Book Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Posted March 11, 2015 by @Angelized_1st in 2015 Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge, 2015 TBR Pile Reading Challenge, Books, Entertainment, Reading Challenges / 0 Comments

Book Review: The 5th Wave by Rick YanceyThe 5th Wave by Richard Yancey
Series: The 5th Wave,
Published by Putnam Juvenile on 2013
Genres: Action & Adventure, Dystopian, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Survival Stories, Young Adult
Pages: 457
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
ISBN: 9780141345833
Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksBuy on: Audible

"Cassie Sullivan, the survivor of an alien invasion, must rescue her young brother from the enemy with help from a boy who may be one of them"--

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. 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, until Cassie meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan may be her only hope for rescuing her brother and even saving herself. Now she must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up. Cassie Sullivan gets up.

Caution: This review may contain spoilers!

The Good…:

Author Rick Yancey paints a terrifying, post-apocalyptic picture in his novel The 5th Wave. In the novel, aliens arrive and begin to systematically destroy the human race. The 1st wave sets off an EMP that plunges the world into darkness, setting it back to the Dark Ages. In the 2nd Wave, natural disasters wipe out a large majority of the world’s population. In the 3rd Wave, a plague similar to Ebola wipes out the majority of the world’s population that survived the first two waves of destruction. In the 4th Wave, the remaining survivors are plunged into a world where no one can be trusted. Not even your neighbor. Told from multiple perspectives, readers follow three survivors’ experiences as they try to survive the invasion, connect with loved ones, and figure out how to exist in this new reality.

“When the moment comes to stop running from your past, to turn around and face the thing you thought you could not face–the moment when your life teeters between giving up and getting up–when that moment comes, and it always comes, if you can’t get up and you can’t give up either, here’s what you do: Crawl.”
― Rick Yancey, The 5th Wave

Yancey’s storytelling in The 5th Wave reminds me of how author George R. R. Martin provides various viewpoints in his series, A Song of Ice and Fire. The main protagonist in this novel is Cassie. She’s a young girl who is out in the world alone trying to reunite with her little brother. As she reflects on life now, in comparison to how her life was before the aliens arrived, readers really get to see how this catastrophic event has affected people. As the story progresses we meet a slightly older boy named Evan, another lone survivor, with a hidden past. We also meet other characters from Cassie’s past who meet a different fate from Cassie. One that offers up many startling surprises. Since this novel is told from multiple perspectives, readers may not completely understand everything happening until almost the very end. However, this writing format helps ratchet up the action that keeps the story moving at a breakneck pace.

The Bad…:

The synopsis indicates the story will be told from multiple perspectives, but three of the characters’ POV we’re reading from are male. This made reading a bit difficult at one point since the POV’s are in 1st person, and people usually don’t say their own name when talking. I did figure out who was narrating events pretty quickly, but thought I should mention it in case of confusion.

Do I Recommend?

Yes! I really liked this book. Once I got into it, it was difficult to put down, and couldn’t stop thinking about it when I did. I rate this novel 4 out of 5 stars, as the synopsis kind of spoiled one of the best twists in the novel. Boo! Over all, it was nearly perfect. I’m currently reading the sequel, The Infinite Sea, and am really happy the third and final book comes out this September. At least this is one series I won’t have to wait years to complete.

If you love dystopian novels like The Hunger Games, Delirium, and Divergent than you definitely need to check this one out. If you’ve already read it, be sure to drop me a line and let me know what’s your impression of The 5th Wave.

Rating Report
Overall: 4.4

About Richard Yancey

Rick is a native Floridian and a graduate of Roosevelt University in Chicago. He earned a B.A. in English which he put to use as a field officer for the Internal Revenue Service. Inspired and encouraged by his wife, he decided his degree might also be useful in writing books and in 2004 he began writing full-time.

Since then he has launched two critically acclaimed series: The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp, for young readers, and The Highly Effective Detective, for adults. Both books are set in Knoxville, Tennessee, where Rick lived for ten years before returning to Florida.


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