June 3, 2013

Review: The 5th Wave

It is a bit difficult to write this because I am so afraid of ruining important plot points. This is one of those books where there are a lot of twists and turns awaiting readers—even the predictable ones—and I don’t want to accidentally give something away. So, I am going to do the best I can with how I feel about this book.

love the cover
Title: ‘The 5th Wave’
Author: Rick Yancey
ISBN: 9780399162411
Pages: 457
Publisher: Putnam
Available: NOW at your local library or bookstore
Source: Purchased personal copy

Summary (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 Thoughts:

I absolutely loved this book. It was refreshing to read a bit of dystopia with a twist.

The plot is nicely paced. I did not find myself yawning or becoming bored. I was engaged from page one. What I thought was clever was the use of alternate narrators without telling readers which character they were experiencing. I read some complaints about this strategy, and I will admit it was a risk the author took, BUT, here’s why I liked it: in the novel characters are not sure who they can trust, who anyone really is. These feelings are replicated with what we experience as readers while we navigate through the plot, discovering which character is the focus.

My husband, a huge sci-fi reader, read this book too. I wouldn’t write this review until he had time to read it. He too enjoyed the plot and the alternating points of view. When I asked him if it bothered him that we are not told directly which character we are reading, he said, “No, it takes away from what the author is trying to accomplish. It also spoils elements of the plot.”

One element of the plot that I enjoyed was how Yancey revealed to readers how the first four waves transpired. We learn about them from the characters as they remember the events and how those events have led them to that moment in the novel. I really, really, really enjoyed that. It was one of the first comments I made to my husband when he asked how I was enjoying the novel.

Well played.

Now on to the characters.

The main star of the novel is Cassie. Everything in the novel eventually leads to her. She is not a badass. She is not anything special. She just is. And she is trying to survive. She does this by staying on her own, keeping herself aware of all around her, and trusting no one.

She is focused on one task: finding her brother. Her character develop revolves around the events that led up to her brother being taken. It is through her that readers learn what transpired in the first four waves, and it is through her that all things come together.   

There are two main male characters—and no, it’s not a love triangle—who help Cassie on her journey. Evan and Zombie.

Oh Evan, can Cassie trust you? Are you the one who will help her save her brother? And that is all I can write about Evan.

I vote Zombie as my favorite character in the novel. He has spunk. He has passion. He has compassion. He has the nerve to stand up for one of his own to a man that is feared by all.

The secondary characters in the novel bring it all together. They are there to enhance Cassie, Evan, and Zombie. The secondary characters show their humanity, their trials, and their lives before and after the waves began.

I have read complaints that the novel is predictable to the most seasoned sci-fi readers, which is why I asked my husband to read it. I thought maybe I missed something because I am not such as seasoned one. At the conclusion he said, “Interesting plot and characters.”

As a whole, ‘The 5th Wave’ is worth your read if you enjoy reading dystopian novels. It is definitely not to be missed. Even my husband agrees.

What’s the best dystopian novel you’ve read lately?

Comment below and let’s talk about books.

Happy Reading!

-      The Hodgenator

1 comment:

  1. I totally loved this one too, and won't be at all surprised if it makes my top 10 Ya books in 2013! Great review!


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