Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave, #1) Title: The 5th Wave
                                                      Author: Rick Yancey
Pages: 457
Published: May 7th 2013 by Penguin
Series: The Fifth Wave book #1
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Stars: 4/5 stars

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.

Okay, so when I first heard about this book, I’m going to be honest, it really wasn’t my cup of tea. I mean I was never really big on anything that involves an alien invasion. Too sci-fi for me. However, once I heard about the good reviews from my two sisters and the book community, I thought what the hey, let’s try it out and read it. I am so glad I did!

So, as I said before, this book is about an alien invasion, or the ‘Others’ as they are mentioned in this book. They have take over earth through stages called waves. The 1st wave was lights out, whereby all electricity went out, The threat is big because just with the electricity going out, about half a million people died! The 2nd wave was surf’s up, whereby countries were being flooded, tsunamis, you know the drill. It put the first wave death toll to shame. The 3rd wave was pestilence, whereby sickness overtook the majority of the human population in a gruesome way and sadly how Cassie’s (one of the main character) mother died. The 4th wave is called the silencer. You don’t know who is human and who is an alien (since aliens have take on a human appearance) and trusting becomes very hard.

Okay so that was the breakdown of the waves. But essentially this book is about the stories of the two main characters, Cassie and Ben. Cassie believes she is one of the last humans on earth. Her mother is dead, her father is dead and her little 5 year old brother, Sammy, has been taken away by the enemies, escorted away by the military on a yellow school bus amongst with other children. That is what’s making her go on. In search of her brother.

I liked Cassie’s character in these first couple of chapters. Here we get to see how loneliness really has an effect on someone’s mental stability. She’s constantly talks to a teddy bear that her brother gave her for safekeeping, knowing she sounds crazy in the process. But what made me like her even more was the fact that despite everything that’s happened, she still musters the strength to look for her brother. She has a vague idea as to which location, but other than that, she doesn’t have anything else that she can offer and for that I admired her.

However, when Cassie meets Evan (who is an alien in a shape of a human form, something that Cassie doesn’t find out until later on) looked after by him, she became a bit annoying. She became this damsel in distress and sometimes just a really selfish person. I also thought that her feelings towards Evan were just developed too soon. I mean they are in the middle of the 5th wave and forming an attachment to someone, even if it is the first sign of human life you have seen in months, doesn’t mean you go out and fall in love with someone! Not to mention Cassie keeps on going on and on about her school crush Ben Parish. He never knew she existed, being the popular guy in high school and whatnot, but she doesn’t care. There is numerous times whereby she recounts fantasies of their first kiss together. Under normal circumstances, a girl crushing on a popular guy at school would be fine, but in this book, under an apocalypse still going on about your school crush and whether he is alive or not, should not be filling your head now! There are more pressing issues at hand!!!!

But unbeknownst to her, Cassie’s journey also begins to intertwine with someone else’s from her past (i.e. Ben) in an unexpected way.

Ben (or Zombie, as he is referred to in this book) is the other main character and his story lies in the middle of Camp Haven. This is some sort of boot camp whereby the remaining humans are trained as soldiers in order to defeat the aliens...or ‘Others’. They’ve begun to train children and teenagers as Earth’s last line of defence, as the young have become the future of the desperate planet. However, it wasn’t until Ben’s first mission, leading his own squad, where he begins to question the military’s sincerity. He discovers a rather sinister plan to bring about the fifth wave.

I liked Ben a lot! I thought there was a real character development about him in this book. We get to see a very vulnerable side to him where he continuously beats himself up for not being able to try and save his little sister. He begins to question himself and who he really is. Of course, being a popular guy at high school earns you no credit in the real world.

What I liked about this book is the ‘waves’ and how the author describes how the aliens invaded and took over earth through these waves through each of the character’s stories. I also liked how the author describes the aliens. We’ve seen various interpretations of how an alien invasion might play out through movies and books, but The 5th Wave offers a fresh outlook. It’s something sinister, disturbing and right out scary.

However, what I didn’t like about the book was how it was structured. You never knew which character was talking or which story is was. It wasn’t cleared up from the beginning. Added to that, we also get a point of view from Sammy’s side and Evan’s side. I just thought it could have been better structured.

I actually can’t wait to read the second book (next year summer, wah wah wah, whyyyyy so long!!!). I really want to see how Cassie’s and Ben’s relationship changes and I also think Ben is actually going to have a lot of respect for her, given that she made it her life mission (well since her brother was gone) to save her brother whilst Ben didn’t do anything to save his sister. 

Notable quote/passages:
“But if I'm it, the last of my kind, the last page of human history, like hell I'm going to let the story end this way. I may be the last one, but I am the one still standing. I am the one turning to face the faceless hunter in the woods on an abandoned highway. I am the one not running but facing. Because if I am the last one, then I am humanity. And if this is humanity's last war, then I am the battlefield.” 

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