Review: The 5th Wave {Rick Yancey}

The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave, #1)  

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 may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself.

And then there's Zombie, trained to be a killer, who must fight to save a world he thought was lost, from the very people he thought he could trust.


I'm tempted to say that there are no words but, really, there just aren't enough words to describe how sensational this book was.

Cassie had no damsel in distress syndrome, she took control, fighting for survival on her own, believing she was the last human left. Armed with her trusty M16 and her little brother's teddy bear, Cassie is a girl on a mission. She wants her brother back and will stop at nothingThe paranoia she feels is exactly what you'd expect and exactly what we never see in most stories or movies dealing with alien invasions.

Through the use of flashbacks, we see the world before the invasion and the devastating effects of each wave, not just on Cassie's family but on the entire planet. Cassie is great in these flashbacks and to see the young and scared girl she was, change into an incredibly tough warrior is astounding. And Cassie's cynical and snarky attitude isn't off-putting at all – it's refreshing and adds some much needed humour to a very dark story of survival.

There are also other points of view included, like Cassie's little brother Sammy (who is five). Seeing the war from his perspective was heartbreaking. However, the second predominant narrator is Zombie. Zombie is taken into army barracks and trained to fight against the alien invaders. Oh, and, by the way, he is awesome. To see how brutal training can be and how it changed the person he was ended up being a fascinating detour from Cassie's story.

Yancey's characters do what they can to survive and I couldn't help but completely fall into their stories. His world is crafted both flawlessly  and intricately and though he goes from different narratives to different time zones, the transition is seamless and added so much depth to the characters.

There is a twist in this story. Actually, there's a couple and nothing I can say will prepare you for how great they are. This book really kept me guessing. I thought I had it figured out at first, then something happened and I changed my mind and knew I had it figured out and then something else happened and I gave up. 

  I can't describe the impact of this book, but I will tell you it had moments of such intense darkness and emotion that I was thrown, but then there were the comedic moments and the kick-ass action parts and there was just no talking to me when I had this book in my hand.

"Some things you can never leave behind. They don't belong to the past. They belong to you." 


Allie is a Pimm's-obsessed reader, who dreams of road tripping over America, learning to surf & becoming fluent in all the languages of her heritage (which, sadly, does not include Elvish). If she's not reading or blogging, you can find her catching up on Teen Wolf, or reigning supreme with Scrabble/Mario Kart.