A fter 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.
I had heard spectacular things about Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave. so I took to the library, pulled a copy off the shelf, and borrowed it to see what all the hype was about. Contrary to what I had heard, I wasn’t head over heels for this novel. And let me tell you why.
Aliens have come to Earth and begun a complete extermination of the human race. Four different waves have come and gone over the course of five months. No electricity. All coastal cities, states, and countries were wiped out by the oceans. A killer virus. And last but not least: the enemy lurking around every corner. Who’s human? Who’s alien? Cassie doesn’t know, but she trust no one until she is left for dead on a highway and fanciful and the handsome Evan Walker nurses her back to health. Meanwhile the government is pulling together an army of children to fight the alien horde. The 5th Wave is underway, and it’s nothing like Cassie has ever seen or could even imagine.
Like every novel I have read, when a character is alone, companionship is not far off. No matter how strongly or how frequent the words trust no one come along. Trust is human, and trust is what Cassie falls for after being saved by this handsome stranger. And handsome is another attribute that is thrust upon in many main male characters. And The 5th Wave left me rolling my eyes by how gorgeous Evan Walker was, how instantly attracted Cassie was to this boy. The trope of gorgeous boy saves unattractive girl protagonist and vice versa is taxing to read over and over again, and doesn’t do this book justice. The story could have done without the romantic sub-plot if Cassie and Evan, in my honest opinion. Another factor that dulled my appeal for this book was the predictability of it all. I could foresee the little twists and turns that were going to happen, and that dulled a little of what The 5th Wave had to offer.
Other than those bumps in the road, The 5th Wave does have a delightfully captivating narrator or two, and Cassie is a strong, independent character who is goal oriented. She really is one tough cookie surviving four alien purges in five months time. She about make the entire book, and her and Evan’s relationship did eventually grow on me. Especially since it got her to shut up about Ben Parish. And Even’s character is one of the most complex and intricate that I have read in a long time, and I honestly wished he had more of a point-of-view than one little chapter. The pace is quick at the beginning and end, though the middle did have some quagmire-ish parts about it in my opinion. A lot of the characters, mostly the army base centered ones–Ringer, Poundcake, Teacup, Dumbo, and even Zombie most of the time–I didn’t really find much to connect with, nothing really brought much joy in reading about them. It’s hard to read a book when most of the characters are essentially there to move you from one page to the next rather than establish a connection with. I guess that is where sequels come in…
Final Summation: The 5th Wave is a compelling read for those who are looking for a sci-fi apocolyptic adventure with some romance thrown in. Especially readers who want a War of the Worlds mixed with A Children’s Story type of novel. With an engaging narration and a compelling story, the novel is great for some light reading about a world in which cohabitation with extraterrestrial life does not go so well for the human species. A science fiction work that makes you think about “well what if this actually happened…?” I recommend this book to anyone who likes a gritty novel, some aliens in the mix, and kissing every now and again. Also, fans of NOT A DROP TO DRINK I think would enjoy this book.