Thursday, May 23, 2013

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Published May 7th 2013 by Putnam Juvenile
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.

Rating: 3.5/5


I loved the beginning of this book.  Cassie was a great character with a unique voice.  In a situation that demands practicality - surviving alone in the woods while fighting aliens - Cassie remained sentimental.  She carried books, a stuffed animal, and even her cell phone that doesn't work.  To me, these attachments made her feel like a real person.

About a hundred pages in, there's a point of view switch.  I'm not a fan of multiple points of view in general, but I found it especially unpalatable in this case.  I went from the head of a character I loved to that of a character I didn't care for at all with no warning.  Perhaps if it hadn't taken a whole hundred pages for the first POV switch to happen, or if the book description had given any indication that there was more than one main character, it wouldn't have hit me so hard.  The second main character, Zombie, lacked personality.  He was just bland, and I found that I was suffering through his point of view just to get back to the interesting parts with Cassie.

But, grudgingly, I have to admit that Zombie's point of view was necessary.  There were parts of the story that Cassie simply had no way to know, but that the reader needed to see.  However, there was also a single section told from the point of view of Cassie's younger brother, Sammy, and a one told from the point of view of an alien.  Those sections, while more engaging than those from Zombie's point of view, were completely unnecessary to the story, and I wish they wouldn't have been there at all.

What saved this book for me is the fact that it's incredibly well-written.  Even though there were parts I hated, there were other parts that just blew me away.  I settled on a 3.5 star rating because although the writing was far above average, the book's issues kept me from enjoying it as much as I hoped I would.

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