The 5th Wave The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1)
Published by on May 7, 2013
Genres: , ,
Format: eBook
Pages: 480

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. (Goodreads)

A bit of background: I spent a good chunk of my adolescence obsessed with “The X-Files.” Obsessed. Aliens replaced vampires as the creature that struck me with extreme terror. So a book about a scary-as-hell alien invasion? Sign me up. (Not for an alien invasion. I’d be hopeless in a survival situation. But I’ll devour a “close encounters of the horrifying kind” book from the safety of my well-lit house.)

The 5th Wave is a fast-paced book, and author Rick Yancey shows us the cold cruelty of one species deciding to exterminate another. His aliens are clinical in their approach. They are calm and patient, confident that they will win in the end. Juxtapose that with the surviving humans: scattered, stripped down to their basic survival instincts, starving and scared. It’s a visceral difference and one I felt deeply through Yancey’s characters.

I adored main character Cassie. Yancey perfected the voice of a sixteen-year-old girl whose will to survive hasn’t quite doused her teen insecurities. She’s tough and willful, yet plagued with doubt. Even better, she’s normal. She’s survived through luck and wherewithal, not because she’s some superhuman or “chosen.” I love that. She’s an ordinary girl facing extraordinary circumstances, and that’s absolutely engrossing to read.

There are other well-drawn characters we see, each one trudging along their path until they decide to make their own route. And the routes they take! Yancey packed this book with action and tension from the first to the last. In between we’ve got squishy moral questions (child soldiers, killing first) and a surprising amount of heart for an apocalyptic story. This is a different sort of horror from the other Yancey series I loved (The Monstrumologist), but it stays with you nonetheless.

While parts of the plot were predictable, and some “chance” meetings stretched the bounds of coincidence, I really enjoyed a ton about this book—the first in a series—and will be on the lookout for 1.) the sequel; and 2.) a giant alien eye in the sky. Fingers crossed I only experience 1.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | TumblrGoodreads

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3.5 Stars

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6 Responses to Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

  1. Ellen
    Twitter: alwaysyaatheart

    I am glad you enjoyed this. I used to like to watch the X-files to. Great review!
    Ellen recently posted..Snowbound With The Soldier by Jennifer Faye: Release Week Blitz, Giveaway, and ReviewMy Profile

  2. Jenea @ Books Live Forever
    Twitter: jeneaw0716

    I have had this sitting on my shelf, I can’t wait to get caught up on some reading soon so I can read it. It sounds so amazing. Glad you enjoyed it too.
    Jenea @ Books Live Forever recently posted..Review for Find Me (Find Me #1) by Romily BernardMy Profile

  3. fakesteph
    Twitter: fakesteph

    Chance encounters drive me crazy, but I’ve heard great things about this one and hope I can make time to read it soon.
    fakesteph recently posted..Bloggers Dressed In Blood Review: Vicious by V.E. SchwabbMy Profile

  4. This is a really well-written review! I enjoyed reading it. I also liked the X-Files when I was younger, but that is about the extent of my experience with alien stories, so I think that helped make the plot seem a little less predictable for me. I haven’t read Yancey’s Monstrumologist series yet (which I hear is scarier), but I’m sure I will eventually because I did enjoy this one.

    • Jenny Peterson
      Twitter: JenC_P

      Amanda, I highly recommend the Monstrumologist series. It is scarier in a different way and WAY grosser. Seriously, it had one of the most stomach-churning scenes I’ve ever read in middle grade or YA.

  5. kimbacaffeinate
    Twitter: kimbacaffeinate

    I loved this book Jen and I am glad you enjoyed it, I am anxious for book two 🙂
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted..Love Gone Mad by Mark RubinsteinMy Profile

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