Release Date ~ May 7, 2013
Putnam Juvenile ~ Penguin
ARC received from Penguin Canada
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.
The 5th Wave has received plenty of hype and advertising, and my biggest concern when I began reading it was that it was undeserved. And while this first book in a new series wasn't quite what I anticipated it to be, I was enjoyed it so much and I truly believe that all this hype is well-deserved.
The 5th Wave reads like a great introductory book to science fiction and apocalyptic tales, because it's set in a world so very similar to ours just with an alien invasion taking place. But surprisingly, I didn't feel like that was the entire focus of the story which made it an even greater novel.
- A fresh take on aliens and the end of the world:
I typically enjoy reading stories in an apocalyptic setting, and I'm always intrigued by aliens because they always freak me out a little bit. I loved that Rick's aliens aren't your standard martian fare. They're eerie and disturbing, but also seem very plausible. It really struck me how real this story felt, which lends to its horrifying nature. And I appreciate that he used aliens to bring about the end of the world in The 5th Wave, because I love zombies and natural disasters but it's nice to read something different too.
- A heartbreaking story of survival:
Cassie is kinda like a more cynical, sarcastic Katniss. It's a fair comparison. I loved her sense of humour, which stood out even at the worst of times, and you could really tell how much heart and inner strength she has from her story. But her life is filled with so much tragedy and such difficult challenges, I can't even imagine being in her place. It really helped me connect with the book though, and I think reflected some of the more thoughtful aspects of the book.
- Something for every reader:
You want action? There's PLENTY of that. Crazy fight scenes. Tense excitement through the entire. darn. book. Teensy bit of romance? Just enough to appeal to those who love it, and distract readers from all the depressing deaths and dismal future. Super BIG secrets and plot twists? I kept trying to guess and I couldn't keep up! There are plenty of shockers, but they fit so well with the story. Plus there are a number of different characters featured, all different from each other and you're bound to find one you relate to or just prefer reading about.
- Strong character relationships:
I've noticed recently that one of my favourite things to read about in books are sibling relationships. I seem to connect really well with them, and I appreciated that Cassie's relationship with her brother was one of the driving plot lines in The 5th Wave. And to me, The 5th Wave is really about our relationships with other people and community more than anything else and that's why I found the book to be so striking. It's a struggle to connect with others, because of the setting, and it becomes increasingly obvious how terribly lonely this is for the characters. And how it just might very well be their downfall.
I had a harder time with Evan as a character though, and I struggled with how conflicted my feelings were towards him. I have to admit I was always completely intrigued by him, although I didn't find him to be terribly surprising and I really hope we see more development for him in the next book. He was the kind of character I really wanted to like, and at times I did but there were others when I was skeptical... He's just a seriously complicated guy. And honestly, the book wasn't as scary as I had anticipated. It's dark and very disturbing, but it didn't thrill me the way I expected. That may not be such a bad thing, but I just didn't expect such an introspective type of read when I picked it up.
But this is still exactly the kind of book I've been saying I want to see in the YA genre for a while now, and the release of this book is just so timely for where my tastes currently are in literature. I love creepy and exciting, and I love that Rick Yancey is such a talented author to pen this book.