Title: The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave #1)
Author: Rick Yancey
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publication Date: May 7th, 2013
Rating: 3 Stars
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. - Summary from Goodreads
I was really impressed by how realistic The 5th Wave was. I feel like this line sums up the book pretty well, “In the 4th Wave, you can't trust that people are still people. But you can trust that your gun is still your gun.” It isn’t just about the alien invasion, it’s about human survival and what one has to do just to stay alive. Cassie is alone when the book begins and stays that way for a really long time, not only because there are not any humans alive nearby, but because she can’t trust them anyway. The Others can disguise themselves as humans so that makes trust really hard on both sides. The only company that Cassie has is her M16 and her little brother’s teddy bear.
I had some trouble getting into the book. The beginning is told from Cassie’s point of view and since she’s alone the majority the time it is just flashbacks. While they were interesting and set up the plot, I wanted what was going to happen next not what had happened before. It changes points of view a couple of times and then I came across this line: “Call me Zombie.” Not only is it an awesome reference it was when the book started getting interesting for me.
Zombie was my favorite POV to read probably because he had the most interaction with other characters which I found more interesting than Cassie’s isolation. While Zombie is at an alien fighting boot camp, Cassie FINALLY comes across another person. I have mixed feelings about Evan. I feel like he was there only for the dash of romance he added to the story and for plot. He was a flat character.
I can’t say that I fell in love with any of the characters, but all of them were interesting enough to carry their own chapters and had unique and interesting voices. I can’t say that I fell in love with the story, but I liked it well enough that I definitely will continue the series. Part of my apathy comes from school I think. I don't have as much time as I used to and this is a long book. I just wanted things to happen a faster than they did. But if things went faster I don’t think the story would have messed with my mind as much. That would have been a shame.
Information about the Others is introduced slowly and teased. As the reader you have to start putting together the different pieces of information given from the different POVs. I had a pretty good idea of what was going on, but I was constantly doubting what I thought I knew because when you’re reading the book it is hard not to believe whatever they are telling the main characters, even if you are pretty sure they are being lied to. I really love books that make me question what I know.
Overall The 5th Wave is worth reading. It is a scarily realistic book about human survival and the costs of it. Even if the main characters are still alive will they still have their humanity? That is the question which I look forward to finding the answer to in the sequel.