5th Wave, The
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 choose to read 5th Wave for New Year's Eve because what better way to end the year, right? I was so glad I did. The book entrapped me from the first page - it was so realistic and I was immersed in the experience. The whole body-snatcher alien theory was turned around in such a way that made you question the limits of humanity. I was pin-balling between dread, anxiety and horror throughout; it was quite intense to read it.
Told from different perspectives, but majorly from the first perspectives of Cassie and Ben, the story questions your deductions at every turn. It is obvious that the boot camp is shady from the start but until halfway through the book, it is very difficult to pin down the real baddie. Cassie was such an amazing character - strong, resourceful, smart and alien-apocalypse-ready. Evan comes off a bit creepy at times, and Ben was annoying in the start with his hero-worship. The writing was brilliant and utterly 3-dimensional and the voices so distinct - Cassie being dry-sarcastic, Ben with his guilt-hero thing, Evan in conflict and Sam through his childish eyes. I wouldn't go into the details of the alien construct, because that would be spoilery, but the whole process of their invasion - totally fabulous. One of the best alien sci-fi I have come across!
Initial Impressions: What a wild ride! I've heard everyone raving about this book so when I was looking for an amazing book to pick up, this was my choice.
I'm not an alien person at all, so I was hesitant, but it was totally well done and very interesting. I definitely couldn't put it down and it was action-packed.
I think I was waiting for a BIT more epic but the plot was definitely twisty and so many stories interwoven that I never knew which side was good and which side was evil... And that was kind of the point.
I loved Cassie. She was strong-willed, sassy, and sarcastic which definitely kept me entertained.
Very rarely it was a bit hard to follow -- Sometimes because the action was going by so quickly and sometimes just because of the way it was written. It wasn't complicated but it was sort of stream-of-consciousness at times so thoughts had the tendency to jump and I had to follow.
I'd definitely recommend it!
Review originally posted on The Book Addict's Guide:
I was terrified to start THE 5TH WAVE. I do not like alien stories — basically ever — but after so many rave reviews and friends telling me it’s a totally different kind of alien story, I decided to trust them! The aliens in this book — usually referred to as “the Others” (because they’re something other than human) — are not little green men with big eyes come to Earth in corporeal form. They co-inhabit human bodies and have been “awakened” at the right moment, basically after all the growing up and puberty and whatnot, so they really are ONE with the human – body and soul. They look like humans, talk like humans, act like humans… Until they turn around and shoot you.
I think one of the things that also helped with the alien topic was that they were believable. We don’t know what aliens would look like if they did exist and I think this is a great way of NOT putting a body that we couldn’t possibly imagine to that idea of life outside of our planet. Also, the Others are essentially destroying the humans in waves (hence, THE 5TH WAVE) so there’s a sense of post-apocalyptic Earth that was a big part of the book as well. I usually enjoy those kinds of books. (I do love my post-apocalyptic & dystopian books!)
THE 5TH WAVE focuses mainly on Cassie who is essentially telling us her story as it happens to her with a few flashbacks here and there. I gotta say… I loved Cassie! She used to be the nice girl, and once the 1st wave hit, she really instantly toughened up. I loved her sarcasm and biting humor and she actually reminded me of one of my friends so it was almost like reading about someone I knew! I loved that we get to see how tough and brave Cassie is, but she’s still totally scared out of her mind at the same time. She has a lot of tough decisions to make to stay alive and I really felt that sense of nervousness and constant fear from her.
I know a few reviewers had said that the change of narrators was a bit confusing, but it didn’t really bother me. I was expecting each chapter to alternate or jump around, but there are specific sections and each section — not chapter — is narrated by one specific character. Sometimes it changes from first to third person and sometimes the voice is not always immediately clear, but I really wasn’t bothered by it too much. I think it was more of the fact that regardless of POV or narrator, I needed to focus just a bit more. Some parts were alternating between present time and flashbacks, some parts were jumpy because of action, some because of a stream of consciousness-style flow, but I didn’t find it confusing. It just required a bit more focus than reading a “fluffier” type novel.
