I was lucky enough to receive an advanced e-copy of ‘Day 21’, the sequel to 'The 100', upon which the hit CW show is based. Set in a post-cataclysm world, the sequel picks up pretty much where the first book ended, beginning on the 21st day for The 100.
First things first, 'Day 21' is one of very few books that I can honestly say, I have no problems with. There’s nothing cliched about it, there’s nothing in it that bores you, and with a such an original concept, this book is hard to put down.
As the book was only released two days ago, I promise to steer well clear of any and all spoilers, and instead, bring you a non-spoiler review.
This book is extremely well written
I’ll begin with the most important thing. Namely, how this book is written. Any old moron can write a novel, but it takes skill and talent to be able to write a gripping and compelling novel, that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Kass Morgan, author of Day 21 (and it’s predecessor The 100), has done just that. Like the first book, Day 21, switches between chapters focused on its 4 main characters, Clarke, Wells, Bellamy and Glass. Switching between two characters can be hard enough, but juggling four, especially when they’re all at different stages in their life, have completely different personalities and motivations, is an achievement we can attribute to Kass Morgan. At no point during the reading of this novel, did I feel confused switching between different character chapters. Its story is clear and the chapters being relatively short in length, mean that even if you’ve read 4 chapters without Glass as a focus, when you come back to her chapter, you immediately know where you’re at, both in the narrative and the character’s emotions.
This novel also makes the smoothest transitions from flashback to present day, that I have ever read. It slips easily into the past - giving you background on the characters and their past relationships with people both in the present day, and those not - as easily as it slips right back in, to the present day. The pacing of these flashbacks, has you falling in love with who the characters were, and who they’ve become.
Earth is beautiful and vast - but it’s the characters and their journeys that matter.
The first book saw 100 juvenile delinquents sent to Earth in the dropship. Earth has been seemingly un-inhabited for a long time, but there’s no mistaking that for The 100, Earth is a vast open space of opportunity and hope. A land of dreams. They pinned all their hopes on coming to earth, but doing so doesn’t necessarily mean that all their problems are over. Throughout Day 21, we see our favourite characters each go on different spiritual journey’s. Though they may all be young, there’s a certain amount of growing up that comes with being plummeted from space to Earth, all alone. Throughout this novel, we get to see our characters grow, mature and change as they experience different things and as their situations change. By the end of the book, they’re no longer the same characters they were at the beginning of the first, as evidenced by the decisions and choices they make.
This isn’t fiction. This is real life. - The Story
This book has a real knack for throwing you right into the world of The 100, as though you were there, living and breathing with these characters. Not only is the story compelling, but it never lags, nor does it brush over the important info. It steadily follows your main characters as they continue to try to survive on Earth. Learning to work with one another, instead of against one another. Setting up their own rules and practices, and essentially, re-shaping humanity as we know it.
The character’s reactions to certain situations, are realistic and authentic. Relationships form and just like in real life, can easily be diminished. But they can also be rebuilt. The last book ended with The 100 realising that they’re not the only people on Earth.
The last line of the first book. It’s in Day 21 that they begin to reliase just how big a deal that is, and in this riveting sequel, we see The 100 face their most challenging situation yet. Earthborns.
It’s a brilliant little book, that in its 31 chapters, holds a truly unique story, and characters to match. This may be the sequel, but I sense that this is only the beginning.
All in all, ‘Day 21’ is a novel that never ceases to be captivating and riveting. Its character’s feel real, the story feels real, and above all, it’s easy to find a special place in your heart for these characters. It doesn’t fall into the cliches and sterotypes of other YA books, and manages to set itself apart, not only from other novels, but from the first book and the TV show.
I give ‘Day 21’
This would be the part where I talk about how much I love the characters of Glass and Bellamy. How they’re my favourite characters, and that their chapters are my favourite. How I think Glass is a strong female character, with a strong enough sense of self, that she doesn't need to be swayed into making decisions.
Or how Bellamy is quite possibly the best older brother in the world, one of the most skilled of The 100, and how he could charm the socks of a fox. (you know, if they wore socks)
But hey, I’ll let you read the book and figure that out on your own.