Title: The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1)
Author: Rick Yancey
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Fiction
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Review Date: Aug 21, 2023
Number of Pages: 457 (hardcover)
My Rating: 4.5/5
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey is populated with people who realize their potential only when they’re forced to use it – heroes who have greatness thrust upon them. See the Cassie at the end of the book compared to the one in the flashbacks and first few chapters.
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.
I’ve been meaning to read this book (this series, in fact) for a very very long time. It kept getting pushed around my TBR (To Be Read) list and there were times I did pick it up, but between favorite authors and review copies I never had the chance to get around to it. But finally, here we are. And I loved this book. Honestly, I’m glad it took so long to actually get to this book, because I got to experience it as an audiobook.
Yes, this is my very first audiobook! I know I’m probably super late to the audiobook party, but it’s so great! I’ve written more about my audiobook experience here.
Back to the story, I went into it with high expectations, both from hearing rave reviews and my own anticipation considering how long it took to get to it. I am happy to report it lived up to expectations!
A wonderful YA science fiction with great emphasis on character development as well as plot.
The snippets of backstory via Cassie’s narration and diary served to highlight the difference between the world as it stands, and what it used to be like before the invasion.
The troubles came in waves, and now they’re at the fifth wave, with population decimation playing a role in humans being essentially outnumbered. The alien invaders have also made it such that humans are unable to trust each other, leaving them to fend for themselves without a support system.
When you don’t know who you can trust, how can you trust anyone?
Over the course of the book, Cassie comes into her own, but she was a strong character to start with. Or rather, one who was able to become strong after the invasion started. Strength under stress. This book is populated with people who realize their potential only when they’re forced to use it – heroes who have greatness thrust upon them. For reference, see the Cassie at the end of the book compared to the one in the flashbacks and first few chapters.
Her driving force is finding and reuniting with her kid brother, Sammy, and that’s the reason she finds that strength and capacity. While Cassie’s only goal was Sammy, she learns a lot more about the invasion and what’s actually happening with the alien leaders. What their eventual goal for the world is. She realizes so much more, and we do too, about what this means for the surviving humans. And how they need to combat this huge threat the the existence to humanity. After all, the aliens only want to eradicate humanity. They’re perfectly fine with the other living creatures. It reminds me of the oft-repeated comparison of humans to parasitic species who take over an ecosystem and mould it to their needs and benefit, without consideration for, and often destroying, other living creatures.
By the end of the book, without giving away too many spoilers, she has built a small but strong support system. And it’s exciting to see where the rest of the trilogy will take this group.
I enjoy end-of-the-world stories, and post-apocalyptic and dystopian future stories are my favorite subgenre, so this was definitely great. While I’m not the intended audience for YA anymore, when I added the book to my TBR, I was! And I’m going to continue reading this trilogy, and maybe read more YA in the future!
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey is for fans of dystopia, post-apocalyptic, alien invasions, sci-fi, YA fiction, stories about human resilience, mid-to-long series/trilogies, and multiple first-person POV chapters.