The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.
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.
In The 5th Wave, an alien races sends various waves of destruction to crush humanity. I listened to this book rather than reading it and found that in the first part of the book I was enthralled by the descriptions of each wave given by Cassie, a lone survivor. She has been living out in the wilderness on her own. We spend this first part of the book with only her and her internal dialogue. I have to tell you I ate this part up. It was so stark and the waves were just a touch brilliant.
Death is everywhere and has left its mark on her. When finally we discover that she has a mission to complete, that her brother was taken to a military base and she is on her way to him things start to take a turn. Two other characters are introduced. Ben Parrish, Cassie’s adolescent crush, and Evan Walker – one of the aliens.
So you learn right away that the aliens have been among us for quite sometime. Living along side us in the bodies of humans – Hey does this sound like pod people folks, or The Host? Kind of like that. So Evan’s lived his whole life until one day the alien sleeping inside him wakes and they become one – but really there is no two separate entities they really are one. And Evan – he is a silencer, part of the 4th wave meant to purge the Earth of humanity. His problem…well he falls for a human.
This is where things seriously take a turn for me. Not that I didn’t enjoy Evan’s struggle – but that we really don’t get much of that from his point of view. We for the most part only get one scene of the book from his point of view even though he is obviously a main character for the rest of the book. So I would really liked to have had more from his perspective.
Instead, we get a lot of perspective from Ben Parrish or “Zombie” as he gets to be called when he starts to go through military training. This is what I did not like. Maybe it’s because I was in the Army and things didn’t ring right for me, or maybe I found Ben annoying, or maybe just maybe I just thought they were going more into his narrative than I felt necessary. All I know is this part bored and bugged me – I thought perhaps by the end I would see more of a point to it but, yeah, nope, I don’t. I think big chunks of this could have been scrapped and instead some of Evan’s perspective put in it’s place. With that in mind some of the time that Evan and Cassie spend together nursing her back to health could have been scrapped as well.
There was so much potential here that I felt just wasn’t reached for various reason. I get that when reading any piece of fiction I’m going to have to suspend my belief at certain times. But when billions of people die, many from a plague and yet almost a whole family is left unscathed but for one member causes me to give a big harumph uhh yeah not happening. But lets say it did happen that the genetics the father possessed was passed to the children and that’s what helped them survive. I can theorize that. So I won’t complain too much there – hey it could happen. Ok I admit it still bugs me, *evil laughter*.
Moving on, there were a lot of good things going here in The 5th Wave, I didn’t even mind the romance. I just felt like the entire middle portion of the book didn’t do it for me. So lets split this into a pie of 4 parts…part 1 – LOVED IT, part 2 – just meh, yeah thats right I said meh, part 3 – slogged through it, part 4 – now we’re talking again action wise but all so very convenient – but hey most action movies and books are convenient. Plus how it ends? I don’t know about Cassie – I do know I wanted to flick her fickle ear real hard at the close of the book just for that last particular scene. I just don’t get it, tons of time to let one guy get close to her and then poom you’re gonna let some other guy put his arm around you, I don’t even care what some of the circumstances are. I just don’t see it happening. Ok maybe it would but then hey it’s good grounds for me not look kindly on her right now. It’s not even all that big of a deal really – I’m rambling now, it was a very small thing/gesture but I can’t explain why that one particular thing bugged me so much. I’m quirky what can I say.
Overall, The 5th Wave was a decent read. Maybe I set my expectations too high, or maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I read it instead of listened. I’m a lover of science fiction and what started out promising ended up just ok. My hats off to the two narrators though, they did do an excellent job. Do I plan to read the next one? Probably *smirk*