June 8, 2013
The 5th Wave
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Fiction – YA Post-Apocalyptic
2013 G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Finished on 5/5/13
Rating: 4.75/5 (Outstanding!)
If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans. ~ Stephen Hawking
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, just 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.
From award-winning author Rick Yancey comes a gripping epic of catastrophic loss, unthinkable odds, and unflinching courage.
I don’t read a lot of teen fiction. Other than The Book Thief (which became a widely popular cross-over novel with adult readers and is one of my all-time favorite reads ever), there have been less than a handful of teen novels that have piqued my interest. While I enjoyed The Hunger Games and Twilight, the sequels were disappointing and I quickly grew tired of all the teenage angst. However, I love a good post-apocalyptic story (The Stand, Swan Song, The Road, and The Passage, are just a few of my favorites), so when the ARC of The 5th Wave arrived I knew I wanted to read it, but decided to let my husband have first dibs. I figured he could save me some valuable time, if he felt it was poorly written or not compelling enough. Well, surprisingly (as he rarely ever reads teen fiction), not only did he finish the book, he thought it was very good. And, much to my relief, not filled with a lot of angst.
I dove into the book as soon as I finished The Light Between Oceans (something I rarely do, as I like to have a little break between books, if only a few hours) and was immediately drawn into Cassie and Evan’s stories. Other than a few instances in which I thought that Cassie’s internal monologues depicting her romantic attraction toward another character were beginning to feel overly saccharine, I loved the book. While not as intricate or sophisticated as The Stand or Swan Song, it was highly entertaining and much better than I had anticipated. With that said, I will continue to hold out hope that the second installment (yes, this is the first in a trilogy) doesn’t follow the trend of disappointing sequels.
The 5th Wave is a tautly written page-turner, sure to satisfy readers of all ages and appeal to fans of Ender’s Game and The Hunger Games. I look forward to the next novel in this trilogy, but meanwhile, I plan to check out Rick Yancey’s backlist. Any recommendations?
Go here to read Justin Cronin’s (best-selling author of The Passage and The Twelve) review of The 5th Wave.