Review | The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The 5th WaveTitle: The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1)
Author: Rick Yancey
Release Date: May 7th, 2013
 Penguin Books
 YA, Sci-Fi, Dystopia
Pages: 460 (Paperback)

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.

This was a really entertaining and fast-paced story. For a sci-fi book, it was remarkably realistic and easy to identify with.

I think all the characters were really well written in this book. The MC, Cassie, was incredibly relatable and authentic. In particular, her reaction to the Crucifix Soldier situation was amazing. Everything about it, from her immediate reaction to her feelings about it afterward, were so perfectly written. Cassie just felt like such a normal person – she was coping (or not) in ways that were so very human. She wasn’t an amazing, alien-fighting super soldier; she was just trying to survive as best as she could.

I’m not sure how I feel about Evan Walker. Since he was introduced, I was rather weary of him, and that unsure and suspicious feeling never really went away. I like him enough, but I’m not convinced that he’s told Cassie everything. And I didn’t really like how the relationship between these two developed so quickly. I can sort of understand it, at least in Cassie’s case – she was pretty desperate for human contact, so I think she just wanted to have a meaningful relationship with someone again.

Other than the slight insta-love between Cassie and Evan, I really enjoyed the relationships in this book. I loved the group dynamic of Squad 53 (i.e. Zombie and co.) in particular. The desperation and determination of these kids was palpable, and that was reflected in how they related to one another. That brings me to my next point: I absolutely adore Zombie/Ben. He is such an incredible character and person. The development we see just in this book is wonderful, so I can’t wait to see what becomes of him in the next books.

As far as the plot goes, I enjoyed that, too. I thought there were a lot of great twists that kept it interesting, and the story developed really well and with excellent pacing. I guess I just wasn’t blow away by it. I can’t really pinpoint anything in particular, but I don’t think there was anything especially amazing or mind-blowing. That is probably the main reason I didn’t give this five stars. There just wasn’t that wow factor. Don’t get me wrong, though, this book is great and I really loved reading it. It just didn’t leave me in shocked awe when I had finished it.

Overall, I definitely really enjoyed this book. It makes you think about how you would react in similar situations. Maybe not in the whole alien-invasion thing, but the smaller moments that take place in the story. I’m looking forward to reading the next couple of books and seeing how these characters and this story progresses and develops.

(As a side note, I saw the movie the day I finished the last couple of chapters of the book. It was really good, both as a movie in and of itself, and in terms of how it was adapted/how similar it is to the book.)


Book Depository