Monday, May 18, 2015

Review: The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey

The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey

Published: 2013 

Genres: Sci-Fi/Paranormal
Format: Paperback
Amazon • Goodreads  

What is The Fifth Wave about?
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.


Going into The Fifth Wave, I had heard a lot of great things about it.   I was super excited to read this one, because I need more sci-fi book in my life.  And I can now say that I can see where all of the praise is coming from. And The Fifth Wave deserves it.

I'll admit the beginning was a bit slow. I was expecting to be sucked in right away and for there to be all kinds of action packed amazingness right from the first page. It took a 100-200 pages in the beginning for the setup. It was a lot of flashbacks and explaining. Which I wasn't expecting because I thought it would just be action right away. Looking back, I do appreciate the time Yancey took to setup the world and situation, instead of just throwing us into it. It did seem like a little too much flashbacks and backstory at the time, though. I wasn't instantly grabbed like I expected I would be.  The Fifth Wave is the kind of book that subtly drew me in the deeper I got into the book.

 I really want to talk about all of the incredible characters in The Fifth WaveCassie, the main character was someone that, as with the rest of the book, took a little time to warm up to.  I did find Cassie to be very relatable, though. She is just a regular girl in a regular family who never thought she'd be facing all this crazy stuff. No normal girl thinks that she's going to have to face a brutal alien apocalypse and be separated from her family.  The flashbacks did really provide insight into what her life was like before the apocalypse and help us to get to know Cassie a little bit better.
There were several narrators in this book, and sometimes it got difficult to tell who was who. I found myself really liking Sammy and Ben’s storyline more than Cassie's.  I LOVED Ben and Sammy is sweet too. I don't want to give anything away, but I was way more interested in their story and well-being than Cassie's (sorry). And Ringer!   I think she is a really cool and complex character and I’m super excited to hear more from her in the nest book!

The Fifth Wave definitely kept me guessing at every turn.   There were times where I thought I had it figured out, but nope. I didn't.  This was really just a unique and mind blowing story.   I really like how different of an approach I feel like this took to the whole "alien apocalypse" thing.  Throughout this whole book, you never really knew for sure what was going on. You never knew the bigger plan or "the fifth wave".  You never really even know what the aliens look like or what their actual plan is.  I thought the format of this book was really great too. I loved the short chapters, and they helped me to really fly through this book.  And the plot twists.  I will say, I did see ONE coming.  I’d been hearing bad, cliffhanger-ish things about the ending.  It’s not really so much of a cliffhanger as an “is he serious?” kind of ending. 


Final Thoughts:

The Fifth Wave is a unique and mind blowing story that really captures four teenagers struggles and mindsets amidst an alien apocalypse.  I really liked how it showed these complex emotions and we were able to get inside their heads.  I definitely think anyone who likes Sci-Fi (or even someone who doesn’t) would enjoy this book. 


Have you read The Fifth Wave?  What were your thoughts?  These poor characters.  Does anything ever get better for them?


  1. I just read a review that felt the complete opposite. I really want to check this one out and see if it's worthy of all the hype. Great review, Olivia. Definitely has me intrigued.

    1. It's always interesting to see completely contrasting reviews. I definitely recommend it and I hope you enjoy it!
      Thanks <3

  2. I just read a review that felt the complete opposite. I really want to check this one out and see if it's worthy of all the hype. Great review, Olivia. Definitely has me intrigued.

  3. I completely agree with what you've said here Olivia. :) I also thought it was super interesting to really get inside the character's heads and watch them survive. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ♥

    1. I really appreciated getting a glimpse into their heads and mental state at being put through that. Cassie especially.
      Thanks <3