Description from Goodreads: 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.
I wasn’t sure how to feel about The 5th Wave at first. I wasn’t a fan of the way the book was written at the beginning, and the first third seems to have a bit of a different writing style than the rest. There is a lot of flashing back and differing POVs and it is hard to tell who is who at first. And then there is the exposition and info-dumping. It just keeps going and going, and though I was starting to feel something for these characters, I wanted THEM to tell me their story, not the author. And that’s how I felt. Like it was this happened and then THIS happened, and finally this happened. Even though it is written much better than that, it felt all over the place and disconnected. Where was the plot, and when was it going to get going?
But. Even though there was a lot of jumping around, once I got involved in a chapter–whether it was in the past or present–I was won over. The problem was though that some of them were too short. It felt like the second I got engaged, it would end and then we would be with another character.
It’s also at this time that I must mention a really weird quote that I found in the book:
“Forgive us our trespasses,as we forgive those who trespass against us.” At which point her arch nemesis, the sole atheist in Camp Ashpit’s foxhole, a college professor named Dawkins, shouted out, “Particularly those of extraterrestrial origin!”
Was it necessary to name him Dawkins? And what was the point in doing that? I hardly think the author meant the actual Richard Dawkins, so what gives? And only having one atheist in this refugee camp? That’s another thing I don’t believe because in a time of trauma, most people would choose one side or another. They would turn to their faith or lack thereof. So it actually kind of offended me a little as an atheist to think there would only be one of us. I just don’t find that realistic in the least. There are more of us than you think. Maybe not as vocal as I am, but there are a lot of atheists out there. So this made me have a sad face and it kind of hung over my head there for a while as I was reading.
Okay, now I’m angry. Pause for a second.
Moving on. At around page 290, the book really began moving and it got really intense. So if you are a reader like me waiting for something major to happen to yank you into the narrative, that’s about when it happens. It’s not that I disliked the book before, because I didn’t, but that is the moment when I felt truly engaged. Creeped out, uncomfortable, and overwhelmed.
The major problem with The 5th Wave that I could see is that it never stops being predictable. It is all laid out there for you if you just think for a second. And in some cases it doesn’t even take that much thinking. It is just so obvious. All the way until the end, I knew what was going to happen. This is not necessarily a bad thing as it’s not like it isn’t a great story, and hey, Cinder was predictable as all get out and I loved that book, but somehow here I expected more.
But what matters the most in this book is the relationships between the characters. What they do when they are knocked off their feet and all hope is lost. How they fight, what they do, who they trust. What plans they make. Those are the important things. How the relationship between Cassie and Evan develops. I’d like to mention other character but I can’t without revealing spoilers. But I did enjoy this part of the book. But it wasn’t what I was expecting from the novel, and after watching the book trailer, I expected a story with more action. I got some of that toward the second half and it was definitely worth waiting for, but this definitely wasn’t a perfect book for me. A little overhyped, maybe? And I have to be cognizant of that in the future when so many of my friends are loving something and I go to read it myself.
I definitely want to continue on with the story though and read more of this author’s work. His writing style flowed well and engaged me for the most part. I loved how he wasn’t afraid to write the way teens really speak, and yes, that includes profanity. It’s realistic. And it was the right decision to include it, especially in a book like this. As much as I want to give it a perfect rating, I just can’t. This is not a 5 star book in my opinion. It is very close to being that for me, but there were just too many little things that bogged it down.
“When the moment comes to stop running from your past, to turn around and face the thing you thought you could not face–the moment when your life teeters between giving up and getting up–when that moment comes, and it always comes, if you can’t get up and you can’t give up either, here’s what you do: Crawl.”