Publisher: Putnum Juvenile
Release date: Out Now
The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.
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.
*Blurb taken from Goodreads*
Lou: I hadn’t heard any buzz about this book until a few days before its release date, and once I became aware of this book I purchased it on release date. This book was full of awesome. A-W-E-S-O-M-E. The setting and the narrating was superb and I was instantly rooting for Cassie from the very first chapter. The narration does break a few walls but it worked for me, and what I loved the most was the rawness and desperation that Cassie lived through each day to survive. There’s no softness about her and she shoots to kill first and there’s no other option.
Has: I heard the pre-buzz for awhile and because it was so strong (and the last time I’ve seen buzz this apparent it was over ANGELFALL) – I preordered it automatically. And I am so thankful I did. It was definitely a raw, dark and gritty post apocalyptic that didn’t shy away or gloss over elements and I totally agree about being sucked in from the first page. It was a clear and compelling opening with an engaging heroine. I felt this is how you do a post apocalypse setting and the premise of the alien invasion was cold, stark and oh so chilling.
Lou: The story of how the alien invasion came to be was done in a way that didn’t bore me to tears. We went through flashbacks but they never slowed the pace of the story. Cassie was understandably a different girl to the girl she became once she lost her entire family. It takes you through the different waves of the alien invasion. And the aliens are not your average green martians or other ugly beings. They infiltrated into the human population years ago in a way that’s smart and yes, a little hard to believe but I can’t complain because ALIENS. When Cassie first loses her mother and then afterwards, her father and brother, there’s no time for screaming, weeping or breaking down in depression. She doesn’t have time to go through the stages of grief because she has to stay alive, and I loved the pace of the book. I also enjoyed the other narrations of the secondary characters but the only one I didn’t like was the love interest of Cassie. Oy boy. Where do I start?
Has: Ohhh yes! I loved that it was so intense and bleak with the way the alien invasion was set out. Even though one stage was a bit unbelievable it really add a tone of chilling atmosphere into the story.
As for the love interest, I actually liked him but I do get your point about why you disliked him. But I felt it linked up to the question of themes of humanity vs that of aliens. And I liked how it tied in with how to stay alive and being human was to be alienated from other humans because Cassie was mistrustful of those pertaining to be people but could have aliens who are so intent on destroying humanity. I also felt their dynamic was interesting and although I wasn’t that keen in beginning of their relationship – I liked how it developed and it evolved into something that was full of nuance and detail.
Lou: I would have love to have seen a relationship develop if not for the fact that Evan was an alien stalker, intent on killing her, and then became obsessive and grew to love her in such a unhealthy way. I couldn’t believe that Carrie just took it in her stride and had a semi-relationship of sorts with him. I wish there hadn’t been a romance because it didn’t feel natural or organic. Evan was an alien creeper and I wish there was more time spent on how he struggled with his life before the aliens arrived and afterwards (trying so hard not to spoiler it). In a way I was glad we saw Cassie’s crush from school, Ben Parish, narration because his story intertwines with Cassie. Whilst Cassie is out in the wilderness trying to survive and cohabiting with stalker love interest, Ben is part of a ‘rebel’ group where they’re made up of teenagers and small children. Ben does became part of Cassie’s life but only at the end of the novel. I do hope in future books we see Ben, the normal dude that’s not a stalker, end up as a love interest for Cassie.
Things with Evan become complicated because when Cassie figures out who he is, he decides to switch sides and becomes a defector and conspires with Cassie to take them down.
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Spoiler: During their attack on the alien settlement, I think Evan was killed in the explosion. But it was written in such a way that it wouldn’t surprise if he pops back up in the second book. Please, LET STALKER ALIEN BE DEAD.
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Has: I liked Evan but I agree, I wished we had more of his insights but I suspect that is going to be revelations for future installments. However I do think his loyalties were torn and it felt for me that living as a human he had divided feelings in the agenda that was driving humans into extinction. I also felt he connected with Cassie was due to her determination to survive as well as part of his own loss with his human family. I do think that was glossed over but I definitely think he was more human than alien and that is going to be a twist about that in the future. But I do agree with you about the Twilighteque love triangle. Ben’s character and survival was a bit too much of a coincidence and I really hope that this doesn’t morph into some tired wangsty love triangle but I think Yancey laid out some interesting dynamics with Ben being paired with another female character. And I liked how things ended towards the end of the book which really sets things up in an intriguing way.
Lou: Despite the romance, The 5th Wave is an incredible book that reads like a movie. I can see it becoming a motion picture and I’d love to see that happen. The ending left it on a great note and I can’t wait to see how Cassie and Ben begin the next stages of their life because you know the aliens are going to get their revenge and it’s not gonna be pretty. I can’t rate this book enough and if you want a fantastic alien adventure, then please give this book a chance. I give the 5th Wave an A-.
Has: The 5th Wave is a fantastic start of a tense and stark post apocalyptic series. I loved how Rick Yancey sets up his vision of an alien invasion which is a cold and methodological extinction of the human race. But what I really loved so much about the book, was the characters who were truly alive in their determination to survive and retain their humanity even though so many events in the books strip down feelings and thoughts. The action was non-stop and I was glued to the pages to see what happened next and was very sad to reach the end. I also highly rate this book because this is truly a gritty read and I am counting the days for the sequel to come out.
I give The 5th Wave an A.