Monday, June 10, 2013

The 5th Wave - Review

The 5th Wave

By: Rick Yancey

Published: May 7th 2013 by Putnam Juvenile

480 pages

Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Post Apocalyptic

Source: Borrowed from my SNL, Holly @ Words Fueled by Love

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Goodreads description--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.

First off, I totally missed the fact that this is the first book in a series--how do I keep doing that? I thought it was a standalone. So now you know it's a series.

The 5th Wave is told from 4 different view points. Two of which only have small sections. Cassie and "Zombie" have the largest sections. Which is ironic considering that Zombie isn't even mentioned in the description above. The narration shifts always occur at the start of a new chapter, but usually at the start of a new section and sometimes I'd find myself a couple of pages in before I even realized that a different person was narrating. At one point I literally said out loud to Husband, "I don't think this is the same person." He, of course, had no idea what I was talking about. Some readers may take issue with this, but I found it added to the overall feeling of the book and kept me guessing about not only what was going to happen, but who I was reading about. It helped to maintain some of the mystery.

This entire book kept me guessing. I never felt like I could trust my instincts on what I thought was happening. Every time I thought I had it figured out something would happen that would at least make me question what I thought I knew. And ultimately that's kind of how it was for the characters who are living through these events. Even when I ended up being right in my guesses, the way Rick Yancey brings about the information occurs in such a way that makes reading The 5th Wave something that MUST be experienced.

I read Sci-fi occasionally, but The 5th Wave proves what I discussed in my Armchair BEA post about general fiction--it doesn't matter the genre as long as there are some real, raw, human emotions behind the story. Obviously, if a huge spaceship shows up hovering above the earth, I think there would be plenty of fear to go around. Especially once billions of humans start dying off. You've got those who will do anything to survive and those who will do anything to escape life. You have people who fight for their families and people who forge new ones. There is love and loss and heartache. And betrayal and lies go deep.

The 5th Wave is one of those books that I needed in kindle version so that I could highlight/underline to my hearts content. *Sigh* Alas, when you borrow someone else's book, it's probably best that you don't start marking it up. (I will be getting my own copy of this book, that's for sure.) The 5th Wave was another book that I should have taken notes while reading, but I couldn't stop reading long enough to pick up a pen and write anything down. I couldn't tear myself away from the story even that long. But The 5th Wave is also one of those books that demands a 2nd read. There is so much that happens, so much information, and so much that is happening that you don't even know about because the character narrating doesn't know at the time. I'd love to go back and re-read it just to see how it all fits together now that I know how it ends--and I will do that, eventually.

The 5th Wave ended up being exactly the type of book that I love to read. Excellent writing. Compelling, fast-paced story that kept me tearing through the pages. Likable characters just trying to survive the alien apocalypse with a whole heap of emotion packed into each section and every page. Yancey doesn't dumb it down for his audience and I appreciate that even more.

The 5th Wave gets 5 Stars from me. Have you read The 5th Wave? What did you think? Let me know!


  1. Great review! I really loved the 5th wave, the story was very original and well-written:) Glad you liked it too!

  2. Thanks for the review! The 5th wave is in my TBR.

  3. It definitely was. One of my top faves this year so far! Thanks for commenting!

  4. Oh I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Are they actually zombies or is that just the character's (nick)name? I don't normally go for that type of book (if they're zombies) but I LOVE when I'm always guessing and never able to trust what I think might happen. That makes for a fun read!

  6. Haha...great question. Zombie is a character's name/nickname. I definitely like to be left guessing about what's going on. If I can figure it out too quickly then that takes some of the fun away from the book for me! Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Thanks. I'll let everyone know when I read it. :-)

  8. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much! I'm reading it right now as a group read and I'm loving it. You're so right about the guessing thing, I have no idea who to trust and what everyone is actually up to. Such a good book and great review!

  9. Yes..this was so refreshing and your review!!!

  10. Oh...I hope you don't have to wait on the group to keep reading. I wouldn't be able to put it down!

  11. Yeah...I'm pacing myself to stay on track with everyone. It's killing me to do it, but I'm trying to make sure it's all fresh in my mind for the discussions and that way I don't accidentally slip a spoiler in.

  12. Oh I bet that's super hard not to read ahead, but it definitely makes sense. I hate when people accidentally spoil things...even when they don't mean to, so you're probably doing the right thing there.