Each character has secrets and guilt over things they have done in the past and is trying to start afresh with this new opportunity.
The book is incredibly easy to read. It has several cliffhangers and lots of action. The characters are fleshed out with flashbacks to their past on the ship and they are all quite likeable in spite of their past misdemeanors. The teen romance element is enjoyable, with a fun love triangle developing between Clarke, Bellamy and Wells.
However, I did find this book incredibly flimsy and lightweight. It’s so clearly the start of a series which aims to get teenage girls addicted and sell as many copies as possible, it doesn’t really have a stand-alone storyline. I don’t have a problem with series as such but I think they should be more than a serialisation of a single story; each book should have a purpose and have a start, middle and end and an individual storyline which sits solely within the book while the book fits into the wider world of the series. This book just felt like setup for the rest of the series and there was no resolution of anything at the end, just a giant cliffhanger.
That’s not to say I don’t want to read further books in the series, I definitely do, but I’m not sure I would want to invest my own money in these books because they are so lightweight. I’m glad I already have a copy of the next book in the series, because I think it would have been very frustrating to reach the end of the book and not be able to continue to read on.