The first wave killed thousands, the second wave killed millions, the third wave killed killed billions that included her mother, only 3% of the total population remained then the fourth wave came that killed her father and got her brother taken. Cassie’s first rule in surviving: trust no one.
And it happened, I was able to finally read The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. The synopsis really made me want to read the book and upon hearing that it will be adopted to a movie, I was given more reasons to read it and make sure I read it before the movie comes out. It’s really hard to review this book without giving out a lot of details that might spoil you guys but I’ll really try not to do so. So here it is.
“We’re here, and then we’re gone, and it’s not about the time we’re here, but what we do with the time.”
― Rick Yancey, The 5th Wave
One day, the earth woke up with a huge spacecraft hovering in the Earth’s orbit. Everybody knows that the time has come and aliens had already came to visit but everybody was clueless as to the purpose of their visit and when will they come out and meet the people of the earth. Until, the sight of the spacecraft just became normal to the people who sees it everyday until the “waves” started coming.
This emotionally intense science fiction adventure set during an alien invasion follows 16-year old Cassiopeia “Cassie” Sullivan as she struggles to survive both physically and emotionally during the invasion. Prior to the alien invasion, Cassie lives a normal life with her family. A normal teen who’s only problems are the same as other teens like when will her crush, Ben Parish, the high school football star notice her. Everyone’s world shifted when unusual things started happening.
The first wave shut down every source of power. Electricity died, vehicles stopped working, airplanes fell from the sky and cars lost control causing thousands to be killed. The second wave brought tsunamis killing people living near coastlines. After the first two waves, Cassie’s family remain calm and intact. Looting and killing became rampant and the family protected themselves to survive. Their hope is to go to a military base in the hopes that the government still has plans. Until the third wave came, an avian virus that became widespread and killed billions of people including Cassie’s mother. Now it’s time for the family to run as it’s no longer safe where they are staying. But nowhere is safe. The fourth wave came without no one else noticing. A perfectly executed plan, wherein the aliens controlled some people subconsciously. Technically speaking the people were like body-snatched without the human populace noticing. They became hosts to the alien forms. The body-snatched humans hunted, stalked and killed the few survivors remaining and Cassie’s father got killed. (Better read the book for the explanation as to how the aliens perfectly planned everything coming to their invasion.) The people, where Cassie and her father and brother camped with, were deceived into believing that they are being saved when a group of military soldiers came. Kids were taken and the adults were killed. But Cassie escaped. Cassie became hardcore and learned the ropes of surviving alone. With the M-16 rifle given to him by her father she adapted to the situation and learned how to shoot.
Her luck somehow ran out as she got shot along the way. She managed to escape but ended up trapped in a blizzard that got her almost killed if not for a mysterious guy, named Evan Walker, who save her and nurtured her back to health. But who is this mysterious good-looking guy who saved her? Is he really telling the truth about his true identity? Why is he so good at almost everything especially in combat and gun handling if he’s just a farm boy as what he claims to be? Clues after clues came until Evan’s true identity was revealed causing Cassie to be left with no choice but to run away and just be focused in looking for her brother. Evan offered to help telling her that he knows where her bother is and despite Cassie’s doubts, she agreed because she believe Evan’s knowledge about a lot of things especially with the invasion will help them.
Cassie then found herself at the enemy’s main camp. She’s focused at looking for her brother and an unexpected turn of events happened. Ben Parish is with her brother. Ben Parish who is now a trained military man working with the aliens. But Sam, Cassie’s brother, has a lot of trust with Ben. Is he still the same Ben that Cassie has known from high school? Why is her brother calling Ben as Zombie? And why does Ben call her brother Nugget? What’s the story behind the locket that Ben gave to Sam? With her trust taking her nowhere but danger, can he trust Ben who is now working with the enemy? With the fact that Evan followed her at the enemy’s camp, can they meet and eventually escape before the head commander finds out about their plan? And lastly, what is the fifth wave and will they survive it?
