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.
You know those books you hear amazing things about from seemingly everyone in the blogosphere, and they haven’t even been released yet? The ones where not a bad review is in sight? So you get all excited, eagerly anticipating it, just waiting for the book to arrive on your doorstep one day. Then a copy finally arrives and oh my god, YAY! Utter happiness! You open the package and then… you just sit there and stare at it because you are terrified the hype will have ruined the whole experience because it can’t possibly be that good, right? But the most magical thing happens… it not only lives up to that hype but grows wings and soars right past those expectations. Yep, that’s The 5th Wave.
In this world, aliens have descended upon us, wiping out the human race through a series of waves. Destruction and illness has wiped away most of the world’s population, leaving the survivors unsure of who to trust. Anyone can be an alien in disguise. Shoot first and ask questions later is the only way to survive. These aliens aren’t your late night sci-fi movie variety either. They are sneaky and cunning and oh so different. I’m a little terrified of how plausible they felt.
So we meet Cassie, our main character who is on her own after the separation from her little brother Sammy and witnessing her father’s murder. She is just trying to survive and somehow wants to save her brother. Things are looking bleak for our Cassie after she is shot, but she is rescued by our mysterious Evan.
I’m going to stop right there on the plot details and not delve much further because well, you need to just read it for yourself. But I cannot say enough good things about this book! I was a little worried at the beginning because there was a teeny bit of jumping around to get some background on the events that preceded the current dangers for Cassie and I also found myself confused when the point of view changed. I didn’t expect it when it first happened and ended up having to reread a few pages once I realized it switched. The point of view fluctuates mostly between Cassie and her old high school crush, Ben. We do, however, also see a bit from of Evan and little Sammy as well. I get why it wasn’t announced up front each time and I was able to figure it out with no problem as I kept reading so it was just the initial change that threw me off. Those are seriously the only little hiccups I can find because the rest of the book blew my mind!
Cassie is like the dream female protagonist. The girl is wicked smart. And highly observant. She’s fierce, yet vulnerable. She is the ultimate survivor because she has had no choice but survive. And she will risk anything and everything to not break her promise and be reunited with her brother once more. Ben is another main character who survives the illness and is nursed back to health and trained to be a soldier, along with a group of other children. Trained to detect those humans who have been infected by the aliens, we see Ben grow in confidence and strength, becoming a man who is also vulnerable in his own right, but not to be messed with. These two are far apart and really only acquaintances from before the invasion, but I can’t deny that I was longing for their reunion in the hopes of a romance. But then Evan comes out of left field! I didn’t expect to grow so attached to him for so many reasons but I totally fell in love with him too. So protective, Cassie is his heart and he’ll do anything to keep her safe. The romance factor was definitely there and integral to the plot I would say, but never felt like it was taking away from the main focus of the story, or as an afterthought. It was the perfect amount of sweetness and offered a bit of light-heartedness to all the turmoil surrounding these characters.
I want him to touch me again. I want to feel his hands, as soft as clouds. But I’m afraid if he touches me, all seven billion billion billion atoms that make up my body will blow apart and scatter across the universe.
About halfway through, I decided that this novel was the real deal. The writing was brilliant. It had loads of action coming from all directions. The characters were extremely well fleshed out. I found myself glued to the pages in a world that felt real and horrifying. I cringed, I laughed and I just basically had an all around great time reading this. I could not recommend this novel enough and it will definitely go down as one of my favorites for the year. All that hype? It’s deserving. Rick Yancey is a genius and I’m anxious for the sequel! I’ll be walking on eggshells for the next year until I can get my hands on it. Now, go pick up a copy!