Monday, May 9, 2016

Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Title: The 5th Wave
Series: The 5th Wave #1 
Author: Rick Yancey 
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books 
Publication Date: 
May 7, 2013
Format: Kindle 

Page Count: 457


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. (taken from

Once again, I recognize that I am late to the party with this one. Heck, they even released a movie a few months ago, which I haven't seen. Anyway, The 5th Wave had been sitting on my shelf for years, just waiting to be picked up. I had some down time over the past week, so I finally decided to give it a chance. 

Yancey has created an extremely interesting premise. Parts of his book reminded me of Ender's Game, which I was never a huge fan of, but I enjoyed Yancey's portrayal of children soldiers. Is that okay to say? That sounds horrible... Moving on. His characters are deep and moving. I was surprised to learn the novel doesn't just focus on Cassie's story: it switches between her, one of the Others, her young brother, and another boy from Cassie's past. 

I immediately liked Cassie. She had spunk, like so many of our favorite YA heroines, but she didn't strike me as ridiculous. I can't tell you how many times I've picked up a dystopian book and rolled my eyes at the sixteen year-old badass who isn't afraid of anything. If aliens came and attacked, would a sixteen year-old immediately know how to become a hardened warrior? Heck no. Cassie was tough, but believable, and I appreciated that. 

The Fifth Wave is definitely darker than I originally thought it would be. Yancey doesn't shy away from the gory or the disturbing. Dead bodies and overly descriptive images are scattered across more than a few pages.

So, why 4.5 stars and not 5? Honestly, it was the romance that held me back from completely embracing this book. I didn't understand Cassie's romantic relationship, and parts of it felt very rushed and confusing to me. I'm crossing my fingers that the sequels will help me overcome that hesitation. 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed The 5th Wave, even if it was much darker and more terrifying than I had originally anticipated. Yancey has a wonderful way with words, and his story will suck you in and spit you back out faster than a Silencer can finish you off. Don't worry, you'll get it once you read the book. *winks*

Yancey's story is not for the faint of heart, and I have to wonder what he has in store for his readers next.