Thursday, April 18, 2013

Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

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I received this book for free from Penguin Canada in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The 5th Wave by Rick YanceyThe 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Published by Putnam Juvenile on May 7th 2013
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, YA
Source: Penguin Canada
Buy on Amazon

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.

Now THIS is how you write a book, ladies and gentleman! With the slew of dystopian and post apocalyptic novels coming out you can only imagine how refreshing it is to stumble upon a truly refreshing, incredibly well created novel about an alien apocalypse. And don’t let this term fool you, aliens may not be running rampant on our planet (yet), but Yancey has succeeded in making this event just as realistic as any other world disaster. Plus, in my opinion I think it’s a little naive to believe we’re the only life form with intelligence in the universe. Could this happen to us? Absolutely! I believe it!

Told via multiple perspectives, this novel begins with the introduction of our main character; Cassie. With a lot of luck, sure, but bravery and purpose is what keeps her alive when it really matters. And truly, what are we without purpose? This girl is one I would want by my side if a future like this ever came to fruition. She’s one of those heroines that you positively want to root for, with a fierce determination mirroring the likes of Katniss (THG) and Katsa (Graceling). The first part of the novel explores her time with her family–or what’s left of it. There is some powerful writing that went into this story, and not just with creating the plot which I’ll go into in a bit, but in the emotional consequences of this situation, as well. Families have been literally torn apart in some of the cruelest of ways, Cassie is lucky to have what she has and this bond is so powerfully gripping it had me longing for a little brother I never even had. The other POVs are just as distinct with just as much emotional investment; I was found easily hooked into to their every word brought about through a seamless transition. As I enjoyed being surprised by who the other perspectives were I won’t spoil it for you, I will just say that I found the choices to be a great way to direct the story.

These aliens have not gone easy on humans. As the book title conveys, there have been 4 waves of shock and terror thrown our way, each one rousing up your fear for what the 5th wave is going to be. There is one primal fear that is investigated throughout this novel which is the fear of being truly alone. When the enemy takes the face of should-be allies, how can you trust anyone at all? How does humanity survive? A poor guy with a gunshot wound who only wants help might just be a trap. Anyone you could ask for help yourself might be the last person you’ll ever see. Together, humans can fight back, separated by mistrust, humans become their own enemy. This is one of the most crucial aspects of this book, it’s what makes it so upsetting and desperate. Like Cassie, the reader is not able to let themselves trust anybody at all, not to mention garner any hope. Yes it’s a very dark, very despairing read. Together with this apprehension, the harsh realness of the plot makes it such an intensely compelling read. The creation of the alien invitation is done without fail. If there is a plot hole in here I did not perceive it. Yancey imagined every leg of this race and he ran with it. I am wholly impressed with its complexity, one that didn’t feel complex, really, just elaborated, or sensical.

I have not read a book in this genre that had me so thoroughly–and I mean entirely–caught up in it since The Hunger Games and Ashfall–and I do not say this lightly. I’m in no way comparing the books themselves, just their engrossing factor; they’re all consuming from head to foot and every single pounding heart beat and every clenched muscle, and that is so very rare–at least for me. This book, it’s a ticking time bomb, and you feel it with each fiber of your being! Then we come to the ending, and this time bomb of a book counts down into a frenzy until you can hardly stand it. I devoured it. Every single page I devoured greedily and if I had to pick a book to re-read for ever and always this one would be in the running (with a very fair chance)!

This book… this book = love, guys!


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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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30 Responses to “Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey”

  1. Nick

    Wow Giselle! I’m glad you finally found a review book that’s awesome to read.
    Your review definitely makes me want to read this title. It seems like a powerful and brilliantly crafted dystopian.
    The MC definitely sounds like a character that I would love. And alien invasion! Pretty cool I think!
    Lovely review, Giselle! You got me very excited for the book! 🙂

  2. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Ha–I just reviewed this one yesterday! LOVED IT!! It was creepy and distinctly alien and, like you, I was completely caught up in it until the very last page. WHEW! Definitely book love on my part, too!

  3. Smash Attack!

    This book sounds pretty damn awesome. I love the point your bring up about humans being completely alone because of the sheer fact that you cannot trust a human face anymore. That can drive people insane all by itself. This sounds like a winner and I look forward to being engrossed!

  4. A Backwards Story

    When I first read the summary, I thought this sounded zombie-ish, and I wasn’t interested to know more. But I’m much more intrigued after this review…and this is from a girl who isn’t into aliens, either!

