Saturday, July 11, 2015

Homecoming by Kass Morgan

Homecoming is the sequel to The 100 and Day 21 so this review contains ***SPOILERS*** about what happens in books one and two.  If you have not already read The 100 and Day 21 then I recommend you do before picking up Homecoming.  (The book series is independent of the television series.)

For the 100 life on Earth has settled into an uneasy routine - now they know they are definitely not alone and the others aren't all friendly.  Life has been challenging, but they are starting to reap the rewards of working together and working hard.  They have a life,  but that life is about to be shattered by the arrival of drop ships from the colony above, drop ships that are fleeing from a dying community.  The landings are brutal and not everyone who boarded the ships was able to taste the fresh air of Earth before dying.

It seems like a gift from above to have the drop ships land, even though the 100 are not equipped to feed and house hundreds of people.  The arrival of the drop ships was supposed to reunite the 100 with their families, a reward for their hard work and sacrifice, but there are very few familiar faces on board - unless you count the armed guards and the Vice Chancellor.  Peace, calm, and order is quickly replaced with fear, confusion and betrayal.  The Vice Chancellor is determined to run the colony the way he sees fit, using fear and control to keep people in line.  He may have underestimated the 100 though - especially Clarke and Wells.  As the tension in the camp rises so does the danger, because a divided camp is in no position to protect itself from danger - and there is danger all around.

The 100 series has been a delight for me right from the start - a series that stands out from the rest because of it's grittiness and willingness to cross lines and make moves that would be taboo in most teen series.  Morgan is not afraid to kill off members of her cast, even beloved characters, in ways that are grisly and emotional.  I won't say who dies in Homecoming but needless to say it was an emotional death that just wouldn't have happened in many series, a death that seemed very real.  Morgan is also not afraid to make her characters flawed, they make mistakes and learn lessons the hard way - just like you do in real life.

The only thing about this series that takes getting used to is the fact the action picks up right where it left off from the ending of the previous book - so if you have a bad memory or it's been a while since you read the last book it can take a chapter or two (or three or four) to remember all the details of what happened before.  That said, it is a very effective tool for keeping the series moving at a rapid pace, and it makes the series feel like it hasn't lost anything in the time between the books.  The use of alternating characters and switching viewpoints is also incredibly effective as you don't have time to get tired of the voice you are hearing, and you don't have the opportunity to think of characters as whiny when they go through a tough patch.

The 100 series and The 100 television series may have the same foundations but they have already evolved in quite different directions - which is just as well as Television New Zealand put the series on at a time almost guaranteed to prevent a decent audience so I have only seen season one.  Hopefully they will continue to develop independent identities and grow as their own creations as they both have their strengths - but there is something special about a world that you create in your own imagination based on the words on a page.

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

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