Title: The 5th Wave
Author: Rick Yancey
Genre: YA Dystopian
Opening lines: ‘…There will be no awakening…’
Blurb: 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 the beings that look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. 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.
My thoughts: There is something for everyone in THE 5TH WAVE – suspense, adventure, mystery, terror, drama, sadness, warfare and yes, even a little love. Before I picked it up I saw blurbs that described THE 5TH WAVE as being “…The Passage meets Ender’s Game…” well as I have never read Ender’s Game and I thought it was nothing like the Passage, I can only say I am surprised that Harry Potter comparisons were not thrown in as well. When will people judge each book on its own merit rather than comparing it to other ones! Alien invasion stories are nothing new, but for me they are always scary propositions. What I liked about this invasion is that these aliens had actually invaded us years before the mother ship turned up so publically; they are already here and in human form. As far as Earth is concerned, when the giant spaceship arrives it is the first contact and it certainly is the worldwide focus of human attention, inciting political mayhem and fear among the people. Then the 1st wave struck. A massive global electromagnetic pulse which destroyed all electronics in one foul swoop, killing hundreds and thousands of people. When the 2nd wave hits a few weeks later, three billion people are killed in a single day. The aliens manage to trigger massive earthquakes and along with the resulting tidal waves every person living within 100 kilometres of the ocean die. At the end of the second wave Cassie, her brother Sam and parents are still alive. Her mother dies in the 3rd wave when the remaining human population are hit by ‘Red Death’ a disease spread by specially infected birds – it had a 97% mortality rate. When the 4th wave hits that’s when people realise the aliens have been here for years. The aliens, living in humans, now start to hunt the humans that are left. Cassie, Sam and their father go to a military camp for protection – but Cassie realises something is not quite right and it is here that Sam gets loaded onto a yellow school bus with other children to be taken to a safe place she promises shell come and find him. Cassie manages to hide as her father and all the other adults are blown up. Now Cassie is on her own with the 5th wave on its way. Or is it? Could it be here already?
THE 5TH WAVE came highly recommended however it really didn’t completely deliver what I expected and a couple of things took the edge off the story for me. The first half of the book I was thinking wow – I was actually shaking in fear as the scenario scared me so much. It was only when I got to the second half of the story after Sam gets on the bus, that author Rick Yancey lost my undivided attention and I found my eyes glazing over on more than one occasion. This was mostly because of the endless military action which just does not excite me. While I can understand the concept that Yancey was wanting to evoke, and even though I can cope with a fictional war in small doses, this went on and on and on, page after, page after relentless page. The one other let down was when the story perspective changed. It took a while for me to click that another character was now relating the story. So it broke the flow of the story while I had to try and think whose eyes I was seeing the story through now. Having said that I did enjoy the story, I liked that these aliens had obviously been planning their invasion for a long time and they chose to torment humans rather than wipe them out with one big bang.
Rating: B – Great. I really enjoyed reading it and it is a book I will be recommending to all my friends who like this genre.
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