“The 5th Wave” by Rick Yancey

5th wave

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.

-excerpt taken from RickYancey.com



This story starts from the point-of-view of Cassie, short for Cassiopeia.  A survivor of the first 4 waves of an alien invasion on Earth.  She is a teenage girl who watches as many people close to her, including friends and immediate family members, are killed by the different waves of the invasion.  She is left virtually alone to try to survive – something she’s not even sure possible.  The first 4 waves killed billions of people, and so she assumes a 5th wave will drive the human race into extinction.

This book starts in a very bizarre rhythm that you kind of have to ease into.  It is from a first person point-of-view, and is just kind of quirky.  I wasn’t sure that I liked it, but it’s not as bad once you get past the first 10 chapters or so.  That may seem like a lot but the book has many chapters that are only 1-2 pages long.  I actually really like that as I can be kind of ADD and I like a chance to take a break if I see a shiny object that distracts me, or what have you.

One thing I didn’t catch onto right away is that the book changes point-of-views throughout.  It is broken apart into sections separated by black pages with a title on them. Example:


Each time you get to a new section the POV changes between 4 different characters, beginning with Cassie.  I would’ve liked a heads up at the start of the new sections as to who is talking because I don’t like spending the first couple pages trying to figure out who’s talking instead of enjoying the story.

Cassie speaks of many people from her past, her family members, kids from school, and even people she has run into along the way who are also trying to survive.  The whole book you don’t know if these people have survived or not, which is why I’m having to be very vague with my description.  Half the fun is finding out who made it and who didn’t, and finally, what the next steps are to survive.  If I had to describe this story I would say it is a mixture of the TV show “The Walking Dead” and “The Host” by Stephanie Meyer.  Basically the alien invasion version of “The Walking Dead”.  If you’re familiar with “The Walking Dead” there is a large portion of this book that I imagined took place at Hershel’s farm.  That’s just what it sounded like to me when he described it.

I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.  The dialogue threw me for a loop at first, and at times some of the more complex descriptions had me re-reading to make sure I understood.  I am glad this story has already been made into a movie.  I’m looking forward to visualizing some of these things just to clarify for myself and see if it is anything like I imagined it to be.  I would recommend this series, and will be reviewing the next book in the series, “The Infinite Sea”, within the next month or two.





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