July 17, 2013

Latest Read: The 5th Wave

Here are the basics ...
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Publication date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Category: Young Adult - Sci-fi / Post-apocalyptic
Source: Received book at BEA (Thanks!)

Summary: 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. 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, defiance and surrender, life and death. To give up or to get up. (Adapted goodreads.com)
My thoughts…
The 5th Wave is, by far, one of the more realistic and scarier depictions of aliens that I've read. I mean it's one thing to imagine them being out there among the stars and another to think an alien could be sitting across the table from you, looking completely human, and two seconds from blowing your head off. Needless to say, the latter is a more terrifying thought. The author does a great job of making sure that uncertain who knows who could be around the corner feeling permeates the book. It made the overall tone very dark and intense.

Aliens have been living on Earth waiting for their moment to strike and when they do, they begin to attack in waves. Turning off all the power, infecting the atmosphere with disease, millions of people dying from it and finally sending aliens out to kill whoever is left. But most people, like Cassie, know there are more attacks to come. No one knows when, where or how - just that it will happen. It's a bleak world and again, the author infused a lot of detail into setting up the stage for his story so it wasn't hard for me to picture his world at all.

Where I struggled was with the actual storytelling. The pacing is very slow and Cassie has this "I must go on alone" mentality so the first portion of the book is spent solely with her, in her head. Flashbacks do help to break up those pages and it also helps that Cassie herself is an interesting character. She's strong and it's clear how much these dangerous times have forced her to make difficult choices. But through her memories, we get a glimpse of the young girl she once was and that person still shines through from time to time.

The author also introduces other characters and gives them chapters and sections from their point-of-view. Usually I like alternating perspectives, especially when you get a different look at the same scenario. In this case, all the characters are separate and I found I didn't enjoy that as much. I kept waiting for something to bring all or any of them together. I got my wish occasionally and it was those moments I enjoyed most. My favorite parts of the book were definitely of Cassie and Evan, a stranger who unexpectedly rescues her. And no, not because I wanted romance (I just wanted conversation!). Plus the end because the action really picked up as well and one reveal in particular gave me chills.

Do I recommend?: I do because it really is a matter of preference. The writing is solid, the characters are interesting. But I think your enjoyment of the book will depend on how you prefer your story told.

Happy reading!

3 comments:

  1. Oh, kind of a bummer that you weren't quite a fan of how it was put together! That didn't seem to bother me, although I had to focus more on the way Cassie told her story more than the way the chapters were put together.
    I agree -- I really liked this "alien story" because honestly.. I don't like alien-themed books. This was done really well though and it was quite scary to think of something like that happening!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Although my review isn't up yet, I very much agree with your review. I kept waiting for the HEY THIS TIES IT TOGETHER thing. And that really never happened.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The one thing that really interests me about this book is the fact that the "alien" factor seems pretty unique and well-done. I would be TERRIFIED if I couldn't recognize the bad guys, honestly. And having them attack in waves makes it even worse, as it would be a prolonged suffering! While I don't necessarily consider myself a fan of alien books, I might just have to consider checking this one out.

    ReplyDelete