The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave #1) - Rick YanceyFeaturedHot
So let’s get into it. The 5th Wave follows two primary points of view, Cassie and another guy whom I will let you discover as you read (he is not, as the blurb suggests, Evan Walker — although Evan does get one short POV section, as does one other character). Both eighteen-year-old protagonists have survived the atrocities of the first four waves of invasion, and both have suffered heavy losses. Their stories run parallel for most of the book, with neither of them ever being aware of the other’s existence (either pre- or post-invasion), but there are common threads in each of their narratives that keep the stakes climbing for both of them. It’s brilliantly executed, and kept the tension ratcheting up throughout the story.
Each of the characters in The 5th Wave was a fully-realized person. You can see how Cassie progressed from normal high school senior to semi-automatic-toting survivalist, and the same is true for all the main characters, from children to teens to adults to aliens. I felt like I knew these people, and it made me that much more invested in their struggle for survival against staggering odds.
I loved – loved – the logic of the waves of invasion. Both the order of events and the execution were — with one minor exception — flawless. (I took issue with the birds. I have questions about the birds. But the rest of it is so well done that I don’t really care.) The aliens took a sculptor’s approach to the eradication of humanity, removing massive chunks at the start, then pulling out their fine tools to whittle down the survivors. It was terrible, but fantastic at the same time.
And as far as the story itself, it was a constant adrenaline surge from beginning to end. Rick Yancey didn’t pull any punches. Each loss hurt, and victories came at a price. There were no characters who felt safe, no challenges I was sure could be surmounted. It’s one of the reasons this book is so hard to put down — you just don’t know if they’re going to make it. In a story where 97% of the human race is dead at the beginning, survival and success are very much not guaranteed.
Overall, The 5th Wave was a thoroughly entertaining roller coaster of a book that kept me up all hours of the night. The premise is fantastic, the characters felt real, and the twists and turns of the plot kept me constantly on my toes. I loved it.
The strength of this book is the authentic way the main characters deal with the horror of seeing most of the world's population decimated and with the ongoing struggle, not just to survive, but to daily decide that surviving is still worth it. I especially enjoyed Cassie and found her gritty, honest narration very compelling.
The setting is perfectly rendered as well. I could see events unfolding in an almost cinematic landscape. Sensory details are included, so reading each scene was like being inside each scene, something readers who enjoy action movies or role playing video games should appreciate.
The stakes are high enough to keep the reader turning the pages. I found it impossible to figure out exactly how the characters would reach their goals, but I was fully invested in seeing it happen.
What Left Me Wanting More:
The worldbuilding is well done for the most part. I did see a few inconsistencies that may have been solved with a better explanation from a character or two, and the actual concept of the 5th wave, while an engrossing existential examination of the value of human life and what it means to remain human, felt somewhat anticlimactic, not to mention inefficient on the part of the superior alien life forms.
I also had issues with the romance between Cassie and her "rescuer." There is a scene, before anyone has declared romantic feelings (not that a declaration as such would change my view on this scene), when the boy kisses Cassie. She immediately pulls away and tells him not to kiss her. He ignores her and kisses her again. She again responds with "kiss me again and I will kick you in the balls." The boy once more ignores Cassie's wishes and kisses her, and this time, Cassie (a survivalist of the first order who has huge trust issues and not a small dose of PTSD) accepts it, and the reader is led to believe that this was romantic.
That is not romantic. That is ignoring the girl's clearly stated wishes, smashing through her boundaries and disregarding her autonomy as a person, and it is disrespectful and wrong. I am going to allow my sons to read this book, but first we are going to have a discussion about consent and boundaries, and about how in this book, those two issues are completely disregarded.
Finally, while the split narration (we actually end up following four characters' POVs) worked for me in most cases, there were times when Cassie would think something another character knew instead of her. And there were many times when the split POV felt like a device to deliberately keep the reader in the dark for as long as possible.
A gritty, compelling narrative and a high stakes plot will keep fans of post-apocalyptic themes quickly turning the pages.
There’s no doubt in my mind that most people are going to be captivated with The 5th Wave. It’s engaging, features a witty protagonist, mystery, the right amount of anticipation and a romantic story line.
