Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave Rick Yancey cover

Title: The 5th Wave 
Author: Rick Yancey 
Series: The 5th Wave #1 
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia, YA 
Publication date: May 7, 2013 
Rating: ★★★★½ 

Synopsis: 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.

That there was a yesterday doesn’t mean there will be a tomorrow.

I have no idea why on earth I was under the impression that this book was nothing special. Someone must have given me that idea. I knew there was a hype about it a couple of years back, but I never got around to reading it. With the movie coming up I decided this was the time to finally give it a try and whoa, IT WAS GOOD. I’m truly impressed!

First of all I really liked the way it was written. Fast paced, down-to-earth, captivating. I usually prefer more ‘lyrical’ writing. You know, lots of descriptions, carefully chosen words etc., but this sucked me right in. As if the characters were telling me their story in real life, straight to my face. It made everything feel very real. Well done!

Maybe the last human being on Earth won’t die of starvation or exposure or as a meal for wild animals. Maybe the last one to die will be killed by the last one alive.

Secondly, I really liked the plot. Earth is under threat of an alien invasion, but there are no green monsters walking the planet. No, the Others remain invisible and coordinate everything from up in space, sending out ‘killing’ waves. I found it extraordinary how realistic everything felt. As if this could happen any day. At first there was excitement and concern, after the first waves there was only chaos left. I felt the fear in the characters, the severity of the threat was visible in every line. The atmosphere was one of extreme terror and it gave the book the perfect vibe. I didn’t just read and imagine it, I felt it. Total page-turner this one.

“There is nothing left.”
“Oh yeah, there is. I’m left.”

There are multiple POVs in the book and that made everything even more compelling. We got to know different aspects of the story, different parts of the state of the world. Different feelings. It was interesting to see how the same changes affected people differently. And of course I just like great characters. And if they are good: the more the merrier!

We have survived the deaths of our childhood.

I liked Cassie, the MC. She was the way I would imagine a person in an apocalypse to be. Her fear and trust issues were very reasonable, but she dealt with them in a natural manner. Sometimes she overcame them, sometimes they paralysed her. Either way she did extremely well. She was brave, independent, had a great sense of humour and she had it in her to do what had to been done – even if what had to be done wasn’t pretty.

How do you rid the Earth of humans?
Rid the humans of their humanity.

But as much as I liked Cassie, my favourite character has to be Ben Parish. I liked him instantly. My interest went up three levels when I got to know him. He used to be this typical high-school-quarterback-type, but the invasion changed him completely. It gave him a new sense of purpose and responsibility. I just really liked his character and strength and protectiveness and… The way he took care of his little team was wonderful and aawwww; I sure love a good character development! And the growing friendship between him and Ringer was… ‘compelling’. SHIP.

And me loving Ben Parish didn’t do Evan Walker any good. He’s supposed to be swoon worthy and perfect and half a god, but I have to say I don’t see the appeal. I didn’t like him. At all. First of all I didn’t trust him (and I’m not going to say whether I was or wasn’t right not to). But I also hated the way Cassie acted around him. She distrusts everyone, but handsome Evan comes along and before long she does everything he wants. At first at least. No, I don’t see it. Meh.

A moment comes in war when the last line must be crossed. The line that separates what you hold dear from what total war demands.

What I did LOVE were the many thought provoking subtexts and metaphors. There was a lot in this book that may have seemed harsh or even cruel at first, but that actually made a lot of sense. It made me think about humanity and human nature a lot. A lot of questions are asked with no predetermined answer. And these are always the best books. The ones that make you feel, that make you think.

“You okay?”
“Define okay.”
“That’s a definition that keeps changing.”

If you haven’t already – GO READ IT. I’m definitely starting The Infinite Sea soon!

Pin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google Plus


  1. Okay, so I just reread my own review of this and ... apparently I liked Evan?! To be honest, I barely remember this books. Or the characters. Well, I know that I liked Parish the most - he was such a fascinating and great character, definitely my favorite as well!

    I REALLY hope you'll like The Infinite Sea! ;)

    1. So much love for Parish! He is seriously great, and totally underrated if you ask me. :) But Evan, nowpe. He's not going to make my list of fictional boyfriends!


` `