Friday, 15 May 2015

Book Review | The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

It's been ages since my last book review. Why? I've barely read a book all year. It's really out of character for me, as I've always been an avid reader, but recently I've just not been able to get in to anything. I've had so much going on in my head that I've been struggling to concentrate, and when I have been able to, I've fallen asleep before I've read three pages. And that's why I've only finished one book so far this year! I started many, but I didn't find my reading mojo until I began reading The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.

Title: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.

Genres: Dystopian, sci-fi, fiction, young adult.

Why I chose it: The exciting synopsis caught my attention, and with the promise of another dystopian tale, I just had to have it.

Plot: The 5th wave is a classic tale of man vs. alien, set in the modern day. The human race is being exterminated by an advanced alien race who have claimed the planet as their own. The invaders are intent on cleansing the planet, and they are doing so in a system of waves.

The 1st wave took out half a million people.

The 2nd wave put that number to shame. 

The 3rd wave lasts a little longer. Twelve weeks... four billion dead.

In The 4th wave, you can't trust that people are still people. 

And the 5th wave? Nobody knows. But it's coming.

The story is told from multiple narratives, and begins through the eyes of sixteen year old Cassie. Once just a normal teenage girl lusting after boys, Cassie's life now revolves around survival. She needs to search for supplies, while hiding from the alien drones which are hunting people down. All she cares about is surviving long enough to find her little brother, Sammy, who was taken away to a camp with other children. In order to keep her promise to him, she knows she must survive and to survive, she has to stay alone. She can't trust that people are still people; nobody can. The aliens don't look like aliens, nor do they patrol the Earth in flying saucers. They are invading from within.

Can she really trust quiet, mysterious Evan Walker, who saves her from an icy tomb? And will she save her brother before it's too late?

Meanwhile, children are being molded in to soldiers at a military base, but is it what it seems?

Thoughts: I found myself hooked on this book before the first chapter was even finished. It was one of those books I just couldn't put down, and when I had to, I was always impatient to get back to it. The story was fast-paced, with plenty of suspense which was only intensified by the sub-plots which switched back and forth every few chapters. This kept me reading on and on just so I could find out what happened next to the characters in the sub-plot before. 

The story has multiple narratives, with two making up the bulk of the story. I enjoyed reading from each perspective, but it was Cassie's story that I was invested in most. I found her voice witty,  feisty and likable, and it was difficult not to hope that she'd make it back to her brother. Her relationship with Evan was also interesting to see develop, especially as it was clear who Evan was from the start- even before his true identity was revealed. I'd be surprised if anybody didn't see it coming.

The other main narrative, follows a group of child soldiers led by adolescent Zombie. It's told from within and around a military camp, and brings a new perspective to the fight for survival against the alien beings. It brought plenty of excitement to the book, and it had me on the edge of my seat as the story unfolded, and the truth came out.

While tales of alien invasions have been told a million times, there is something unique about The 5th Wave. This is probably the first alien sci-fi story I've read which doesn't consist of flying saucers, or stereotypical alien beings visibly conquering the world, and exterminating humans en mass with machines. It's a unique take on an old classic, and it's a brilliant little read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and if you love dystopian, sci-fi, and tales of alien invasions, I think you will, too!

Rating: 5/5.

The 5th Wave is the first book in a series, and I'm already on to book number two. It's safe to say this book has helped me find my reading mojo again! I'll be sure to review the next book as I'm done.

Have you read The 5th Wave yet? Do you enjoy alien invasion stories?


  1. Sounds like a good book I might pick it up xx

    1. I really enjoyed it, and I think you would, too. xx


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