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The 5th Wave (Book 1) Paperback – 7 May 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (7 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141345837
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141345833
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (187 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Remarkable, not-to-be-missed-under-any-circumstances . . . JUST READ IT (Entertainment Weekly)

Wildly entertaining... I couldn't turn the pages fast enough (Justin Cronin The New York Times)

A modern sci-fi masterpiece... should do for aliens what Twilight did for vampires. (USA Today)

Nothing short of amazing (Kirkus (starred review))

Chilling (Sun)

Action-packed intrigue (MTV.COM)

This book is scary! (Teen Now (5 starred review))

Rick Yancey knows his onions... the book packs real power (SFX)

This is DAMN and WOW territory. Quite simply, one of the best books I've read in years (Melissa Marr, New York Times bestselling author)

...a twisty survival story that borrows elements from romance, horror and dystopian fiction (Wall Street Journal)

Breathtakingly fast-paced and original, The 5th Wave is a reading tsunami that grabs hold and won't let go. (Melissa De La Cruz, New York Times bestselling author of the Blue Bloods series.)

Yancey's heartfelt, violent, paranoid epic, filled with big heroics and bigger surprises, is part War of the Worlds, part Starship Troopers, part Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and part The Stand . . . a sure thing for reviewers and readers alike. (Booklist (starred review))

A fantastic read. The 5th Wave is an electrifying page-turner. (Kathy Reichs, New York Times bestselling author)

An epic sci-fi adventure about a terrifying alien invasion. You'll read it in one sitting (Bookseller)

A gripping SF trilogy about an Earth decimated by an alien invasion... the question of what it means to be human is at the forefront (Publishers Weekly)

Borrow this one from your teen's nightstand while they're at school (People Magazine)

By turns heart-pounding and contemplative . . . The 5th Wave will thrill you, chill you, and challenge you to keep the pages turning fast enough (

Utterly gripping (Metro Herald)

High adventure with mystery and heart (The Sunday Times)

A cut above anything else in the genre. (Sunday Telegraph)

The pace is RELENTLESS (Heat)

About the Author

Rick Yancey ( is the author of several adult novels and the memoir Confessions of a Tax Collector. His first young-adult novel, The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp, was a finalist for the Carnegie Medal. In 2010, his novel, The Monstrumologist, received Michael L. Printz Honor, and the sequel, The Curse of the Wendigo, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Danielle @ What Danielle Did Next on 8 May 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
The 5th Wave is a well crafted novel that tackles the subject of an alien invasion with more realism and tension than I have come across in a long time.

The story is told in multiple points of view, the main being Cassie Sullivan, a teenage girl, on the run, surviving the wilds as she aims to find her brother who was taken to a rescue camp by the military. I really like Cassie, she was snarky, brave, enjoyable to read about. Yancey did a realistic job in creating a strong narrative voice in particular one of a teenage girl who always rang true and authentic.

I liked how he didn't gloss over the minutiae of living in the wild and the little details of the complexities of surviving by yourself, on the run with little experience was a welcome breath of fresh air (hello tampons anyone? Nice to know someone remembered!)

The 5th Wave's biggest strength is its ability to create that foreboding tension and paranoia that you imagine would accompany an alien invasion as you realise there literally is no one you can really trust, at times not even yourself. There are brutal elements too which were at times hard to stomach, the scenes of training child soldiers for war were difficult to get through and I admit to skimming at times as the age of them really hit home and was a stark reminder that there are areas in the world where children are performing such duties with no mother ship winking down at them as a reason.

It's biggest failing for me was the multiple POV's. I wasn't as emotionally invested in them all as I was in Cassie's and at times grew frustrated as I felt it stilted the pacing. I also found their final character reveal as predictable which dispensed with a lot of the tension as I read waiting for the book to catch up.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tweedledum on 7 April 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What makes a great story? Not the label, not the window dressing, not the hype.... But the quality of the storytelling and the depth of the plot. Rick Yancy's has both of these in spadefuls. The fifth wave may follow a familiar line.... Aliens are among us.... How do you know who to trust, what will they do, can humanity fight back etc... But these are not dumb aliens with superpowers and technology......well yes, they do have the technology, no these aliens have been waiting and planning their attack for a very very long time....... They have anticipated and planned for all responses..... Or nearly all....

This, the first in a trilogy ends on a cliff hanger leaving me desperate to find out what happens next.... So altogether 5 stars for plot, 5 stars for storytelling, 5 stars for creating characters I can believe in and care about. This may be sold as YA fiction..... Which indeed it is.... But it certainly will appeal to anyone who loves sci fi and a good story.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paula Mc on 23 Mar. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
'The 5th Wave' is the story of the invasion of Earth and Earth fight against their invaders. The story begins with Cassie, a survivor who has witnessed all the waves, watched her parents died and her brother being taken from her, now she stays as hidden as she can and has learned that she can not trust anyone.

Cassie is a fantastic character, she was brave and stubborn. I loved her insights, despite the seriousness of some situations she finds humour, a way to hide her true feelings. I also liked Evan, a brooding character who was likeable.

I enjoyed 'The 5th Wave' from start to finish, what a brilliant story, it was inventive, shocking, kept me on the edge of my seat. There were parts which were sad to read, children being trained to fight against their enemies, children who have not reached their teenage years yet.

I am very much looking forward to the next book in the series in May of this year.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amethyst Bookwyrm on 24 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback
The first 4 waves have killed Billions of people and now the few people left are waiting to see what the aliens have planned next. 16 year old Cassie is running from a silencer, an alien who look like a human and who kill any human they see. After being shot in the leg, Cassie is rescued by Evan Walker who may be her only hope to rescue her 5 year old brother, but with people not always being what they seem can she trust Evan. At the same time Zombie driven by the guilt that he could have saved his baby sister is at a military camp and is trained to be a solider, but is everything as it appears.

The 5th Wave is a good and dark dystopian book but it was a slow read, especially the start as I found it hard to get into. Yancey is really good at making you unsure who is a human and who is an alien as I kept on guessing. What I don’t understand is the effort aliens went to with their plans as they could have done it easier.

Cassie is a bit of an annoying character as firstly I did not like that the world was in ruins yet she goes weak at the knees around the first good looking man she sees. Secondly I did not understand why she waited so long to rescue her brother which makes her seem weak compared to Penryn from Angelfall. I liked Zombie better as while he made a lot of mistakes, he tried to learn from them and I can empathise with his guilt.

I enjoyed The 5th Wave and would recommend it to fans of Angelfall by Susan Ee.
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