Friday 17 May 2013

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

There will be no awakening.
The sleeping woman will feel nothing the next morning, only a vague sense of unease and the unshakable feeling that someone is watching her. Her anxiety will fade in less than a day and will soon be forgotten.
Published in May 2013  by Penguin
Pages – 457
Goodreads Summary
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.
This book has generated a lot of attention in the last month and rightly so as I do think it’s very different from any book that I have read in a long time. I lost interest in aliens and anything remotely science fiction when Mulder and Scully bowled out of The X Files many years ago. Up until that point, I was in love the idea of  visitors from another planet popping down for a quick invasion. Now, after reading The 5th Wave, I have a thirst for more sci fi thrillers, especially in the YA market.
The 5th Wave is  a really rather clever book. The author has smashed the idea of little green men and brought the idea of unworldly visitors into the 21st Century. The aliens in this book cannot be seen or heard. But you know they are there. They cause mass destruction on the Earth without even setting foot out of their spaceships. And then as if by magic, everyone realises that they are already on Earth and may have been here for years. You cannot trust anyone anymore, because you just don’t know if they are human or not. 
The book is told from multiple viewpoints but in chronological sections. Each time you come across a black page, you are aware that someone else is speaking so you get to read the story with a more rounded view of what is going on. Each section ends on a bit of cliff-hanger and you swiftly read further to find out what happens next.
Cassie is a brilliant character. She has the hunger and drive of Katniss from The Hunger Games and will stop at nothing until she finds her little brother. Her focus and determination never falters. Evan and Zombie were utterly brilliant. Having read The Hunger Games and  I Am Number Four, I can see why the book has been described as similar, as in all you have very strong teenage protagonists who are determined to save the world, at any cost.
Half way through the book there is a huge breath halting twist which I did not see coming. The author practically flips the story on it’s head and wrestles it to the floor. Very very clever and a complete shock! All I can say is appearances are very deceiving and don’t believe everything you read.
The ending was left at a stage where although I was satisfied, it left me wanting more. I can only hope we find out what really happens in the near future. If I had to compare it to anything, I would probably describe it as  a mixture of the 80’s mini series ‘V’, Independence Day and Starship Troopers as it has those mind blowing aspects to it as well as the military involvement. It makes the hairs on the back of your neck rise, as you realise just how easy it would be for aliens to knock out the planet in one fail swoop.
A terrifying, realistic read that will have you checking your phone signal on a regular basis.


  1. I am so excited to read this. Even more so now! I know that I'm getting this for my birthday next month (I saw it!!!). :D

    1. LOL, you sneaked a peek at your pressies? That's bad Kate! Shame on you.

    2. Hehe! It was an accident!

  2. This looks like a fantastic book - I can't wait to read it! Great review, too. :)

  3. I too pretty much lost interest in all things alien when Mulder & Scully bowed out, but this one has me all excited! Can't wait to read it soon!

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