Monday, April 15, 2013

Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave #1)
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.
(Cover & Description from GOODREADS.)
Publisher:  Putnam Juvenile
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Kat's Review
I don't generally read books about alien beings, but the description of this one was so intriguing that I jumped at the chance to review it.  I'm glad I did.  It's classified as a Young Adult book, but it's not a light or frivolous read.  It's a complex read, with much backstory before getting around to the real action of the story.  Not all of the characters are likeable, but they are all real.  Complex.  Conflicted.  Struggling to figure out how to behave in impossible situations, never prepared for what comes next. 
While Cassie is the main protagonist in the story, the narrative switches among a few characters.  Cassie, who is trying to rescue her brother from the group of soldiers who killed their father.  Ben, Cassie's high school crush who ends up in a military camp and is receiving training to become a soldier, and ends up protecting Cassie's brother.  Then there's Evan, a boy who watched his entire family die and saves Cassie from certain death, but is hiding a secret.  Their lives intersect in unexpected ways as they learn about themselves, and about what it means to trust yourself and others. 
As I mentioned earlier, this is not a quick or simple read.  I can usually get through most books in a few hours, but this one took much longer because I wanted to process what was happening.  The story is complex, and there is a lot of back story to get through.  You have to make an investment in this book, but the payoff is worth it.  The characters are young, but they are no less interesting or intelligent than an adult protagonist.  They make big decisions, and try their best to survive under impossible circumstances.  Even the youngest children are treated as thinking, capable beings, and are pushed to their limits. 
This is the first in a planned trilogy, and there are certainly enough loose ends left to tie up after the first book to keep readers coming back for more.
Rating: A Good Read
There are a lot of twists and turns in this book, and enough action to keep a reader engaged and guessing.  The complicated plot is in the good hands of a very competent author who brings difficult concepts down to a manageable level without talking down to the reader.  A great read with crossover appeal for fans who like sci-fi, dystopian, or post-apocalyptic style scenarios.  Highly recommended.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.
 Pre-Order from Amazon 


  1. I'm not really into alien books either but I have this on my TBR pile. Knowing that you enjoyed it helps since you too are not into aliens. Thanks for the honest review. Hopefully I'll be able to read it soonish after it comes out.

    1. There are no little green men running around! Thanks for reading the blog!


Thoughts? Questions? Let me know what you think!