Yancey sets up the world perfectly and there’s little fault to be found there. The narration is introduced by Cassie, who tells the reader of her life before the aliens came and the 4 waves that subsequently wiped out most of the human population. Her story, like the many others shown later, is not a happy one. She’s suffered the death of both of her parents and the separation from her 6 year old brother, Sam. I quite enjoyed her as a main character and found her humorous despite her grim situation. Her fierce determination to save her brother from the unknown (to her, at least) horrors built just the right amount of anticipation to keep me turning page after page.
One thing I didn’t expect was the multiple narrations: The Silencer, Zombie and Sam (though, he only narrates once, I believe). I’m surprised that I actually liked this style after a few reviews did mention it not working so well for them. I can definitely see it throwing readers off, but I thought it was pretty clever in the beginning. The way it switches back and forth, implanted a certain amount of doubt to the point where I there were times where I wasn’t sure who was actually human or alien.
What left me wanting more:
Unfortunately, I needed more from the romance than what it yielded. I would have loved to see Cassie and the love interest spend a little more time together before declaring their love for one another. Instead, I found their relationship to be very rushed and awkward, resembling an Edward Cullen Complex.
Once he enters the story, the novel's progression slows down a bit. It was such a strange turn of events. One minute there’s death, carnage and a struggle for survival and the next minute Cassie’s on this farm with a guy who resembles Clark Kent from Smallville and he’s baking her bread. This is also that part where the narrative changes really started to become jarring because we also were keeping track of Zombie (a nickname for the character in the novel). Every time we were in his point of view, I felt like I was in the midst of playing Call of Duty.
There was also the 5th wave itself that turned out be be much more anticlimactic that I had hoped given the build-up throughout the entire novel. Still, these issues are indicative of a more personal preference and other readers probably won't be as bothered as I was.
My final verdict: The 5th Wave is definitely a page-turner and has plenty to offer a reader who enjoys science fiction. Even though the romance fell flat and the plot’s logical inconsistencies kept me from dishing out all my stars, it was still an enjoyable read and I look forward to reading the sequel.
“The 5th Wave” is set in a not-too-distant future in which aliens have come to Earth. Unfortunately, they’ve decided to wipe out humanity. They do so in waves, with each wave taking out more and more people through horrors such as killer plagues and disastrous tsunamis. The book centers around Cassie, a high school student (or she would be if there was high school anymore), and the people who are connected to her life in various ways as they try to find relative safety in a world that is completely unsafe for humans. All are expecting another alien attack that will destroy the last hangers-on of humanity, which they call the fifth wave.
Despite this being a pretty unrealistic occurrence, Yancey portrays his characters’ feelings about the invasion in a very realistic way. There is no fanfare in which characters think, ‘Yeah! We’re going to take these guys out despite the fact they’ve already killed 99.99999% of all people!’ Instead, they all have a pretty clear idea that they will eventually die, they just have to stay alive as long as they possibly can. They all know their luck of surviving this long is bound to run out. Even though this is a pretty dark realization, I liked it. I felt like this would be the mindset of any person left in as bleak a situation as this, and I bonded with the characters due to their realistic thoughts on their circumstances.
What I like about Yancey’s book is that he essentially tells you very early on what the fifth wave is going to be, but keeps you guessing as to whether or not he was psyching us out and trying to distract us in order to blindside us with something completely unseen. The result is an impending sense of doom that you and the characters are feeling simultaneously. When that fifth wave finally starts to go down, there’s satisfaction in knowing you were right all along, yet dread in the pit of your stomach when ways to escape the fifth wave seem nonexistent. All of Yancey’s writing gives you those feelings of contradictory emotions, wanting Cassie to stay alive, yet eagerly anticipating the fifth wave, and yearning to know exactly what it is that will make the human race say bye-bye.
Not only was this an entertaining and emotionally interactive read, but I also know how to prepare if any of this intergalactic insanity goes down.
A realistic portrayal of the defeat you'd feel if the human population was decimated.
