Monday, 15 September 2014

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Series: The 5th Wave, Book One
Publisher: Penguin
Format: Paperback
Published: 7th May 2013
Number of Pages: 480
Book: For Review*
Genre: Psychological Suspense, Thriller Suspense, Contemporary, Realistic-Fiction, Science-Fiction, Thriller, Suspense, Horror, YA, YA-Adult Crossover
Recommended Age: 14+
Contains: Violence, Death, Swearing
No Alcohol, Drug References
Author's Site: Rick Yancey
Series' Site: The 5th Wave

The 1st Wave
Took out half a million people.
The 2nd Wave
Put that number to shame.
The 3rd Wave
Lasted a little longer, twelve weeks…  Four billion dead.
In the 4th Wave
You can’t trust that people are still people.
And the 5th Wave?
No one knows.
But it’s coming.

On a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs.  Runs from beings that only look human, who have scattered Earth’s last survivors.
To stay alone is to stay alive, until she meets Evan Walker.  Beguiling and mysterious, Evan may be her only hope.
Now Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death.

It’s taken me forever to get this review done, in no small part because I loved The 5th Wave so much I couldn’t find the words…  Also, once I found them, there were just too many words!  I rambled – a lot.  I’ve done my best to cut back…  I don’t think I was overly successful…  Enjoy the gushing!
"1st Wave: lights out.  2nd Wave: surf's up.  3rd Wave: pestilence.  4th Wave: Silencer.  What's next, Evan?  What is the 5th Wave?"
The 1st Wave killed all electrical items – everything run by a battery or electricity or an engine.  Everything.
The 2nd Wave created huge tsunamis that destroyed all cities near the sea.  Goodbye London, New York, Sydney...
The 3rd Wave created the Red Death, the Blood Plague, the Fourth Horsemen of the Apocalypse.  It killed almost four billion people...  
The Fourth Wave created the Silencers – things that look like humans, act like humans, until you get too close.  Then, they kill you.  The 4th Wave isolated the survivors – made sure they couldn't trust anyone.
The 5th Wave?  Well, no one knows.  It hasn't happened yet.  But it will.  The Others want the humans dead.  They want Earth.  And they won't stop until they get it...
Cassie is a survivor.  She is alone, on the run, trying to avoid Drones and Silencers.  To do that, she needs to be alone.  The only way to stay alive is to stay alone.
But then she meets Evan Walker.  And he might be her only way of staying alive and finding the one thing she needs more than anything...
Meanwhile, a resistance is assembling.  But are their aims true – and if they are, how can they alone possibly defeat the Others – the ones who killed seven billion in the blink of an eye...?
The 5th Wave’s prologue drew me in completely and I just was hooked from the word go!   Right from the start, I loved it and knew that it would be my favourite alien-dystopian-sci-fi this year - maybe even ever!   I mean, I'm a huge alien-apocalypse fan.  Heck, I was watching Prometheus and Independence Day earlier this week, the latter while reading this book.  And while Independence Day is a truly brilliant film, all I kept thinking was: ‘Bleh.  Shut up, silly movie aliens, and let me go back to The 5th Wave.’  And that right there is how I know The 5th Wave should be seen as the best freaking alien dystopia out there right now.  
But now onto one of my favourite bits of the book (other than the alien stuff).  And that was Cassie.  She was brilliant – hard and vulnerable, kickass and broken.  And so so funny!  She was such an awesome character!
And Evan... oh, I just instantly fell for him!   He was just so... yum.  So perfect.  And I swear, it's just impossible not to love him.  Evan Walker has now been added to my list of book boyfriends...  But am I the only one who suspected, like right from the beginning…?  
Other characters: loved Zombie.  Loved Sammy.  Loved… in fact, all the characters were brilliant, be they human or alien.   They all felt very real, be they human, Other, or something… else...  They had the best and worst traits of humanity, both the strengths and weaknesses.
And the romance was brilliant.  Not too fast, not too slow.  Not too much, not too little.  Just perfection – making me one very happy little blogger!
I also loved the writing - Cassie's voice in particular.  She sounded completely real and like any other teen girl - horrible world and all aside.  But I just loved her sense of humour - it was kinda twisted and dark and wry, but it often made me smile.  I love a girl who can joke in the face of death. 
I also loved the split perspectives in this book.  It did confuse me to begin with but I soon fell even harder in love.  I love split POVs – they are my favourite style of writing.  And we had so, so many scrummy perspectives to gobble up, ranging from Cassie and Evan, little Sammy and even a Silencer.  Each of the chapters had a kind of distinct feel to them: amazing!  
And, oh, how completely hooking the plot was!  It was a mile a minute.  Just non-stop action, suspense and twists.  I loved zooming through it all!
I also really liked that despite the sci-fi setting there were still so many real issues involved - humanity, what's important, trust, love, family, strength.  And the world was really amazing!  It was like I was right there with Cassie – so terrifying!  And I loved his take on the alien genre - these were clever aliens, not the stupid kind that launch a human war.  As Stephen Hawking said...
“If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn't turn out very well for the Native Americans."
Oh, and I loved that Yancey's main character was a girl.  I hate it when authors feel they need to stick to their own gender – this is an all-audiences book.  It has something for everyone and is so un-stereotypical and fresh it's untrue.  Yay to Yancey for ignoring stupid gender norms!
The 5th Wave is insanely fun and addictive and exciting and I loved it to pieces.  And I must say, there was something truly masterful about the way Yancey linked all the stories together, making me doubt everything I thought I knew about a million times over and surprising me even more often.  It was so much fun and was such an easy and quick read – one you're going to want to read in a single sitting, food, work and sleep be damned, so be prepared to take a large chunk from your day to devour this book!  
Oh, and be prepared for the insane desperation for book two, the very second you put thus one down. It's all consuming, maddening, and yet The 5th Wave is so worth it.
Still.  Don't say I didn't warn you...

Star Rating:
5 Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
 Earthfall by Mark Walden
Lorien Legacies by Pittacus Lore
Billi SanGreal by Sarwat Chadda

Falling Skies
The Walking Dead

Happy Reading

* This book was received from Penguin in exchange for an honest review

1 comment:

Mariz Denver said...

I loved this book and couldn't put it down. It's well written, engaging, has great characters, twists in the plot, and issues that are complex, meaty, and interesting. Just a really, really great book - and I've already started the next in the series. Highly recommend!

Kevin Elwood