Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The 5th Wave ~ Rick Yancey review

The 5th Wave (5th Wave #1)
Putnam Juvenile
May 7, 2013
480 pages
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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.
At first it seemed like something people, humanity, we could survive. Then it didn't get better, it got worse. People kept dying.

Somehow The 5th Wave's title is a foreshadowing win, not a spoiler-fail.  We, of course, know that the fifth wave is coming . . . but the story starts out before even the first wave. It's kind of brilliant. Owing to the title, you know so much more is coming - and if you read the full publisher's synopsis, you even know some of what that is. That only heightens the tension, though.

As things get worse and worse, further and further away from what Cassie Sullivan, our main character, knew as normal, as she loses more, our bond with her grows. While Yancey is establishing the world of The 5th Wave, he's also doing a great job building a connection between Cassie and readers.

Eventually she is alone, struggling to keep a promise to her little brother, a promise that would reunite them. Meeting her at this time would have given an entirely different sense of Cassie and I'm glad we met her while she was still part of the, relatively, normal, known world. It's that much easier to experience this drastically new life with her, instead of seeing her as a character used to a world so different from ours. She's someone from our world, thrown into a world now like hers is.

A separate storyline that comes into play adds some interesting elements to the novel; it also adds some questions to Cassie's progress, for readers. There's some foreshadowing here, as well, that's really enjoyable. It's not as clear as it was with the title, leaving some doubt.

The 5th Wave is this fantastic horror, sci-fi YA novel with just a bit of dystopian mixed in. It uses multiple narrators incredibly well, each telling their story uniquely and giving readers a different angle on the current world. The 'waves' were due to an alien invasion, but there are some great times in the novel when it's written so that it's not clear whether a character is human or alien . . . or whether the distinction truly makes a difference.

I'm terribly excited for the sequel, The Infinite Sea (even if I don't want to wait until May to read it!).

Rating: 9/10

Other books you may also enjoy: In the After by Demitria Lunetta and Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts


  1. I LOVED The 5th Wave! Cassie really was a great character, largely due to the fact that we got to experience how she became who she is and why she is the way she is. It was one of the few books where flashbacks and multiple POV's really worked. I loved the second POV in the book because I was SO not expecting it. I think I might have liked that second storyline even more than Cassie's. Great review :)

  2. This is one of the best reviews I've read for this book. You somehow managed to write what I've wanted to convey in my own review.

    Also, how much does it suck that the next one doesn't come out till May? Gawd.


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