There is so much to love about this book. It's totally unlike most recent dystopian books out there. It has suspense, mystery(we never do see the aliens which is creepy), hints of romance, chills, and edge of the seat action.
The story is told in through the eyes of different characters. There's Cassie who crushes big time on Ben and later finds herself a sole survivor. Ben, the guy who's main interests included sports, cars, and girls. Only later he finds himself being groomed for something that tests not only his strength but humanity as well. The Silencer who battles between two sides: the alien and human one.
I loved these characters. The relationship between Cassie and Ethan has an alien Romeo and Juliet appeal. It's bittersweet and very tragic. Cassie's character could very easily come across as very snarky but no, she's wounded but also a survivor. She refuses to give up especially after her younger brother is taken.
The world building is subtle at first then builds until the final reveal. This world is haunting and very frightening.
There's some chilly lines throughout this novel. One that stuck out had to be Cassie's remark that the media didn't prepare us for the aliens with all the Star Trek movies as the real aliens were so not ET. No, we never see them and that alone is scary.
I couldn't put this book down! A total must read!
Cassie is alone, living in a forest, afraid to trust anyone. Not that she sees many people of course. Almost everyone is dead. Seven billion humans on earth and less than a few thousand left. She's trying to survive and at the same time find a way to get her baby brother back. Just like she promised him before he was taken.
When she finally decides to leave the forest, she gets shot on the highway by a Silencer - the 4th wave. she gets die from the leg wound. She passes out and wakes up in a house. A very good looking young man had saved her. She grows to love this man - Evan. He loves her too. Cassie can't bring herself to trust him... she tells Evan that she has to rescue her brother. He tries to keep her there with him. Doesn't work. Soon they go together to find her little brother. In which time she discovers that Evan is an alien. One of the 'others'.
Ben Parish survives the 3rd wave, barely. Now he's being trained to what he thinks are the aliens... but he and Ringer find out the truth and it messes with his head. Ringer says they should all just run away but Ben made a promise to a young boy in boot camp. He has to go back to the alien lair for the kid. He won't leave him behind like he left his younger sister.
That's where Ben runs into Cassie, she's already gotten into the boot camp and got her brother. Cassie is stunned to see her old crush. She'd spent so many times before the arrival daydreaming of him. With the help of Evan and later Ringer, they make it out of the alien fort. With nothing much left behind...
I was hooked from the first page of this book. Cassie just has this voice that made me want to see what she said next, what her plan was. I also felt so sad for her, not being able to trust anyone. How was she to know if they were alien or human? I love the slow building relationship between her and Evan. I really hope he lives as I really like Evan. For an alien he's pretty awesome. You can see how much he loves her. It's so sweet.
The writing was very forward, and flowed together nicely. I found myself unable to put the book down. I read it all in one day.
Our central protagonist is sixteen-year-old Cassie Sullivan (short for Cassiopeia). She lost her mother during the 3rd wave, her father during the 4th wave, and her five-year-old brother Sammy went missing during the 5th wave. The story begins with Cassie searching for her brother.
The novel has multi points of view. The first and main narrator is Cassie. After being shot by an unknown sniper Cassie is being nursed back to health on a remote farmhouse by a mysterious young man, Evan Walker, whose girlfriend and family were killed during the 3rd wave. Cassie and Evan develop a relationship, but Cassie’s priority is to find her brother. Evan wants to help but she questions whether she can trust him.
The second first-person-perspective is from Ben Parrish, Cassie’s former high school crush, the star football player that didn’t even know she existed. Ben is at Camp Haven, a military base where a group of children and teenagers are training for the war against the aliens. He is part of Squad 53, they all have names like Zombie (Ben’s name), Ringer, Dumbo, Teacup, Tank, Flintstone, Oompa and Nugget.
It is inevitable that the two groups will cross paths. But will they be able to work together to survive?
In January this year a film adaptation directed by J Blakeson was released starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson, Ron Livingston, Maggie Siff, and Liev Schreiber.
