Review : The 5th Wave, Rick Yancey

I know: The 5th Wave came out two years ago, and It was time I got around to reading it. I heard a lot about this book, read a lot of reviews of some people loving it, hating it. There’s a movie, apparently, coming out in 2016 about this, too. In a nutshell, The 5th Wave seemed like a big deal to me, and I was eager, and kind of nervous about reading it. What if it didn’t meet my expectations? If you ask me : this book was a great read, but will not be the hottest topic of my year.

“If this is humanity’s last war, then I am the battlefield.”

They’re here. You’re never sure where, when, and what’s going to happen next. Aliens descended on earth, and they are not little greenish men looking for shelter. They’re here to get rid of every last human on earth. With every wave, a billion of dead. Until only some remain, hidden, lost, scared. This is Cassie’s case. Cassie thinks she’s the only human left, or she lets herself believe that. She hides, she seeks food, shelter, she tries to survive, her only company being her brother’s teddy bear and her gun. This, is the first taste you get when you start reading the 5th Wave. I have to say, at first, I was a little confused. This is not usually my kind of book. I like science fiction, but I never read this kind of alien story, to be honest, so I didn’t know what to think about it.

I found it hard to get into the story. I’m not used to it, may be one of my arguments, but not only. I found it hard to come, the moments where things finally fall into place, and I find myself captivated by the book. Sometimes, when I open a book, it happens right away : I’m in another world. This didn’t happen, and, since I had very big expectations about this book, I was sort of disappointed. However, after the first 100 pages or so, I started to get into this story. It took some time, but I finally did, and I was happy to. The storyline is complex, well-thought and plotted. One of the things that makes The 5th Wave a particular read, is the different points of views brought by the author. I must admit, I didn’t get it, at first, and I was confused. Probably one of the reasons why I had a hard time getting into this story at first. However, once I got this,  I found that it brought something special to the story. Each character, with his own background and life during these difficult times, brought something more to the plot.

“I thought I knew what loneliness was before he found me, but I had no clue. You don’t know what real loneliness is until you’ve known the opposite.”

Trust no one. This could easily be the plot line of this book, and that’s especially what I found entertaining. Cassie, the main character, is alone, so when she finally encounters Evan, on her journey, she wonders obviously if she can trust him. Given this particular context, this just sounded very realistic, and it built up the tension more and more into the story, and into the characters’ relationships between one another. We’re left guessing a lot of the time about who’s who, what’s really happening? Are they the good guys, or the bad guys? What exactly are they?  So many questions while you’re reading, that keeps you on the edge. That’s Cassie’s, motto : keep yourself on the edge, and don’t let yourself trust, no one. We can see her thinking, plotting, wondering all thorough the book about who to trust or not, and that part of her was very realistic. However, I have to say, I had a hard time getting to like her in this story. As you know, getting attached to the main character is very important for me. I found her a little, bothering, and mainly, I didn’t get used to the narration in her parts of the story. She was an ordinary kick-ass character. In my opinion, I prefered Katniss way more than her in this part. However, she has something that gained my sympathy, and made me not want to give up at all : her attachment to her brother, and this teddy bear she carried around. This is one of the things I absolutely loved about her character.

The different point of views definitely brought something more to this story, and it made me want to keep on reading. Ben’s part of the story was perfect, I loved it. His personnality, the narration during those parts, I just couldn’t wait to read more about him. Evan’s character was interesting, too : I loved his special part in the unfolding of the events. Not saying more, this would be spoilers, but Evan brought this something more I was waiting for when I started reading this book.

The 5th Wave definitely is an action-packed, leaving you breathless novel. If you’re enjoying this kind of book, and obviously science-fiction, too, definitely pick up this one. Action, a little bit of romance and realistic relationships, made it up for this slow beginning and kind of bothering main character, for me. The last pages certainly leaves you wondering about what’s coming next. Enough to pick up the next installment? I’m not sure yet, though.

Rick Yancey, The 5th Wave, published by Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, May 7th 2013.

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.

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8 thoughts on “Review : The 5th Wave, Rick Yancey

  1. I’m not the only one who had issues connecting to Cassie then. I liked her, but sometimes I found her irritating, especially when she refuses to be attracted to any guy who is perfect-looking.
    Great review 🙂

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