Book Review of The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Posted June 28, 2013 by Kara in book review, Lyn / 20 Comments

Book Review of The 5th Wave by Rick YanceyThe 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Series: The 5th Wave #1
Published by Putnam Juvenile on May 7th, 2013
Genres: science fiction, young adult
Pages: 457
Buy on Amazon

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 believe I was the last holdout for this book. A majority of the bloggers have picked this one up and declared their side – either it is the next big thing, or another hype creator. I’m stuck smack dab in the middle regarding The 5th Wave. The dystopia was great, bust some of the characters rubbed me the wrong way.

This book is very dystopian-y – scavenging for food, loss of human life, trust issues, etc etc. I am a complete sucker for the hardships the human race would face if our society completely broke down. That certain element of the book hooked me from the start.  Sadly, I felt that the alien’s presence was completely unremarkable. It seemed that this was a novel written for the sake of writing for this genre with no clear purpose or explanation. Luckily, I’m pretty forgiving in this department. I’ll save my overall judgement until we get to the last book. I’m wondering if there is a clear explanation for the cloak-and-dagger approach to the Others.

Character wise: this is where the war raged for me. I’ll be open – I could have done without Cassie. Cassie was a no-go for me, and while I didn’t flat out loathe her towards the end, I sure never did care about her,and I am still not a huge fan. Evan was a creepy stalker and I had no warm feelings for him. He was weird and very clingy. I don’t do clingy and creepy. The instalove was painful to read as well.  It wasn’t even disguised as a real relationship. It was flat out instant love – young adult female reading porn.  Cute, heartbroken guy with a secret falling for a mediocre teen girl. No, thank you.

Zombie, Sammy and Ringer – that was the absolute best part of the story for my own taste. Watching Zombie grow and develop was wonderful, and I seemed to understand and care for Ringer more than Cassie. Zombie’s dilemma and his drive touched my heart. It seems that I attached myself to the wrong storyline, since these characters were not even mentioned in the summary. It did mirror Ender’s Game, but it added a whole new dimension, and the humanity of the this other secondary plot was so endearing, I ripped through that section very quickly.

In the end, I did like the personal development, but the alien aspect seemed very removed from the story. I understood what they were, but it seemed a lot of jibber about the aliens, and we never got to really know them, or understand them. Is it worth the hype? Maybe. Will I read the sequel? More than likely.  I’m not a rabid fan, but I believe that there might be something wonderful in store for this series.


20 responses to “Book Review of The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

  1. I got totally sucked into this book, which was surprising to me, because the alien aspect really put me off. But like you said, the aliens felt very removed from the story

  2. Gah, this book made me so mad that I didn’t finish it. I stopped reading at the part where Cassie and Evan started making out in the middle of an argument. She told him “No” and “Stop” repeatedly, but he didn’t, and then she ended up liking it. That shit is a no go for me.

    I probably would have liked it enough if I had continued reading. I did like the world-building aspects, like you did, it was just the characters I had a problem with. I didn’t really connect to any of them except for Cassie (hah) until that kiss happened.

  3. I really liked Zombies side of things much better too. Evan rubbed me the wrong way through much of it and I wasn’t WOWed like so many others were either. Sad because I went into it with crazy high expectations. Happy to know I am not alone!

  4. There’s been so many raving reviews for this one that it’s NICE to read one that isn’t singing its many, many praises. All the hype around it has made me decide to not rush into reading it – I’ve had several bad experiences with the hype monster.

    Lackluster characters make me so mad. I can’t care about a book if I can’t care about the characters, so blah. Plus insta-love, really? Aren’t we over that yet? Is it still a thing? Blah again.

    I’ll definitely read this one at some point but like I said, I’m not rushing out to buy it.

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

  5. I’m a bit more on the side of really enjoying this book myself, but I think all the points that those who disliked it or felt ambivalent about it make sense. I can see why the lack of knowledge about the Others would bother people. I just was able to read that from the perspective that Cassie and Zombie and the cast don’t understand the Others themselves and it’s more their looming menace than any new concrete actions that drive the plot; and I appreciated that because it made the story read more like a work of suspense. But that’s not a technique everyone will love. I did find Zombie more interesting than Cassie as well. I hope that some of your complaints do get addressed as the series goes on!

    • I hope so!

      I will read the next one, because I adore Zombie so much.

      I can see where you are coming from – it was more about the unknown of the aliens. I just wish it felt more successful than it was, in my mind.

  6. No matter how late you are to a book party, there will always be someone later (in this case, me). Still haven’t read it, and honestly I’m not sure how much I really want to. It seems to vary day by day and review by review. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on this one!

    -Taylor @ Reading is the Thing

  7. I was a huge fan of this novel, while the romance was a but out of nowhere, the story line and Cassie made me heart this book. But I can see why people didn’t really enjoy this as they would’ve expected.

    Lovely review, Lyn! <33

  8. Amy

    I still haven’t taken the plunge yet. When a book gets super hyped up like this, I get nervous. I don’t want to build it up in my head only to not like it as much as I think I should. I definitely do want to read this book, but I think I will give it a while for the hype to die down. Great review Lyn!!

  9. I really want to read this after seeing all the rave reviews! It’s interesting to see someone kinda on the fence about it 🙂

  10. I enjoyed this one but also had issues with it… Cassie and Evan were two characters I could have done without as well. The instalove. GAH! I gave this four stars but had the hardest time forming my opinion so no review for me. This one? Really great though. 🙂

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