Saturday, December 28, 2013

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Release Date – May 7, 2013
Publisher Website –  Penguin
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  457 pages
My Rating- 4/5
**borrowed from fellow blogger**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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.
Some books are hyped and can not live up to that level of . The 5th Wave is one of those books that certainly deserve it's praise. However, I would have appreciated it even more if it had surprised me. It's a novel filled with fear, devastation, and yet also heart and hope. It's also a story to discover on your own.

Cassie's isolation and loneliness are palpable.  Her character fights with wanting to trust and needing to survive. Her devotion to her family, especially her little brother is such an integral part of who Cassie is and it's certainly captured within these pages. Cassie's struggle resonated with me because being in her position would create trust issues. It would create the kind of person Cassie is. She lives every day deciding between giving up, and continuing on.

There are multiple points of view in this novel, which isn't touched upon in the synopsis. Each of the view points adds another layer to the story. It also creates plenty of opportunity for foreshadowing. There are plenty of  what should be twists and turns. Some you see come and anticipate the fallout once the impact is felt. Others creep up on you with you praying that your intuition is wrong. The 5th Wave lacked any real jaw dropping surprise for me. It was here that the foreshadowing didn't pay off as well as it could have. The journey,  however, is more important than those twist and is the payoff of the story.

The alien invasion feels all too plausible. It creates an atmosphere of fear and foreboding. Waiting for something to happen would be the hardest part, and knowing it could happen at anytime would create a tension that never really leaves. The aliens are presented as determined, patient, and driven. As horrific as the previous waves had been, the 5th wave takes it up a notch. Once you realize what the 'others' have planned your heart breaks. It also shows how intelligent and cunning the 'others' actually are.

The romance hits the right balance. This is a story where everything is laced with danger and suspicion, and the romance ties into the main character's development. She has to learn to trust, open her heart, and take that leap of faith. It doesn't overwhelm the plot, but instead interweaves through it in a logical way. I appreciated that Cassie was even questioning why she was worried about romance when the world was crumbling. You see that she have to take the good moments where you can, because she is surrounded by the bad.

A novel that is terrifying because it's all too easily imagined.  A novel that reminds us that hope is a powerful thing, and that surviving sometimes means letting yourself believe. The 5th Wave never lets the reader, or Cassie give up hope fully, and therefore never quite destroyed me. It is, however, a chilling and thrilling start to a series that has a lot of potential.

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