Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Book Review: The 5th Wave, by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave provides a take on an alien invasion that is unlike any other plot I’ve read. It kept me on the edge of my seat and also a little bit uncomfortable thinking about the possibilities.

Humans are dying. The human race appears to be coming to an end, since the alien spaceship appeared in the sky five months ago. Cassie thinks she may be the only human left – or at least one of very few – and she can’t trust any other supposed humans, since they may be aliens, and there’s no way to tell.

As Cassie goes about trying to survive and relocating for the winter, she gives us the story of the invasion and the first four waves of destruction in flashbacks.

Cassie gets shot, and almost dies but is saved by Evan. He lives on his farm, and has held up surprisingly well by hunting and using the stockpile of food that his mother provided. But Cassie is determined to make it to Wright-Patterson because that’s where they took her little brother. The army  gathered up all the small children to take them there to safety. And, what Cassie knows, but not everyone does, is that they are killing all the adults left behind. But she doesn’t know why.

Meanwhile, Ben has been recruited by the army at Wright-Patterson, and is being trained to be a soldier to fight the aliens. The training is brutal, and not many kids will qualify to actually graduate. Unbeknownst to Ben, the 5-year-old trainee that he’s taken under his wing is Sammy – Cassie’s brother.

And all that plot I just described – let me just say NOTHING is as it seems. That’s my favorite thing about The 5th Wave. I got surprised. I didn’t ever know what was going to happen. Everything seems so hopeless most of the time. And anytime you feel a little hope, Yancey just yanks it away in the next chapter.

I was riveted the entire time. I didn’t think there was ever a dull spot in The 5th Wave. The ending was literally heart-pounding – and more than once! There is a resolution to this part of the plot. They escape (and I won’t say who or from what) but everything is NOT OK. There’s more of the story to tell – unless you think the aliens are just going to win. Otherwise, there needs to be another book!

The 5th Wave is definitely plot driven, and I like it. Yes, we get to know a few characters, but it’s mostly the action that keeps you reading – and that’s OK. The 5th Wave is an excellent action-packed book.

I can recommend this to a lot of teens. It’s a bit long for a reluctant reader, but if I could get them to start it, I think they will be hooked. I’ll be passing this one around freely come next fall when school starts.

Published by Putnam Juvenile, May 7, 2013
Copy purchased
457 pages

Rating: 5/5

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  1. We have this on our shelves and now I am going to have to check it out to read over the summer! Thank you for the great review

  2. Well, your review certainly explained the huge line I saw at BEA for this book. Now I wish I'd ignored my aching feet to get this title! Maybe I'll check it out on Audible... Great review, it really makes me want to read this!


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