  5. Megan K.

    Yet another five-star review! I really need to pre-order this. It must be fantastic for you to “compare” it to The Hunger Games (because, let’s face it, THG is the best YA dystopian/science-fiction book around). Cassie does sound like the perfect character for the book. I can even sense a little bit of the desperation just through your review! Can’t wait to get my hands on this. Fab review as always, Giselle!

  6. Alexa Y.

    Oh yay! What a positive review for The 5th Wave. I’ll admit to being VERY curious about this book since I’ve first heard of it, and it makes me happy that it’s garnering pretty positive responses across the board. The trailer was also instrumental in grabbing my attention! But I am super glad you liked this one, and I can’t wait to read it.

  7. Christina (Christinareadsya)

    Ahhh. So this book really has been making waves across the blogosphere.
    “separated by mistrust, humans become their own enemy.”
    And this theme seems especially relevant to today…
    All the reviews are getting me super excited, and I don’t tend to like alien books.

  8. Christianna Marks

    Giselle, this was such a beautiful review! It makes me want to go out and buy this book as soon as it comes out! It’s sounds like it’s so masterfully crafted and in a way that would actually make me like a book about aliens. I’m not a huge fan of alien books, but this one sounds so different than the other ones that I’ve read!

  9. Sirtsu

    I think it’s funny that human society is so vindictive and vicios sometimes, but at the same time when a disaster strikes, they come together as a unit and it always strikes me as something powerful. This seems like a powerful novel with a brilliant idea and quite honestly a horrifying one. I do think it sounds great, but I have only come across your review and even though I fully trust and honor your opinion, I always seek out other reviews as well. I’ll keep an eye out for this one;-)

  10. Kelley (Another Novel Read)

    Holy crap, what an awesome review! I always get swept up in the emotion of your reviews (which, I think, says something about how well-done your reviews are!), and this one has me squirming! I knew I wanted to read The 5th Wave, but thanks to you I want to read The 5th Wave IMMEDIATELY!!!

  11. Micheline D

    Weeeee, so happy this one lived up to it’s potential! Especially after all the crap luck you’ve been having with similar genres lately. For some reason I thought this was a zombie book…I guess I miss the bit about ‘Earth’s last survivors’ lol

    Anyways, I prefer that this is about aliens but this sounds almost too scary for me, although you make a strong case what with the intensity & strong MC. Hmm you’ve given me lots to think about hehe Thanks!

  12. Mel@Thedailyprophecy

    Finally! A book I’ve been excited for that lives up to the expectations. It does sound incredibly good. I love the fact that we get to explore the emotional impact as well and I do believe that there is something out there. The universe is SO big, why would we be the only one living in it? I actually haven’t read an alien book before and I’m very interesting to make this my first one 🙂


  13. Amy

    OMG I am so freaking excited to read this book. I am definitely going to have to buy this one. The characters sounds awesome, the story sounds awesome, and it seems like I will be on the edge of my seat the whole time. I’m so glad that this comes out soon!! I need this book in my life. (Of course I will get it and then not have a chance to read it for months I’m sure. Lol!!)

  14. Rachel

    I’m so thrilled to see you loved this one too, Giselle! I didn’t want to put it down either! It was an exciting read and I can’t wait for the next one. 🙂

  15. Candace

    This is my next read! I’m terrified of it, but I have a feeling I’ll feel the same way you do. I just hope I don’t die of a heart attack from the intensity! 😉 And I’m with you, I totally believe there is other life out there and that it’s probably just a matter of time before they make themselves known. Unless they already have and the government is hiding it from us, which is possible too.

  16. Ellen Alwaysyaatheart

    Oh wow, I am definitely checking this out. I love dystopian novels and lately have been a little disappointed in the ones I have read, so this sounds like a good one to check out and rekindle the flame with. They were my favorite type novels for a while, but in Insurgent Tris and Tobias kind of pissed me off – I still loved them – but the book didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

  17. Amanda

    What a lovely review, Giselle! This really does sound like a book that is worth the hype, and then some. With post-apocalyptic books, I do think it is possible that authors can fixate too much on action or the more superficial details that make up the world setting. I am glad to hear that Yancey’s book seems quite introspective and really focuses on the bigger implications and questions that humanity faces, like trust and being alone.

  18. Kathy @ I Write, I Read, I Review

    Bought and read this based on your review. Completely agree that this is one heck of a book. There was a ton going on to make this one happen; it’s one of those cases where I’m left going, “How’d he do that?!” as a writer. 🙂

    Anyway, just wanted to let you know. Now I need to go figure out how to put what I thought into words. It’s been three days and I haven’t started yet. That usually doesn’t happen to me.