Wow. Wow. Wow. That’s the word I’d like to use to describe The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. Succinct, I know. I’ve never been into Sci-Fi (that’s actually an understatement; I inexplicably took a Sci-Fi Film course in university and hated 95% of it) but after I read this book is being made into a movie with Chloe Grace Moretz, I bought the first and second novels. The genre of this story isn’t just Sci-Fi though: it’s Y/A, it’s Dystopian, it’s Post-Apocalyptic, it’s Fantasy. The 5th Wave has been compared to The Hunger Games and Maze Runner, but to me, it’s completely different. This book is a mixed bag, and it’s written beautifully. To give you some examples of Yancey’s vivid, effective descriptions and flowing writing, here are two excerpts:
“Sometimes in my tent, late at night, I think I can hear the stars scraping against the sky.” (Page 29)
“…and that’s what you do when the curtain is falling— you give the line that the audience wants to hear.” (Page 36)
The story starts off in the United States after an alien invasion… STOP. I know what you’re thinking: UFO’s and aliens have been done before and you aren’t in to Sci-Fi and all that far-fetched stuff…. But stick with me here, okay? The protagonist, Cassie Sullivan, is a fearless teenager who has lost her mother in one of the previous four ‘waves,’ which was a sickness that took out most of the population. Each ‘wave’ has been inflicted on the society by the aliens in order to wipe out the population (at least, that is what the remaining humans believe). The world is in a state of chaos, and society is living like it’s the Stone Age once again. Cassie, her little brother Sammy and their father hike to a camp they have heard about to be with other survivors. Once the family arrives at the camp, however, that’s when things get worse. Cassie’s little brother is separated from Cassie and her father, and she quickly learns that not even the police can be trusted. Cassie ends up on her own trying to track down her brother before eventually meeting Evan Walker; a farm boy who seems too good to be true. In a world that has been turned upside-down, Cassie has to decide if she really trusts Evan to help her find her brother, all while trying to figure out what the 5th Wave will be before it starts.
The 5th Wave is a page-turner, and I can’t wait to read book two. There are multiple characters who are all experiencing unique events in their messed-up future world and different POV’s are housed in each section. It’s so well done; I can’t say it enough. And because the tale is cross-genre, it will appeal to that many more people. Hell, it appealed to me didn’t it? And like I said, Science Fiction Film was not my favorite subject (my limited knowledge of ‘pod people’ is evidence of this). Get outside your comfort zone and get into this book.