Monday, April 10, 2017

Review: The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The "alien invasion" story is one that has been done countless times. So we are not treading any new ground here. I came across the 5th Wave late to the game, I admit. There has already been a movie made based on the book and this series is one of the more popular in the YA genre. What I expected was your standard alien invasion book, entertaining yet light on character development. Frankly I was looking for something light to read because what I had been reading has been fairly intense. What I wasn't expecting was a story that was not only as intense as the books I was reading, but was incredibly complex and well-written. The story begins in Dayton, OH where we find the main character Cassie trying to stay alive as she journeys through the woods after an alien takeover where 97% of the earth's population has been wiped out. The wipe-out occurs in 5 separate waves (hence the title). The first wave takes out all electronic communication and the power grid. The second wave happens in the form of a Tsunami initiated by the aliens taking out all of the existing life living on the coasts of the major continents. The third wave takes place by way of a devastating plague that is carried by birds. Once the humans are tenderized enough and depleted after the first three waves, the fourth wave is implemented. During this wave, humans who were long ago implanted with alien nano-technology at birth begin to "awaken" to their true mission set out by the aliens. These humans are called "silencers" since it is their job to hunt down the remaining uninfected human population and snuff out their lives. The fifth wave is the very last and entails the recruiting of the last vestiges of human children to form a sort of special militia. They are tricked into thinking that they are actually supposed to kill the aliens but in actuality, they are being used by cleverly disguised aliens to kill their own kind. It is during the fifth wave that we pick up Cassie's story. Her entire family, other than her brother Sammy, have been either killed by the aliens or the plague. She is now a lone rogue human battling the aliens in a form of guerrilla style as she attempts to find her brother, whom the aliens have captured and drafted into the child militia. Her ordeal is both intense and empowering and I was glad to see Rick Yancey create such an incredibly strong female character. She's a badass from the first page but also shows a very vulnerable side from time to time as she attempts to deal with the trauma of losing her family and also the existence of a God who would allow humanity to be wiped out so brutally. I found the 5th Wave to be one of the biggest surprises of my reading life. What an amazingly written story that will stay with me for a very long time. Be prepared for many plot twists and lots of action as well. The breakneck pace culminates in a very satisfying conclusion that will eventually continue in the next two books. I can't wait to read the backstory and history of how the aliens came to be and for what purpose they attacked earth. Great book that I highly recommend.

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