The 5th Wave if the first book I have read by Rick Yancey, and what a read it was. I have never blown through a book that was this long this quickly (my manuscript spanned 567 pages). That gives you an idea of what a thrilling ride it was. It’s for the readers of I am Number Four, The Host, Across the Universe, and The Hunger Games… but only those readers who didn’t think that the authors went far enough in those books. If you are not a fan of gut wrenching action and characters at their worse, than this book is not for you.
Cassie is alone with only her wits and her best friend, an M-16 to aid her journey. It hasn’t been long since the 1st wave, when a race of aliens descended upon the earth and began to systematically exterminate the human race. The first wave was darkness, the second tidal floods and hurricanes, the third was pestilence and the fourth is even worse. Now, awaiting the fifth wave, Cassie can only run and hope to take out anything that runs after her.
One day Cassie encounters the fourth wave – Silencers. She is shot by a Silencer and rescued by Evan, a soft spoken man who takes her in and saves her life. She succumbs to his care but the entire time she has only one person on her mind, her younger brother Sammy who she left behind… and who she has promised to return to.
Interspersed with her narratives we get a second storyline – Zombie’s. Zombie is a man who Cassie fancied herself in love with once, a man who has been completely altered by the Others. Now, hardened into a killing machine along with children as young as seven, Zombie learns that survival, as well as human nature, both come with a heavy price.
Cassie is resilient and tenacious. Her will to survive is inspired, a pleasure to read. The juxtaposition of Zombie’s stories are, at first, jarring and harsh. In the beginning his storyline really bothered me. The idea of turning children into soldiers, and watching how the experience dehumanizes them, frightens me on so many levels. However, it is during Zombie’s story that we get the best parts of the book; the jaw dropping reveals and the earth shattering gasping moments of tension. At first I didn’t want to look, but then I couldn’t look away.
This book… wow… this book.
This is one of those books that you simply have to pick up. I insist that it goes on every one of your radars, particularly if you are a fan of gritty post-apocalyptic science fiction. This book will astound you. And if you are not, then you should still pick it up, or you are missing out on a tremendous read. I am stunned by how good this book is.
I… yeah, I cannot be any more eloquent than that. This book is stunning. And you must read it. It’s easily shot itself into my favourites for the year. I am excited for you to read it.
I can’t wait for the next book. This definitely will not be the last time I read Yancey. I want everything he has ever done now.
5 out of 5 stars.
The 5th Wave releases May 7, 2013.