Who would have thought when it started that The 100, a series originating on The CW about an attractive group of young people who have no parental supervision, was going to be about politics, love, survival, war crimes and more? Certainly not me, but The 100 has proved it’s a TV show that is constantly underestimated.
It regularly explores difficult ideas – whether there is ever a right time for torture, if it’s okay to sacrifice a few for the survival of the many, what rules matter in a new society and what rules can fall by the wayside, and plenty more.
And of course, The 100 is one of the most feminist programmes on television, something I spoke at length about at the end of season one (here and here). It is chock full of female characters with agency, and its male characters exist on a level playing field with its female characters. In having to recreate society, The 100 as a show has decided to go for all out equality.
The 100 is based on a series of books by Kass Morgan, but if you’ve read those (and warning, they’re very different from the TV show) here are a few books that I think are perfect for fans of the programme.The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer
This is a fairytale retelling of a kind you’ve never read before, featuring a cyborg Cinderella, an evil queen who lives on the moon, a Rapunzel-like character who is her own saviour, a kick-arse Red Riding Hood type, and plenty more besides. Meyer’s series features some seriously brilliant, independent female characters and there is an underlying focus on politics and equality throughout, just like on The 100.
Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
Like The 100, St John Mandel’s Station Eleven is set in a post-apocalyptic world devastated by a major event – in this case the Georgian Flu. It shares The 100‘s themes of survival against the odds and creating new families and societies, but is also a beautiful reflection on art, perception and love.
The Martian by Andy Weir
Weir’s book about an astronaut left behind on Mars is a pretty different beast to The 100, with its mostly upbeat attitude and constant sarcasm. But it is largely set in space, and also deals with survival and teamwork, just like The 100. And it’s hilarious and touching, so you should definitely read it.