Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The 5th Wave review

Summary: The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.

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.

My Thoughts: I read a blog post a couple of weeks back about insight into what people working at book publishing companies look for in a manuscript. To sum it up, there was nothing special this particular person was looking for. No wizards over dragons, or road trips instead of dying patients. But something that was interesting is that this person always looked forward to the novel about a subject that they weren’t really into. Basically, if you wrote about something she didn’t really like and made her like it, then the book was really good. The 5th Wave is my supreme example of that.

To my knowledge, I’ve never read a book about, pertaining to, or including aliens. I avoid it. I try my hardest, and sometimes fail to stop myself from rolling my eyes whenever my dad tells me he saw another show proving aliens exist. And I put books like this, at the bottom of the tbr list, because even though I’ll give it a try (because I’ve heard great things)… it’s still about aliens.

Here’s the thing. Books are repetitive. Stories are repetitive. There’s something a character wants, and the whole story is about either striving to get it, and getting it, or striving to get it, but not getting it (in that case they might get what they need rather than what they want.) This is pretty simple. And when life as you know it ends, it’s hard to talk about anything but grief. Well, Cassie could go on talking about grief and despair (and other things) for a full series and I’d still eat it up. She thinks brutally and honestly to the point that I’d start to get a feeling in my gut that maybe I shouldn’t roll my eyes too hard when dad starts talking about area 51. It felt that real.

As for the story, the way it was split up between the main characters seemed questionable at first, but it was all brought together perfectly by the end. I knew they would connect somehow, but I initially wondered how story A would line up with story B. And it didn’t happen the way I wanted it to. It actually turned out better than I could have imagined.

And the action! Even though we’re in characters heads a lot, there is so much action. I read the first chapter and immediately thought that this story was film-worthy. No wonder there was a deal for a movie before The 5th Wave was even released. There’s irony, which makes the best kind of stories (especially movies). There’s people you’re rooting for and people you’re suspicious about that seem to trade places out of nowhere. There’s heartbreak, and not kiddie heartbreak. I mean people suffering in terrible ways. And yet, there’s hope.  Hope that you’re a mayfly and not a cockroach (it’ll make sense if you read it), or a human and not a shark. And even though life is fleeting, that you’ll learn to use what little time you have left, alien invasion or not, to do something that matters.

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