“Lies are complicated. The truth is simple.”
― Rick Yancey, The 5th Wave
The author created amazing characters. I like how he was able to develop each of the characters as the story progressed. Normal characters living the normal life then suddenly everything changed. It’s not hard to root for them as they try to survive a changed world. Cassie is an amazing protagonist. Her belief that she can do what she promised is a true mark of a heroine. Despite living alone at some point, she managed to survive by trusting her instincts and believing that she will survive. In a world that you can just immediately shoot yourself and get over it, she refused to give in. Her moments of weakness and some hasty decisions made her a believable character that anyone can easily relate to.
The book is written thru the points of view of Cassie, Ben and Sam in alternating sections. The author gave each a distinctive voice. Ben’s story is often touching, Sam’s is endearing while Cassie’s is witty and sarcastic. I like when books are written using first person because it draws me more closer to the minds of the character. It was a bit confusing during the first few chapters as I tried to adjust by whose mind is talking and juggle all the information that the book is giving and try to piece out every detail prior to the coming of the “Others”, as how the characters in the book named the aliens. The book, being told thru the point of view of Sam, a five year old child is also refreshing. The innocence of a child during a “war” was perfectly captured.
The book presented a unique view of an alien invasion which really got me thinking. instead of the usual attack and destroy stance, the aliens attacked us thru the inside without us knowing. The uniqueness of it made it a page-turner for me as I really have to know what happened. The world building of the author is very on point. There’s the elaborate description of the scenes to the well-planned out campaign of the aliens. I just hope the situation of other countries were also included to give readers a wider view as to the situation of the Earth.
“Too many people say something when they really have nothing to say.”
― Rick Yancey, The 5th Wave
I must say that the book is smartly written and well-researched. It has the intensity of a sci-fi novel but with more depth as it tackled deeper questions that will make readers ponder. It’s entertaining but at the same time quite disturbing which of course I am saying it in a good way. The author is also very witty and funny. I can’t help but laugh at the quips of the characters even if I should feel concern about their grim situation.
Pacing took it’s time. It’s like going on a journey and every turn is a surprise adventure as the mystery goes deeper the and the more horror unfolds. I like how the scenes move to and fro the invasion giving the readers a glimpse as to how the drastic change happened. It’s rich with detail and backstory.
My main problem though with the book is the love story aspect, that’s between Cassie and Evan. I felt that it was so rushed and it’s no near believable. It also has a weird start and how Evan explained it made me question it. It’s so out of place in the book and I’m hoping that the author could’ve just extended that part more for me to appreciate it and for me not to consider it as insta-love.
The convergence of the the story of the main characters at the end really got me. I was really amazed at how the author executed and planned how the story will go. The complexity and how elaborate it is is totally amazing and sensible. It’s not just an adventure and action-packed type of book, it has parts that I can say as mind games that will really get you thinking.
“Cruelty isn’t a personality trait. Cruelty is a habit.”
― Rick Yancey, The 5th Wave
The book talks about the value of humanity, trust and hope. How would humanity survive in a world where everyone you meet could be out to kill you? A world It’s like a battle we lost before it even began. It’s an emotional book that will make your heart race. Twists and turns were evenly distributed throughout the book with some jaw-dropping revelations. The depiction on the tenacity of the human heart and resilience of the human spirit really stood out from this book. I am very much excited as to how the story will develop on the second book.
4 stars out of 5.
And yes, the movie’s coming out soon. Here in the Philippines, the movie will come out on January 20,2016. I’ve already watched the trailer (watch it here) and I have high expectations for the movie. I must say that the casting made is very good. Hopefully, everything will live up to our expectations.
Author: Rick Yancey
Part of a Series: Series
Release Year: May 2013
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
No. of Pages: 457 pages
So what’s the book that you last read? Have you already read the book? Any plans of watching the movie? Let me know your thoughts. 🙂