Monday, January 25, 2016

Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

[Warning: Minor Spoilers Ahead]

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 Goodreads Summary:

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.


If you like non-stop action, this is the book for you! Though there are moments of peace interspersed throughout the story, the vast majority of the book is spent in tense situations where the reader is left desperate to find out what will happen next. Every situation leads to split-second decisions and reliance on instinct in a desperate struggle to survive. Aliens have invaded Earth but take on the guise of humans, so the only person the main character Cassie can trust is herself. Also the chapters are short, further aiding the fast-paced nature of the book. I can honestly say that I was never bored, as there was always something exciting going on.

Though most of the time I dislike multiple perspectives in books, I actually really enjoyed its use in The 5th Wave. Seeing the story from several different characters' points of view meant being able to see several different aspects of the alien invasion. The characters spend most of their time apart from each other and in completely different places, so each story line is unique until they finally intertwine at the very end.

I also really enjoyed the moments of dry humor throughout. Though all of humanity is at risk of dying out and Yancey's characters are in some very intense situations, readers still get a touch of wry and witty humor, often aided by pop culture references that tie the story to the present day and make it all the more personal. 


Although I liked the different perspectives, initially they were quite confusing. I wasn't expecting a POV switch and ended up wondering why Cassie was being referred to as a "him." It took me a little while to realize that I was seeing a different story line and a different character. Once I got used to it, however, it proved to be quite an enjoyable and effective tool for advancing the story.

Because the book is so focused on action, Yancey tends to neglect description in his writing. Locations are left mostly to the imagination beyond simple descriptions like "a corridor" or "a dentist's chair." Again, this aids the fast-paced nature of the book but makes the writing style somewhat too simplistic.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this action-packed novel and am eagerly looking forward to seeing the movie.

Warning: There is a good deal of strong swearing in this book.

Now I'm going to do a breakdown of each element of the book, judging it on different criteria. I'll rate each element on a scale of 1-5, 1 being bad, and 5 being amazing.

Plot: 5

Complexity: 5
Creativity: 5
Believability: 4
Surprise: 4

Characters: 4

Depth: 5
Personality: 4
Believability: 4

Writing Style: 4

Description: 2
Tension: 5

Overall Score: 4

Happy Reading!


1 comment:

  1. Great review! I've had a few people suggest this book to me because I like the genre. I enjoy multiple perspectives too if the writer handles it right.