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.
Usually, after finishing a book, I like to wait a couple of days before formally writing a review. I like to take some time to think about and organise my somewhat jumbled thoughts regarding the characters, the plot and the writing for a couple of days before sharing them with other booklovers. However, I only just finished The 5th Wave yesterday and I am left with this overwhelming desire to share my love for this book straightaway… BECAUSE IT WAS ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!!
(I have also attempted a new structure for my reviews, so hopefully in the future they will now be easier to read.)
The characters make the novel. Cassie and Ben would have to be two of my favourite young adult science fiction characters, ever. No contest. Cassie is awesome. Amazingly awesome. She is a strong young adult heroine, with a (non-cliched) sarcastic attitude and will fight tooth-and-nail for what she believes in. I love her commentary of the world around her following the alien invasion, following the loss of her parents, and following the kidnapping of her brother. I felt so much emotion whilst reading about how she was losing hope, and how she wanted to simply give up but couldn’t because she made a promise to her little brother, Sammy. Cassie’s relationship with her brother made my heartbreak. My younger brother and I have a big age difference as well, so their relationship reminded me a lot of the relationship between my brother and I when we were much younger.
Ben was also an incredible character. At first, I must admit, I didn’t like him. But he develops quite wonderfully throughout the rest of the book. By the end, with the split narrative between him and Cassie, I actually felt excited when I reached his point of view chapters.
Unfortunately, the side characters aren’t as well developed, but they are just as interesting. I love the other group of teenagers and children that Ben ends up leading. I think that through them we really get to see how much the alien invasion has affected everyone on Earth. Ringer and Teacup were wonderful additions, and the rest of Ben’s squad were interesting, funny and emotionally-driven characters. However, I do hope that they continue to develop in the next two books. I would be very disappointed if they didn’t.
This book is full of emotion. Seriously, you’ll need a box of tissues. The way that Rick Yancey has chosen to write this book is incredible. I like that he decided to write the majority of the book in first person, because the characters of Cassie and Ben are such emotionally-driven individuals. Through his writing style I felt an array of emotions: anger, sadness, frustration. I wanted to cry, scream, hide under my bed for the rest of the month. And whenever a character had a moment of happiness — which was, unfortunately, kind of rare and brief — I was happy for them.
The overall plot is extremely easy to follow. There are plenty of twists and turns and mysteries along the way, but the overall storyline is pretty straightforward. There was not a single moment where I felt confused. The story progresses quite naturally.
There is a little bit of insta-love, which was probably the most annoying element of the book. The relationship between Cassie and Evan (a character that I actually don’t see the appeal of…) felt a little forced to me, but I grew to like their relationship near the end. If there had been a little more time to develop their relationship more naturally and slower, then I think their relationship would have felt a little less forced. (I would like to go into their relationship more in another post, though.)
Has anyone seen the movie? I plan on watching the movie once it comes out on DVD in Australia. Unfortunately, I missed it at the movies.
Have you read this book? What did you think of The 5th Wave?