Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Book Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Series: The 5th Wave #1
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: 7th May 2013
Read Date: 25th December 2015
Tagged Under: 2015 read, 2015 favourites, favourites, book review, 5, science fiction, YA fiction, dystopian

Book Summary

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 begins 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.

Book Review

The first thing I thought when I reached the ending and had to put the book down was holy molly, what did I just read?

I have seen The 5th Wave making the rounds on booktube 2 years ago and while I momentarily had the urge to read it, those urges would always quickly pass because science fiction is really not a genre I enjoy reading. However, at the end of 2015, with no real reading goal in mind, I decided I might as well pick it up and see what it would be like.

In short, it is amazing.

More dystopian than science fiction, The 5th Wave is about the end of the world as it were, where human no longer dominated the Earth and are now reduced to a scattered few, trying desperately to survive one day at a time. How did it become like this? Who were They? What is the end game? You will need to read it to find out for yourself.

Narrated by mostly Cassie, the story line jumps between the present and the past, revealing information one piece at a time. The intrigue with regards to the waves makes the introductory chapters quite an interesting read. And by the time you have all the information, you are in the midst of all the action and are literally flying through the pages.

The world setting is well crafted and startling realistic. It borderlines on scary how easy it is to imagine how the world would be if everything were to come to an end. I am oddly reminded "Life After People", which is a documentary I saw on the TV several years ago. There are a few elements that I don't agree with (spoiler: for example, like all the hygiene items that Cassie carries around in her backpack) but for the vast majority, the setting is on point and fantastically detailed.

The highlight of the read for me is the theme of the human spirit - what it means to be human; what does it take to break it; and how, with seemingly no hope left, can the humans prevail? While it is mostly narrated from Cassie's perspective, other characters join in and tells of their lives both before and during the events. I really appreciated how well developed all the characters within the cast are. It really drives home the message that everyone, no matter how seemingly insignificant at the time, carry a past with them.


Overall, The 5th Wave absolutely blew any expectations I had about the book out of the waters. I immediately got ahold of The Infinite Sea and start reading. This series is highly recommended to all fans of YA fiction.

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