The 5th Wave
Series: The Fifth Wave #1
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic, YA
Publication date: May 7th 2013
by Putnam Juvenile
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.
-A copy was provided by Penguin Canada for review-
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!