I recommend it
So what I really liked the beginning and how it shows us Cassie's past and what happened to make her where she is today. It gives us insight into her life and I really liked that. Also, I like Cassie as a character. She knows enough to stay alive and be independent but is also lonely with only a bear to keep her company. I felt bad for her because she was alone and I commended her because she was still alive after everything that has happened in the world.
I liked how Rick Yancy doesn't just stay in one point of view, he deviates perspective. I personally love when there is more than one point of view to read from because it gives you more insight into what is happening.
Also, Rick Yancy does a great job of keeping you interested by not revealing everything that has happened right at the start of the book. He slowly reveals things which makes the book suspenseful and makes you as a reader curious so you read on. So he doesn't just flat out and say what the 4 previous waves were which I liked because it kept me interested throughout the whole book.
Told from different perspectives, but majorly from the first perspectives of Cassie and Ben, the story questions your deductions at every turn. It is obvious that the boot camp is shady from the start but until halfway through the book, it is very difficult to pin down the real baddie. Cassie was such an amazing character – strong, resourceful, smart and alien-apocalypse-ready. Evan comes off a bit creepy at times, and Ben was annoying in the start with his hero-worship. The writing was brilliant and utterly 3-dimensional and the voices so distinct – Cassie being dry-sarcastic, Ben with his guilt-hero thing, Evan in conflict and Sam through his childish eyes. I wouldn’t go into the details of the alien construct, because that would be spoilery, but the whole process of their invasion – totally fabulous. One of the best alien sci-fi I have come across!
There are multiple perspectives given throughout the book of the characters and how they weave around each other and interconnect is just brilliant. I loved all the characters and found myself rooting for each and every one of them. The romance was like a candle in a pitch black room - a light that steadily grew brighter with each page.
The action in this book is never ending with plot twists galore. This book will keep you up at night wanting to know what happens next and will keep you up after reading it, wondering what will happen next. Just when you think you've got something figured out, something happens that makes you rethink yourself. When I was about a third of the way in, I was so confused that I was getting frustrated with the book but I pushed through and it didn't take long to figure out what was going on. This book will keep your nose between the pages and your brain quickly thinking up what will happen next. I highly recommend this one!
Even though it's doesn't take much effort for me to write negative reviews because it's easier for me to express those not so good things about a certain book. Believe me, I didn't wanted it to happen with The 5th Wave since I bought it and I've been hearing such great things about it for months.
There was this huge hype even before it got out and it drove me crazy when someone posted a 5 star review. I eventually got the book but I was reading the first 50 pages for two days. It was nothing but empty pages. Nothing was happening. Only pages and pages of info dumping. I usually prefer getting info dumped here and there, not right from the start and all through the whole 460 pages long novel. It didn't work well for me. I couldn't ignore it. Or maybe I was just so tired I couldn't keep my eyes open. Or maybe those twitter chats were more interesting. Maybe it all of those things put together.
One of my GR friends told me to keep reading because it gets better and surprise! It did. It was so good I started comparing it with Angelfall. At certain points of the novel I liked it more than The Hunger Games. Mayfly was this awesome post-apocalyptic warrior with a soft heart. There was this crazy killer called The Silencer, Zombie was giving me these tingly feelings and Nugget was just precious. Everything was super-duper. *insert intense music* DUM DUM DUM then the dreaded romance started. Oh, Mr. Yancey! I usually enjoy reading romantic scene but you, Mr. Yancey, failed me this time. You gave me a girl who talks more about those deep brown eyes and his chocolate breath; the guy who creeps around the girl, reads her diary and hides the truth. Thank you, dear author. Thank you.
Everything went downhill from there. I kept reading it and hoping things will turn around and be great again but it never happened. Out of all characters I found Zombie's POV most interesting. Everything else just didn't capture my attention. I kept glancing when his part is coming next. Other parts were, dare I say, boring? At least they were up until the very end when shit got done.
The reason I gave it 3 stars and didn't go any lower is because of awesomeness which is Mayfly (At least before she met The Silencer), Zombie's change from a coward to a hero, Nugget being such a brave little soldier and Ringer giving me Allyson (from The Immortal Rules) feels. In the end, I think I will buy the sequel. I need to find out what the 6th Wave is! Right now!
