Sunday, 3 November 2013

Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Title: The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave #1)
Author: Rick Yancey
Release date: May 7th 2013
Publisher: Penguin Books
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction/Dystopian
Format: Paperback
Pages: 460
Source: Gifted (thanks Ippy!)

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.

"We're here, and then we're gone, and it's not about the time we're here, but what we do with the time."
Rick Yancey puts a fantastic spin on the alien invasion concept with The 5th Wave. This is a really long book, but I read it all in a day, which tells you a lot, doesn't it? The action throughout was great, and so was the suspense. I'm already hooked by this series, and I'm dying for the sequel!

Cassie feels like she's the only human left on the earth, and for good reason. She watched as the first, second, third, and fourth wave wiped out billions of people. She watched as her mother died and her father was killed and her brother was taken away. But she'll do whatever it takes to survive. The aliens won't get the satisfaction of killing her. But there's only a limited amount of time a person can last on their own, so when she meets Evan, she feels saved. Together they hatch out a plan to get Cassie's brother back, but as time goes on, Cassie feels that Evan's hiding something from her. Will she figure it out or let it slide because of how much she needs him and the fact that she's slowly falling for him?

One major thing that surprised me in this book is that it's not just in Cassie's POV. It's in multiple POV, separated by a double black page. Well it's mostly Cassie and Ben with a couple of exceptions. I'm embarrassed that it took me a couple of pages to realize that the second part wasn't actually in Cassie's perspective! But I liked that we got multiple POVs because I really think that was needed in this book, so we could find out what Cassie was up to and what was going on at the Wright-Patterson base.

Cassie is such an amazing protagonist. She's strong, resilient, and incredibly smart. I found her perseverance incredible! Even when she thinks she's the last human left, she never gives up.
I may be the last one, but I am the one still standing. I am the one turning to face the faceless hunter in the woods on an abandoned highway. I am the one not running, not staying, but facing.
Because if I am the last one, then I am humanity.
And if this is humanity's last war, then I am the battlefield.
 Cassie's love and loyalty towards her brother is admirable, too. She risks her life to go save Sammy, because she has complete faith that he's still alive. Most people would probably curl up into a ball or freak out in her place, but Cassie remains steadfast and firm.

I'm a little iffy about Evan, though. I honestly didn't like him much at first because he was kind of creepy and stalkerish. Also, his secret is a very obvious one that I knew right from the start, and that didn't help me like him much. But as the novel progressed, he grew on me. His protectiveness over Cassie is really sweet, and he would willingly give his life for her. Evan's conflicted most of the time, between who he is and who he wants to be. He has an amazing inner strength too, but different from Cassie's. The romance between them felt too fast and a little forced to me, but I really hope they get the chance to develop it later!

Ben Parish is the guy Cassie's been crushing on for years in her high school, and when she mentioned him, he seemed like the typical popular jock who won't take a second look at anyone else and only cares about himself. Man was I wrong! We get Ben's POV quite a lot in the book, and we get to see how selfless and kind-hearted he is. His set of morals is really strong, and he won't let anything destroy them. Ben and Sammy are the only kids at the base who really care about humanity, and they become really tight. Ben watches out for Sammy, and Sammy keeps him grounded. Their symbiotic relationship is really cute to see! Sammy's like the little brother Ben never had, and he'll protect the kid with his life.

The concept of The 5th Wave is a little similar to that of The Host by Stephenie Meyer, where aliens invade people's minds and take control of their bodies. Though in this case, the aliens actually don't have any bodies at all - they're simply a consciousness. I was quite surprised by this because they seem intent on killing off all the humans. Why would they do that if the humans have the only bodies they can occupy? I'd definitely like to find out more about how these Others think, and hopefully we'll get to know that in The Infinite Sea.

My thoughts were flipping back and forth so much while reading this! I had one theory, then changed it, then went back to the same theory.. it was quite exhausting. But fun! I don't think I've theorized this much while reading in a long time. I loved the description of the base and what goes on there. It's really intriguing, and though some people may be bored by all the military and soldier training stuff, I found it really cool. The climax at the end is definitely action-packed, and I totally felt like I was there with them. The 5th Wave is a serious must-read for sci-fi lovers!

Rating: 4/5


  1. Wow one day?! Must be really good haha. I didn't even know it was in more than one persepctive but that just makes me want to read it more. I've been meaning to for so long now. I'm glad you liked it!

  2. Sounds so good! I love the idea of aliens attacking earth. Wait, I didn't mean that. It's actually one of my nightmares, so I'd love a story in which there may possibly be a happy ending. Either way, I'm looking forward to reading The 5th Wave.

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

  3. THIS. Richa, you laid out my feelings about The 5th Wave perfectly. The faults, the strengths; everything. Awesome review!

  4. I've heard a lot about this but never had a chance to pick it up again. Your review makes me want to read it though! Great review, Richa! :)

  5. Glad you mostly loved it :D But aw, I'm sorry you didn't love Evan :( I adored him, hih. But I do understand your feelings. <3 Thank you for sharing your awesome review :D

  6. Great review! I loved this book and I totally agree with your opinion of it:) I found Evan creepy too, he was so overprotective and stalker-like. I loved the multiple POV's, this is one of the few books in which this turns out well and not confusing.

  7. Love, love, this book. I could not get enough. Though I did manage to step back and breathe while in the midst of reading it. I can't believe you read it in one day! It's a ginormous book!


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