Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

May 9, 2013 4 - 4.5 Stars, Aliens, Dystopia, Incredible Heroines, Male POV, Post-Apocalyptic, Rick Yancey, Sibling Love, Thriller 19 ★★★★

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Series: The 5th Wave # 1
Published by Putnam Juvenile on May 7, 2013
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction
Pages: 457
Format: Hardcover
Source: Puchased
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.
The 5th Wave starts off at an incredible pace.  I read the 70 page preview a couple of days before publication date (I didn’t want to read it any earlier than that, because I didn’t want to wait too long to read the rest), and it was amazing.  I’ve realized that in the post-apocalyptic genre, it’s the actual apocalypse that hooks me, more so than the after-effects.  In these initial pages, we relive, via Cassie’s narration, the events that occurred when humans realized that “the Others” stopped by Earth for a visit.  Did they just drop in to say hello?  Or was their purpose a bit more nefarious?  When the first few waves killed the vast majority of the world’s population, the answer became clear.  These aliens aren’t here to make friends.

Rick Yancey gives us an incredibly original take on an alien invasion, although it wasn’t as frightening, perhaps, as a graphic depiction of an army of little green men blasting humans off the face of the earth.  But, of course, that’s been done before.  Instead, Yancey creates a world where no one can trust anyone else, and people aren’t always who they seem.

The 5th Wave is written from multiple POV’s, and while Yancey writes equally well from the male and female perspectives, I did get attached to Cassie, the opening narrator, and I wish we could have stayed with her through the entire story.  To avoid a spoiler, I won’t divulge the identity of the other narrators, but I will say that one was just a bit too “coincidental,” and that one also happened to be the least interesting.

The 5th Wave wasn’t quite the masterpiece I was hoping it would be, but it was still a very enjoyable read that will keep your heart racing.  After the initial devastating waves of attacks, the action cools off considerably while the few survivors scavenge and await the unknown 5th and final wave.  But have no fear.  (Wait, I take that back.  Have a LOT of fear.)  The ending is a wild ride, and while it may have been a bit too pat, I can’t deny that Yancey packs a ton of excitement into this book.

Review posted at  Goodreads.


19 Responses to “Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey”

  1. Kristen Williams

    We are totally in agreement with this one! I think it was all the hype. I tried to imagine if I had gotten the ARC and had read it with no idea what I was in for…I think I would have been really impressed. still a great read but not the best I’ve ever read. I actually liked Arclight just as much (maybe even more??)

    • Go Flash Go - Read, Rinse, Repeat

      I think you are absolutely correct.

      I dug into my library pile tonight. I wavered between Monument 14 and Arclight, and I chose M 14. Now you have me wishing I’d chosen Arclight! Hopefully I’ll get to it next week.


  2. Kay

    I like a book with a lot of excitement and a lot of action right away. I can’t wait to read this one to compare notes. I hate lately how I get super excited about the book because of all the hype and somehow it never really lives up to its expectations. I just had the same problem with Taken.

  3. Kim (YA Asylum)

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book. I’m glad that once I read it — which I just know I will, eventually … — I won’t go into it thinking it’s going to be 5 out of 5. I hope I enjoy it 🙂

    Great review!

  4. rivie bleu

    We were watching signs yesterday and this reminded me of it lol. I love aliens, but when you have the good, handsome, human alien that’s there to save you and fall in love with you lol. Aliens like these and the ones from signs are creepy. I hadn’t seen this book that way though, it sounds interesting, the way you put it. The ‘coincidental’ narrator, I have an idea who it could be, but I’m not sure. I’m tempted to read it now, I’ve seen great things about this book

  5. That Girl Reads

    Eeeek, I had no idea that this was about an alien invasion…. yet, I’m still drawn to it. I’ll probably have nightmares after reading it, lol. Thanks for the review, even though I’m now nervous about reading it I’m more excited as well. 🙂

  6. Nicole Hewitt

    I’m glad to read your review before I read the book – I think sometimes when everyone’s talking about a book, expectations get a little too high and I end up being disappointed.

  7. Heather Cranmer

    I’m worried it won’t live up to the hype either =( I’m glad in your review you said it wasn’t as good as you thought it’d be but it was still good.

    I haven’t really ever read a book with aliens in it because I’ve never really been interested in them, but I hope this book will change that. Saying that, I didn’t even know this book was about aliens until your review, lol.

  8. Amy

    I am current read a slow chunkster so I am looking forward to a faster paced book. I was hoping this would live up to the hype :(, but I still would like to read it.

  9. Bea Tejano

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book, saying that this will be the next Hunger Games. I’m excited to find out for myself:) Thanks for the review!:P

  10. Ashfa

    They’ve compared it to The Passage so I’m really, really excited to get this. Love the concept and the cover looks amazing. Great review.

  11. Jess

    I’ve been worried about the hype as well, but hopefully I will still like it. Either way, I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

  12. Kamla L.

    Great review! I’ve been reading all the rave reviews and excerpt teasers and watching the book trailers. It does sound like a terror inducing riveting story. Can’t wait to read it!

  13. Madiha S

    Gosh I’ve heard so much about this one! I love dystopia and have never read anything by Rick Yancey, so i’m definitely enticed by it. I really need to my hands on this one and soon!

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