The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Series: The Fifth Wave #1
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Romance
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release Date: May 7th 2013
Synopsis: The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.
After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.
The 5th Wave has made quite a splash in the blogging community and is still sending ripples. (I guess that this review right here is one of those ripples, haha.) But is this story of an alien invasion really that good? In my opinion, it is. The 5th Wave is a completely addictive novel that is refreshing, adrenalin-pumping, entertaining, and thought provoking. In other words, it was pretty brilliant.
Humanity is slowly being destroyed by the Others, wave by wave. In the first wave, the aliens pulled the plug on them. Second, it was massive tsunamis. Third, it was a terrible disease spread by birds and the air. Fourth, it was the Silencer. Fifth, well, the fifth wave hasn’t come yet. That is how the aliens are wiping away humanity, in The 5th Wave. Only the strong can survive, and they will be the battlefield.
Alien invasions aren’t a uncommon thing in fiction. They are in movies, games, comics, and books. What sets Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave apart is the fantastic storytelling, the kind of storytelling that makes a person feel more of the fear and suspense every time a word is said. The novel keeps you on your toes with it perfect pacing, turning the pages, in hopes of finding out who survives and who doesn’t, who can be trusted and who doesn’t. And it makes you wonder what would really happen if an alien invasion happened. Would the people on earth unite or would we start to slowly distrust each other after everything starts to fall apart. The book really is thought provoking because of that.
The great characters are another aspect that will immediately draw you into the story. The alien invasion is seen through three characters’ point of views. Their stories seem to be separate at first, but later weave together seamlessly. Cassie, Sammy, and Ben are all compelling narrators, each in their own way. Cassie is extremely sarcastic teenage girl, dealing out dark humor and cracking snarky comments quite often throughout the book, but she is also strong-willed, serious, and determined, making her a spectacular protagonist. Sammy, Cassie’s baby brother, is a young child that is sweet and naive, giving the reader a chance to see the invasion through the eyes of someone that doesn’t understand much of what is happening. Zombie (who is awesome, by the way) is an interesting character as he is a person who has almost completely abandoned his past self, except for the killer smile, in order to train under the influence of Vosch and fight.
All three of these characters have depth and I could really grasp on and understand what they are going through. The doubt, the pain, the fear, the sadness. Feeling all of these things constantly would really take a toll on a person’s mental state, which is why the characters’ strength is so outstanding. The supporting characters like Ringer and the Silencer also exhibit strong characterization that will left quite an impact on me. Yancey did so well with this aspect of the story that I find it a little hard to believe.
Yancey’s writing never uses unneeded words. It’s powerful and to the point, matching the fast-paced story that is The 5th Wave. And when the time is right, Yancey writes a passage that captures a character’s feelings and situation perfectly. It’s is so awe-inspiring that I was struck speechless at times. Compelling writing is absolutely required in stories like these, and the writing in The 5th Wave is just that and more.
Despite all the awesomness that the book holds, The 5th Wave has its flaws, though. The story does suffer from a romance that is bordering on insta-love and some the plot twist can be predicted early on. Although, the entertainment value that the novel contains greatly out-weighs the irritation you may feel when you come across these flaws.
The 5th Wave is one of my favorite releases of 2013. The hype it has been receiving is well deserved, I believe. I would be ecstatic to see this novel take over (get it?) readers shelves. So quick! If you want an entertaining, suspenseful reading and participate in a little mini bookish invasion of the ground that we ourselves walk on, read The 5th Wave. I doubt that many will be disappointed 😉