Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

January 11, 2014 3 stars, Audio Book, Book Review 15 ★★★

The 5th Wave

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*

The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1)

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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15 Responses to “Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey”

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      Well I think the narration and the way the perspectives change was very obvious so I think you’d be fine on that. I’ve heard mixed things on it as well. It’s not that I didn’t like it. Heck I’ll read the second one as well. I just thought it was ok, it didn’t blow me away is all. The beginning rocked…the further along just not so much.

  1. Jessica @ a GREAT read

    Ooh nice review! I still have to read this one myself. From what I recall reviews were good. Maybe a few things bugged people, like they bugged you, but that happens with any book really! Really hoping to get to this one before the sequel comes out, but then soooo many other books get in the way to take priority. I will make it happen though! 😉 Great review!

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      Oh definitely, Heck I think some books are like purposefully trying to bug me! For sure things that bugged me probably won’t bug other people at all. Hence why if you want to read something I totally always just go for it! I hope you enjoy it if you decide to give it a try!!

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      I think if you have a more inkling towards the adult side such as you do that you’re better off with the adult book. I hadn’t even known he’d written another series. I mean this wasn’t bad, just not as great as I’d hoped. I’ll still read the next. Be choosey with your YA!! – I say read the ones that scream to you to be read. Or the ones Mogsy and I scream at you must be read lol.

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      I hope you enjoy it. I don’t think it felt or looked huge but then sometimes I read adult epic fantasy books that are close to 1k pages. Lately though anything over 600 pages does feel like a task. I don’t know how many pages this was offhand since I listed to The 5th Wave on Audio!

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      Its nice to hear you loved it! So the last scene didn’t tick you off at all? It peeved me quite a bit. I do still plan to read the one after The 5th Wave – wonder if it has a title yet….

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      Oh that might not be the case – it just might have been errr…well ok maybe you will who knows. You could always try the audio, listen with half an ear. It had its good parts and bad parts…but yeah I wasn’t impressed. But i’ll likely pick up the second if I snag it for review.

  2. Deyse

    I love scifi too but The 5th Wave just didn’t work out for me, I started reading it and I just… Didn’t cared for the story, I put it down and never picked up again. But I’ll probably pick this one up again because it wasn’t badly written or annoying in any aspects so worth a try. I blame the rave reviews that set such high hopes haha. Great review 🙂

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      I agree I think the hype probably damaged it a bit for me. I try not to pay attention to hype but sometimes its hard not to. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t really like it overly much. There were too many parts that didn’t work for me after the point she wakes up from being rescued from the storm. Course some of that was the kid/military stuff too as well as the romance. So I thought it was just ok. Thanks for coming by!