The thing I loved the most was how all of the loose ends tie up in the end. Stories come together, mysteries solved, and we FINALLY find out who is good and who is bad. The whole point of the book is that Cassie can never trust anyone because the Others look just like any other human and there’s nothing to give them away as untrustworthy. I kept suspecting people left and right, switching my opinions of good and bad in my head, and when everything finally came together, I felt much better! I think because the book received so much hype, I wasn’t let down per se, but I wasn’t TOTALLY amazed and shocked. I loved the suspense, action, characters, and plot, but it wasn’t quite a five-star read for me.
Originally written for Scribd: http://blog.scribd.com/2016/01/07/top-books-for-january-2016/
I agree with people that it could've used to be cut down a little bit but damn.
Will definitely pick up the next book in this series.
Aliens have finally come to Earth, but instead of bringing gifts, they set off a deadly series of events. Here's a wave-by-wave program to take out the human race:
The 1st Wave: Shut down the technology.
The 2nd Wave: Cause tsunamis that wipe out densely populated coastal areas.
The 3rd Wave: Release a disease that is fatal to most of the remaining humans.
The 4th Wave: Use snipers to hunt down any survivors.
In a matter of months, Cassie Sullivan lost both her parents and saw her little brother get taken away. Some people might have just lost it, but for Cassie, that's not an option. She swore to Sam that she'd find him again, so she has to stay alive at all costs. After everything she's witnessed, her number one rule is trust no one.
I have mixed feelings about Cassie. On one hand, I really like her narrative voice. Sure she's scared, but she's also determined to survive, and she has this grim sense of humor about her situation. On the other hand, she's kind of passive and only starts kicking ass towards the end of the book. (There are some awesome action scenes here, by the way.) I was more than willing to forgive Cassie for weird behavior because 1, she's still a kid and 2, she wasn't prepared for this. (Like I said, I'd be fucking dead in her position, so I can't judge.) But then her character fell a few notches for me when some annoying YA tropes raised their heads.
Warning, the next paragraph is pretty spoilery. I've hidden the really big one.
During the first act, Cassie’s unease is depicted so well that it’s contagious. Then we go into the tension-killer that is the second act. After she gets shot in the leg, Cassie is found and nursed back to health by dreamy Evan Walker. To say the least, it’s a drastic shift in tone. Now she's in a cozy farmhouse with a super-hot guy who's happy to wash her hair and feed her freshly baked bread. (That weird noise you hear is the sound of my eyes rolling.) Some of the revelations about Evan concerned me. Turns out he is a Silencer, and killing Cassie was one of his assignments. He shot her in the leg because he couldn't bear to shoot her in the head. Is a guy watching you, following you, and dear God, attacking you just par for the course these days? Then there's the not-so-subtle buildup to a love triangle. It's a-comin'. Lord have mercy.
So, what did I like? There are multiple narrations, which I wasn't expecting but are really well done. Another survivor, Zombie, is being trained as a soldier alongside children, and his story alternates with Cassie's. Like Suzanne Collins, Rick Yancey had the knack of creating many characters that I actually got attached to, and when some of them died - yes, died - I was genuinely moved. The end of the book is packed with awesome action scenes. But what really gripped me was the suspense. The aliens aren't just able to look and act human, they also know how humans think and react. Who can you trust in a world like that? That was enough to get me past the YA cliches and fails in logic. Hopefully some of the remaining questions will be answered in The Infinite Sea.
Three and a half stars.
This is totally how I imagine an alien invasion would happen, no green aliens in a ship saying, "Take me to your leader" and I liked that. Rick went back and forth between many different voices, but I never had a problem keeping up with the storyline and who was talking. There are some twists that MAY be a bit predictable as you go along, but I still really liked this book and how it was written. The movie on the other hand, I was not a fan of, so if you saw the movie first and didn't like it, still check out the book.