Sunday, August 30, 2020

Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Happy Sunday! It's not often that I post something on a Sunday on Bookworm for Kids. And it's rare that I have a chance to read something, which isn't a new release, re-release, or something that was, at least, published in the last year. I discovered this book thanks to a super, amazing system our library has joined, which allows me to loan ebooks and audio books from a huge, state-wide system. It is so neat!!! I highly, highly recommend that you check out to see if your library has something similar because it really is a wonderful thing.
Anyway, here's what I grabbed up and really enjoyed reading.

The 5th Wave, Book One
 by Rick Yancey
G.P. Putnam
May 2013
YA Science Fiction
457 pages

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.



Humans face the darkest moment imaginable in this action packed novel, which dives deep into a girl's head as she does everything she can to survive.

The aliens arrived. First, they wiped out all electronics. Then, they caused the Earth's own surface to turn against humans. The third wave brought a deadly disease. The fourth turned trust into a fantasy. Now, after over 7 billion have died, the fifth wave is about to hit, and sixteen-year-old Cassie does not only pray she finds a way to survive whatever disaster the aliens have planned next, she's also determined to keep her promise and find her younger brother. Even if she knows the chances are that he's no longer alive.

This book is dark, it's tense, and it kept me up until late in the night because I couldn't put it down. The first scene sets a terrifying tone as Cassie fumbles through the forest, alone, hunted, and aware that she's facing the impossible goal of surviving. Every page dives deep into her psyche as her situation and that of the world grows darker by the moment. Through her thoughts, the author allows her family and the past events to unfold, keeping the tension high while also allowing the reader to get to know her very well. By the time she finally runs into another character, I was already rooting for her and sitting on the edge of my seat.

I love the way Cassie comes across. She's a teenager with the insecurities of high school still impacting her a bit, but left more as memories, too, thanks to catastrophe after catastrophe. She's a fighter and has a good head on her shoulders as to the basics of survival...although she's not 'kick-butt' by any stretch of the imagination. She simply has developed a clever gut, is practical in her thinking, and determined. But she still keeps her younger brother's teddy bear held against her side, shakes when she holds her gun, and has no clue what her next steps should be. In other words, she's well rounded, easy to root for, and even more easy to sympathize with.

Hope is a flickering light in these pages, which may or may not still be burning at the end of the tunnel. There's the strong sense of family, sibling love, friendship, trust, learning to see beyond the surface, and even a dash of romance. And this is woven into action, secrets, sheer survival, and dark uncertainty. It's a powerful mix, which hits not only action fans but also those who love character depth. The science fiction end isn't over-the-top, but deadly and dangerous. Add some alien-tech, extreme explosions, deadly hand-to-hand fight scenes, brain-washing, traitors, lies....  and that's only the beginning.

I enjoyed almost every moment, and now, am hoping to find time soon to dive into book two. So, do I recommend this one? Young adult science fiction fans, who enjoy a character who would have been perfect in a high school drama...if she hadn't watched the world around her blown away by aliens and her parents murdered in front of her eyes...should pick this one up.

No comments: