Book Title/Author: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Publisher/Year: Putnam Juvenile – May 7th 2013
Genre: YA Science Fiction — Post Apocalyptic
Series: Yes, it’s book 1.
Other Books From Author: The Monstrumologist, The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp
I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!
Cassie finds herself alone on the cusp of the 5th Wave of the alien apocalypse. The first waves were devastating by taking out the power, plaguing people with a terrible illness, and taking out entire parts of the US by floods. Her family is gone. She survives and trusts nobody because of the 4th Wave and the Silencers who look just like humans— until she meets a man Evan who takes her in and may be her only chance for survival and finding her brother.
I honestly was not sure about this book prior to picking it up. I had never read about ALIENS before but I’ve been apparently expanding my reading tastes lately (I mean, really, would have never thought I’d read about cyborgs and love it). I am always interested in apocalypse type novels so I was like alien apocalypse? LET’S DO THIS. I was scared about the hype and also intrigued (I mean, $750,000 marketing campaign??) but I really had no expectations for it so it really worked in my favor.
So, The 5th Wave was quite awesome. Really awesome, in fact. I won’t go and say it’s an all time favorite book but I REALLY enjoyed it & it’s up there pretty high for me this year! It was one of the most action-packed, exhilarating books I’ve read in while that left me on the edge of my seat and dying for the sequel. One of those reads where you sit down to read for an hour and suddenly you find it dark out and you are in a completely different position than you remember being hours later because you are THAT absorbed by it. Seriously, when did I move??
I really enjoyed the balance of the present action with the back story of the prior Waves and I was so intrigued by each wave and could just see it all happening in a very cinematic way — the fear of these approaching aliens and the electricity being cut off to the burying of your loved ones after watching a nasty disease take hold of them. I really love minimalistic, survival type books (and tv shows — Walking Dead, Revolution) so this really appealed to me as we watch the humans living like this and, by contrast, made me so intrigued by the high tech nature of these aliens. They definitely weren’t your E.T.-esque aliens but rather cunningly smart and way more advanced aliens. They made us look like chumps in this book. I felt like I was accusing everyone in this book of secretly being an alien.
The action scenes in this book were AWESOME. I could envision them and sometimes I had to remind myself that I was in fact NOT running from the aliens while carrying a big gun. The 5th Wave brought those quality blockbuster-like, heart-pounding moments where things were blowing up and shit was going down and I was jumping up and down in my seat saying, “RUN! RUN! RUN!” I even think my non-reader of a husband was at least a little intrigued at what I was reading and I KNOW if this was a movie he’d think it was pretty kickass. Because it was. The 5th Wave also ruined my recently polished nails with all the nail-biting I was doing as twists and turns surfaced — I totally predicted some things correctly but Yancey pulled out his magic bag of tricks and surprised me with other things.
Beyond the thrilling nature of this book and the intriguing alien-filled apocalyptic world, I really did feel like I got to know the main characters well and I could feel their dilemmas in this new world and their want to survive. The struggle between maintaining that mortality in a world that is so very different was palpable and I could feel that war waging within them when it came to make decisions for survival that crossed their previous moral boundaries. I really UNDERSTOOD Cassie the most in this aspect and I found her to be very strong. We see how she adapted but we still know that her heart isn’t as hardened as could happen in this situation. My heart felt like it was shredding just having to watch Cassie experience trying to keep that morality that made her human but also fighting like hell to survive.
There were things that kept it from reaching my ALL TIME FAVES status. I don’t want to go into too much detail but I really didn’t like a romance presented during this book. It could have been more interesting maybe as a friendship and I kind of saw it coming. At times, I cut it slack because I thought, “WELL, if I’d been on my own for a while I might crave another human intensely.” But it kind of distracted me and I thought for as smart as she was she let her guard down so easily there. The other thing I had a hard time with was sometimes I could not figure out how much time had elapsed and sometimes couldn’t figure out if it was months that had gone by between certain things or days. I also found there to be some coincidences — especially that, when all these people have died and scattered, she meets up with a CERTAIN person. But the romantic in me was also happy about this because HEY IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD! SECOND CHANCES YAY!
The 5th Wave was overall an awesome book and a fabulous start to a series I cannot wait to really get into. I never would have thought an alien apocalyptic story would garner such love from me but this was not only a thrilling and all-consuming reading experience but I loved how it really explored morality and the courage to survive amidst a collapsing world shown through characters I grew to love and understand. And it was well written to boot! This will be one I will be buying for both my nephews AND my niece and recommending to people who would probably never pick this up on their own. Hell, it would be one book I might make the husband read. I have no doubt this is going to be the next big series that my friends outside of the bookish world will be reading when it catches on. I’ve already put it on their radars for sure!
Recommends To People Who Like: Survival stories, science fiction, apocalypse stories with science fiction elements, The Walking Dead, aliens, action-packed books that don’t skimp also on good writing, strong characters
Let’s Talk: Have you read this one?? Heard of it? If you’ve read it, did you enjoy it? Was it worth all the hype?