The 5th Wave is a book written by Rick Yancey. It follows the life of 16-year-old Cassie (Short for Cassiopeia) through her journey to save her adorable, innocent little brother (Sam) from the aliens. As she reminiscences on her misfortunes from the past events of the apocalypse we learn how the Waves and attack started. The aliens are referred to as 'Others' by the surviving humans because they have no true form. The Others often do appear as humans and it causes a large distrust among the scavengers. The Others are a highly advanced and intelligent race of extraterrestrial beings who have been able to give up their bodies to become micro-organisms who can merge with the minds of humans in a hope of starting a new lifestyle on the ripe planet, Earth.
The plot of this novel is absolutely fantastic and the style of writing is decent. You really wish that, although the realistic circumstances are absolutely horrifying, you could me put in Cassie's shoes.
This thrilling book had me on the edge of my seat for the length I was reading it. It was so good that I would secretly keep the light on in my room just to finish this. I would recommend The 5th Wave to ages 12+ because of the violence. If the reader is at a 6th grade reading level it will be okay for him/her to read.
This book has been just sitting on my bookshelf for a long time while I was debating whether or not to read it. The synopsis was intriguing. The synopsis was killer especially this part: "To give up or to get up." The cover of the 5th Wave is clever, matched with the setting, perfectly colored, and beautiful.
The 5th Wave was a whopping five hundredish pages book. It's actually four hundred forty-seven. Still a lot of pages, though. Many people wouldn't bother reading this book because of the thickness of the 5th Wave. The author could have cut a hundred pages from the book. A little more editing and cutting please. And cutting shouldn't involve a lot a trees.
The 5th Wave in general was entertaining and delightful and perfectly paced. The switching POVs made the 5th Wave even more exciting. The 5th Wave's genres are Young Adult, Romance, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Extraterrestrial, and Supernatural. (That's a lot of genres). The 5th Wave was easy to understand yet also difficult for an outsider.
1st Wave: an electromagnetic pulse
2nd Wave: a giant metal slab that hit the earth
3rd Wave: bird flu
4th Wave: Silencers
5th Wave: unknown
The 5th Wave has many theories of what it is. It may be soldiers. It may be something else.
The plot was confusing at first. It gets easier to understand over time. Hopefully the second book in The 5th Wave will not be like the first book. I felt the need to flip back to the beginning to understand the plot. A little recap between events may be helpful. Or a little hint that can link the memory to mind.
The writing. Easy to understand and flows well. Not the worse I have seen before. It is certainly not the best of all the books I have read. Rick Riordan could have done a better job.
The POVs. You have to name the POVs. Whose is whose. Readers can become very confused by all that unnamed POVs. I rarely become confused with POVs. In the 5th Wave, it was a new story. I was confused every time the POVs swap. Every character's beginning felt the same to me. It was hard to hear their individual voices.
Cassie for Cassiopeia... Not for Cassandra. Cassiopeia, the legend. The upside down queen on the night sky. Punished by a certain god for her (Cassiopeia) flaws/mistakes. Cassie carries a M16 gun and is Katniss Everdeen in a worn down, bleak, uncertain future. She's looking for her brother Sammy. She made a promise and she wants to fulfill it. Cassie is an interesting character who is has defiance in her eyes. She refuse to believe that anything is impossible. Her determination and bravery and strength will lead her to where she is at the end of the 5th Wave.
Evan Walker... A Silencer. One of the 4th Wave. He's been targeting Cassie for a while. Interestingly enough, Evan didn't shoot Cassie. He's one of those aliens. Evan Walker is a rebel to his people. He doesn't do what he is suppose to do. He helps Cassie find her brother. He helps Cassie get better and protects her too.
Ben... A soldier. He is another fellow rebel, although Evan and Ben never met till the end of the book. He is a major character in The 5th Wave.
Sam... Cassie's brother. I love how innocent and charming he was at the beginning of the book. Let's hope that The 5th Wave wouldn't go Hunger Games. After all, in the Hunger Games Trilogy, Katniss Everdeen's sister dies.
Rating of the 5th Wave: four out of five. Should be three, but I feel good today.