5th Wave, Book 3, The
The Fifth Wave has always been a special piece of apocalyptic YA. It's an intoxicating mix of brutality and beauty. It's routing for charismatic characters as they fight against impossible odds. The whole time I was reading this, I was like, how can this possibly end without the destruction of the whole world? HOW?! It keeps you guessing throughout the action.
I am like Cassie Sullivan but I am in love with Marika (Ringer).
My only real complaint is that sometimes it's pretty hard to follow what's going on. I accidentally read a chapter thinking it was from the perspective of someone who it wasn't, and was totally baffled and had to reread it. Plus, this is all one big elaborate psychological torture game designed by aleins. It's easy to keep the basic premise in your head (it's repeated over and over that they're trying to deteriorate trust between the humans so that the humans slowly but surely kill each other off), but sometimes it's hard to follow the logic behind every decision. Who's backstabbing who here? Why again? It certainly wasn't helpful that I hadn't read the last two for a while, admittedly. It's an intricate plot and I definitely did not remember many of the details.
Overall: Damn, Ringer's almost as cool as Katniss, to be honest.
Okay, so to give this book the benefit, I did not look up what had happened in THE INFINITE SEA before starting it so I know I was missing a few things that had happened in book two, but I was kind of hoping it would all come pouring back once I started. (It did not.) I did finally watch THE 5TH WAVE movie a few months ago so at least I had that refresher of how it all started.
I've always had a hard time with Evan because I just like... really didn't want Cassie to be in love with an alien... But the whole series it's like, is he? Is he not? What in the world is going on?! That's part of the appeal of the whole series, is that we never truly know, but I felt like I was jerked around for so long that I just didn't believe anything anymore and I ended up feeling more numb towards it because I wasn't going to believe it no matter what happened. I was also Team Ben so as much as I got pushed toward Evan as a love interest the whole series, I wasn't having it.
The book was slow and didn't seem to move the plot forward much at all. Most of the true action and plot development happened in the last few chapters of the book, and they were also quite confusing. It felt like so much was jammed into the end of the book that I was trying to sort it all out at once instead of being given little kernels of information that I could apply to the series as it came to a close.
There were a lot of perspectives which didn't bother me but I also think that things could have been a lot more concise and cohesive and better told through a few less. The addition of Ringer as a main perspective always felt a little off to me and I kiiiiind of wish her character had been rolled up into Cassie and allowed Cassie to stay in the spotlight with the romance and the badassery. I get why it was necessary, as far as the end of the plot went, but meh. Not a fan.
I also hated what was done to Ringer's character. It seemed messy in so many ways, like there were so many ideas and they couldn't be done to Cassie so let's do them ALL to Ringer. There was a pregnancy story like which WHAT? UGH. Why was that even necessary? (Spoiler alert within spoiler tags: it wasn't.) It just felt so off and it didn't do anything for the book except make me annoyed. I guess like, let's preserve humanity and rebuild the world but ugh, that could have been accomplished with Sam and Megan.
The whole book felt sloppy and confusing and like it got way too far from the first book, which I loved. The tone, pacing, and direction felt totally different (although I'm sure that was the master plan all along, but it didn't feel like it) and some of the ending was so cheesy. I hate the "love is the answer" plot because it's cheesy and overdone. It's also STUPID in this book because if the aliens had been studying the humans for oh, thousands of years, HOW COULD THEY NOT HAVE TAKEN LOVE INTO ACCOUNT. If they're that smart to mastermind this whole thing, even if aliens don't understand a love emotion, it can be observed and people's actions can be explained by it. Nope. Not buying it. I also know that I was doing other things while listening to this audio but what in the world even happened in the end? So what was the answer!? That's a tough thing with being intentionally misled and redirected so many times -- even the reader starts to wonder what's real anymore, even if the truth is presented plainly. The characters still had doubts so that made me continue doubting. I don't even know if I understand what the whole point was...
I'm glad I finished the series because it's been on my shelf for so long but man, I haven't been this confused and frustrated by a series finale in a while. I'm not even mad because I was already sort of detached (okay, I'm a little mad) but the biggest disappointment comes from loving the first book in a series and by the end, you feel like you can't even recommend that series anymore. What a letdown.