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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The awesome The 5th Wave comes out today and you should totes read it...

The 5th Wave
(The 5th Wave #1)
by Rick Yancey
Format: ARC
Source: pub
Purchase: Amazon / B&N / Indiebound
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.

Rick Yancey's The 5th Wave is a hard book to review...not because I didn't love it, because I did. I loved it like aliens love to probe..but because it's one of those books that I want to gush about, but not spoil anything at the same time. And this is the kind of book that you don't want to spoil for those who haven't read it; you want to let them discover all its supreme awesomeness and epicness on their own. So, if my review lacks in-depth details or ends up being quite brief, just know it's because I'm trying to be as spoiler-free as possible...and if you take just one thing away from this review, let it be this: READ THIS BOOK!

The book blurb above does a great job of giving readers a clear idea of what The 5th Wave is about: an alien invasion. The aliens have come to Earth and they've Fucked. Shit. UP! They've unleashed four deadly and hellish waves already, leaving 16 year old Cassie alone and on a mission to rescue her baby brother. Cassie follows one simple rule: trust no one. But then she meets Evan Walker, and the idea of trusting someone suddenly seems worth more than the fear of betrayal.

Aliens, spaceships, painful deaths, oh my! Where's the Doctor when you need him?! I mean, he'd pop onto Earth in his sexy TARDIS and have those pesky aliens fleeing in no time, right? But lucky for us (not so lucky for Cassie), Rick Yancey doesn't give his characters such an easy out. Oh no! He subjects his characters to bloody deaths, heart-crushing goodbyes, terrifying encounters, and impossible choices...all for our sheer reading pleasures. Mwahahahaha!!! But don't go applauding Yancey yet (ok, go ahead and applaud his greatness), because that pleasure comes with a helluva lot of feels for the reader too.

So. Many. FEELS!

This is an utterly riveting and deliciously terrifying post-apocalyptic story that is felt soul-deep. I felt so many emotions while reading this book- fear, excitement, grief, hope, pride, anger, etc- and I felt them with every part of me. Yancey has done something that not many authors have done in the past for me: he's created something that consumed me whole and had my undivided attention from beginning to long after the end. Yancey is a superbly effective storyteller, who has mastered the art of writing a page-turner.

Told from multiple perspectives, we are given in-depth looks at every aspect of this ravaged world and placed within every important setting. I really enjoyed this multiple perspective format and how it gives readers a complete look at everything that is happening. The 5th Wave's post-apocalyptic, alien infested world is a harsh, but mesmerizing one. This world feels so incredibly real, and frighteningly so. The idea of an alien invasion may be considered just sci-fi fiction, but Yancey infuses this fiction with such thought-provoking plausibility. And Yancey's captivating take on aliens and their appearance on Earth is so refreshing. These aren't your cookie-cutter, been-there-seen-that, aliens!

The multiple perspectives introduce us to several integral characters, but to remain spoiler-free, I won't tell you about them all; just know that they are all well-developed and intriguing. I can discuss our main gal Cassie though, who I ended up loving a lot! She's tough and smart and badass when she needs to be, but she's vulnerable, thoughtful, and genuine as well. She's also witty and adds a great deal of fun snarktastic humor. This is a heroine that readers will relate to and believe in.

The 5th Wave is so smartly and intricately crafted, with every scene and conversation having an integral purpose. This isn't the kind of book you can (or should) merely skim (no skipping ahead!), it demands careful and complete attention, but is SO worth it! The twists and turns will shock and surprise you, the betrayals and revelations will affect and awe you.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Epic. Breathtaking. Badass...The 5th Wave is all of these things and so much more! This post-apocalyptic story is equal parts an alien invasion sci-fi, a harrowing survival tale, and a complex exploration of what it means to be human...and 100% awesome. I want book two now! I NEED book two now! A MUST read (so read it, yo!)


Rick Yancey
Rick is a native Floridian and a graduate of Roosevelt University in Chicago. He earned a B.A. in English which he put to use as a field officer for the Internal Revenue Service. Inspired and encouraged by his wife, he decided his degree might also be useful in writing books and in 2004 he began writing full-time.
Since then he has launched two critically acclaimed series: The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp, for young readers, and The Highly Effective Detective, for adults. Both books are set in Knoxville, Tennessee, where Rick lived for ten years before returning to Florida. 

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