The Fifth Wave - Rick Yancey
Published: May 7, 2013
Young Adult Science Fiction
So, I didn't even plan on reading this book yet.
It literally just happened to be on my Kindle and seemed like the least complicated read before bedtime.
I should note that I had just finished City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare, and wanted to listen to something via the Text to Speech function, as I am want to do.
And then, I started listening to the book.
And bed time got later and later.
And eventually I thought I was never going to sleep, and I was like 15% through the book.
It has been a while since a book has done that to me.
The Fifth Wave just completely piqued my interest.
Here we have a young, strong female voice. It's pretty much Hell on Earth and she has a rifle and a hand gun. HOW OFTEN DO YOU SEE THIS??
Through her backstory, we get to find out why she's living alone in the woods and how she got her hands on a rifle. We also get glimpses of Before which mainly focus on her crush, Z-- sorry, I mean Ben. Ben Parish.
Before I get too into it, the story is told via four different and overlapping narrators:
Cassie, Sam (Cassie's brother), Evan Walker, and Zombie.
Cassie is sixteen, I think, and has had a tough go of it, but she's coping. Sam is five and he's been taken to join the child army where Zombie is. Zombie is a former football player who takes to army life like a duck to water. He is Sam's CO. He just wants to prove himself and kill the aliens that have infested the planet. And that brings me to Evan Walker, who is about nineteen. He's cool, but yeah, he's an alien. And also Cassie's love interest.
The only thing that got me was about 20% in, when I found out that the aliens were like brain leeches. I was really worried it was going to be like The Host by vampire rapist, Stephanie Meyer. I haven't read The Host, but I do hope to this month. I really hope they aren't similar. I mean, I've seen the film, but the book is always different.
It's just that the aliens are almost exactly the same. Hmm.
Maybe not the only thing. I kept noticing as I got towards the end of the book that some of the characters were saying things that they would have no point of reference for. I can't remember specifics, but I know that at one point Cassie says something that Zombie has said, word for word, although at this point they haven't even met. It happens a couple of times, and was a bit distracting.
The Fifth Wave was such a refreshing read though. All of the characters were interesting and well rounded. They gave realistic reactions to events, and the dialogue was superb.
Realistic reaction #1: When Cassie finally brings up "the babies" on the very last page, and him not remembering "the babies" because, yep, he never really noticed her in high school. And that is probably one of my favourite parts of the book, just for that reaction.
So, I think the reason this book captured my attention so quickly is that it reminds me of The Walking Dead. What makes The Walking Dead such a successful TV series is that it focuses on the plight of the human, and how they interact and react. The Fifth Wave does a very similar thing. We don't really get to know much about the aliens until we are narrated by Evan. It's all about the human struggle to survive. Even in Camp Haven, the soldiers are trained to protect the last dregs of humanity. And even with Evan, who's soul purpose is as Silencer, but he protects and defends Cassie. He even struggles to identify with his alien nature, always wondering if he is both or neither.
I'm a little bit gutted that I read this after I made my Top Ten Sci-Fi Books list as it would definitely be in the top three.
I hope I didn't spoil the book too much for you, I did really enjoy it and recommend it with much gusto.
The sequel comes out in May and I can't wait! Especially since I thought this was a standalone novel!