Today I'll be reviewing The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, the first book in The Fifth Wave series. This novel is 457 pages of nonstop action, characters that you root for, and plot twists that will keep you guessing well after the end of the book. Here's the synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
My first impression of this book was that it was going to be the next big thing. I read the synopsis at the beginning of this year, and I knew I would love it. I really like the ominous cover as well, it's not like the average young-adult book cover. After receiving the book in the mail, I saw something on the cover that I didn't notice online... the rabbit on the top of the book, I can't help but see it. I know it wasn't intentional, but the light shining through the trees at the top looks like the shape of a rabbits head. Every time I look at the cover now, all is see is a rabbit. I'm going to start by listing my cons: it was a little slow in the beginning, just the first fifty pages or so. Also, I didn't like reading from Sammy's POV. Other than that I really don't have a problem with this novel. I'm going to list several things that I liked about this book under different categories: characters, setting, plot, and quotes.
- Cassie is an amazing female character, she's kick-a**, a smart-a**, and sometimes a dumb-a** (why confront Zombie in the middle of escaping and ask if he remembers the baby conversation?). Aside from that instance, and the 30 times she raves about Ben Parish in the first chapter, she didn't disappoint.
- Evan is another amazing character. At first you just think he's a sweet guy with a dead family, and who likes to care for people. Then you start to question who he is, and where he goes. I was definitely on a roller-coaster ride trying to figure out the truth about Evan. I thought that the romance between him and Cassie was a little weird at times, but overall it worked, especially some of the end scenes in which he saves her. Oh, and how can I forget that hilarious scene towards the end between Cassie, Evan, and Zombie... one of my favorite scenes EVER!
- Zombie (aka Ben Parish) is my favorite character of the entire novel. I know a lot of people disliked him, and really didn't enjoy his POV, but I loved reading his POV more than Cassie's. I can't describe how awesome he is, he started off as a popular kid whose smile could charm people into doing anything, then changed into a weak kid who could barely move, then into a guy who stands up for others, becomes a leader, and kicks some serious alien butt. I don't want him to end up with Cassie, I think Evan is a better fit, but I really want him and Ringer to get together, they would be the power couple of this story.
- Ringer is another kick-a**, smart-a** female character. She is not the dumb-a** that Cassie is, and I'm very glad. I really loved Ringer, she started off very strong, and I couldn't help but not like her. She then starts to grow on the reader, and the relationship between her and Zombie is amazing, I love the awkwardness between them because the don't want to like each other. I also love the scenes in the book where Zombie tries to make Ringer smile.
- Sammy is an okay character. I understand that he's a major part of the book, but sometimes I just couldn't help but dislike him. I didn't like his POV either. He does start to grow on you a bit, but I think him and Bear are just slowing the group down. But I don't want him gone, I really like him now, that's just how I felt towards the beginning. I can't wait to see how he is in the next novel... I hope he's not like Carl from the Walking Dead, with each season he manages to make me hate him more.
- I had no problem with the setting, it was very post-apocalyptic, and barren. I really liked when they were in the camps, because it felt like they were on the verge to being caught all the time.
- I really like the plot of this story, I feel that it's very original. The alien invasion isn't that original, but the invasion happening in waves is very new, and amazingly awesome. So far the only main goal of the novel was to find Sammy, and now that they are together again, I guess the goal is going to be destroying the aliens, but who knows? Maybe someone else has a family member that needs saving, I hope not!
- “God doesn't call the equipped, son. God equips the called. And you have been called.”
- “A moment comes in war when the last line must be crossed. The line that
separates what you hold dear from what total war demands. If he
couldn't cross that line, the battle was over, and he was lost.
His heart, the war.
Her face, the battlefield.
With a cry only he could hear, the hunter turned.
- “What doesn't kill us sharpens us. Hardens us. Schools us. You're beating plowshares into swords, Vosch. You are remaking us. We are the clay, and you are Michelangelo. And we will be your masterpiece.”
- “We'd stared into the face of Death, and Death blinked first. You'd think that would make us feel brave and invincible. It didn't.”
- “You can only call someone crazy if there’s someone else who’s normal. Like good and evil. If everything was good, then nothing would be good.”
- “We’re here, and then we’re gone, and it’s not about the time we’re here, but what we do with the time.”
- “But if I'm it, the last of my kind, the last page of human history, like hell I'm going to let the story end this way. I may be the last one, but I am the one still standing. I am the one turning to face the faceless hunter in the woods on an abandoned highway. I am the one not running but facing. Because if I am the last one, then I am humanity. And if this is humanity's last war, then I am the battlefield.”
Overall I give this book 5/5 stars, it's an amazing thrill ride, and it lingers with you for days after you've read it. I recommend it to any and everyone. I loved this book, and it's definitely one of my favorite debuts of this year. I hope you guys liked this review, and I hope you loved the book. If you've read The 5th Wave, leave a comment letting me know what you thought of it. Tomorrow I will be posting a review of Legend by Marie Lu, so stay posted on the blog to see what I thought.