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4.4 out of 5 stars309
4.4 out of 5 stars
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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.

Overall it is a strong, compelling work that handles a subject easily prey to the ridiculous in a capable and intelligent manner that makes one think about whether we really are alone in the universe and if not, do we even have a hope?
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on 7 April 2014
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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on 14 March 2016
Great book. This book has it all. Brilliantly written, with likeable characters and an amazing plot. Every time I thought I had it figured out it took another turn. It hard to review this book properly without giving something away. What I will say and reiterate is this book is amazing I would recommend it to anyone.

In 5 months the would has changed. Humanity is all but been wiped out in 4 terrifying waves. With Humanity facing extinction the story follows Cassie who could by the last human alive. She has seen her species and family destroyed. She is even too beaten down for revenge, all she has is a promise to fulfill. This is a chilling emotional stroy of that made me want to just keep reading till it was finished. I enjoyed every moment of the book. Comparing Cassie to other the main characters of book like Twilight or the Hunger Games, Cassie is tougher then Bella and more likeable/relatable that Katniss. She is more like Tris from the Divergent series. I just loved this book I can't wait for the next in the series.
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on 10 January 2016

Absolutely love these types of books!

The story focuses on 3 main characters points of views: Cassie, Ben and Sammy. You get to find out from them how they are dealing with the world being taking over by aliens.

I loved Cassie's character. So strong and determined.

Plenty of twists! Was very entertained and left shocked many times while reading this.

Wasn't so keen on the ending, but overall loved this book!

Looking forward to reading book 2 The Infinite Sea.

Also really looking forward to seeing the movie!!!!
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on 23 March 2014
'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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on 9 March 2016
i did like this book however i only gave 4 stars as i didnt like how it jumped from different peoples POV i would be reading then nothing would make scense then i realised i was reading another character story lol

over all its a good story that kept you turning the page.
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VINE VOICEon 9 August 2014
I picked up a copy of this in the library and intrigued, read the blurb. There is a clear reference to an apocalypse on the blurb but what kind? Undead? Plague? That ambiguity was enough to hook me. I’m glad it did.
This is a wickedly effective page turner that takes the well used sci- fi trope of alien invasion and gives it a decent, scary workout. The story centres on seventeen year old Cassie Sullivan, her family and friends as an Alien mother-ship appears overhead and throws the world into a fever of terrified speculation. It is noted with dread that the Aliens are resisting all attempts at communication. And then the attack ‘waves’ begin and if you want to preserve the surprise I had in finding out what these are, read no further. But I won’t blow what the final ‘wave’ is.
The first wave is ‘lights out,’ a huge EMP pulse that robs the world of power and sends planes falling from the sky. The second, ‘surfs up,’ are huge metal spears thrown down from the stratosphere that impact on costal tectonic weak points, drowning the coasts of the Earth. The third, ‘pestilence,’ is an Ebola type virus spread through birds, and the fourth, the use of sleeper entities implanted in certain human minds at a pre-natal point. These turn the hosts against their fellows.
There’s a terrifying, satisfying logic to the ‘waves.’ Without power we are weakened. An attack on the coasts drives us inland and packs us tightly together, where the pestilence will be horribly effective. The fourth wave destroys trust in the surviving communities, causing humanity to splinter further. And the Fifth....well that’s just as logical and clever, and I won’t spoil it here.
The fourth wave takes up the biggest part of the book, with the other waves only being sketched in retrospect. This works to drive the story forwards. The fourth wave has the longest work, the other waves being over relatively quickly.
The story is told through different viewpoints, but it is Cassie’s that takes most of the narrative and the lead. And what a sassy, engaging lead she is. She has the ultimate in dry and sarcastic wit that provides laugh out loud moments amid the chaos. She’s winningly vulnerable and resourceful. I warmed to her so much that, no matter how gripping the rest of the action, I just wanted her to return.
I did not realise I was reading a ‘young adult’ targeted piece of fiction until about half way through. This is really for the Hunger Games and Twilight market, right round to the fact that it’s a trilogy, begging to be filmed. That the book easily crosses over to a more adult market as is the case especially with ‘The Hunger Games’ is shown by how it didn’t dawn on me until the half way point that this was the case at all. What gave it away to me is perhaps the weakest part of the novel; a central romance between Cassie and the enigmatic Evan Walker, the details I won’t spoil here. But it felt very Twilight and Hunger Games and it is not a good thing I suddenly realised I was reading YA fiction. The burgeoning romance between them is the baggiest section of the book. And there’s also (horrors) hints of a love triangle towards that also echoes Hunger Games.
Justin Cronin, who endorsed this work, did the whole cross over thing better with his ‘The Passage’ novels, which are stronger in tone and to this day I would never pigeon hole as YA.
That’s not to say there isn’t dark stuff here, really strong themes that are cleverly done. There’s genocide, mass killings of communities and the brutalising indoctrination of child soldiers described in some detail. Also, the novel does keep you on your toes, and keeps a nice ambiguous tone about which side a certain military force lies on until the closing quarter.
On the whole this is a cracking read for genre and non genre readers whether young or older adult. The cross over thing has been done better, but on the whole this is an ideal summer beach read.
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on 12 April 2016
Strangely, this book seemed to come out of nowhere. It was recommended to me and I was surprised to see that it had ‘NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE’ written on the front, although I’ve never seen the film advertised anywhere, nor have I heard anyone talking about it.

Everyone should be talking about it. The 5th Wave (the book at least) is—in one word—immense.

In fact, it’s so immense, I hardly have anything to say other than read it, read it, read it!

The narration is funny and engaging. Cassie’s personality just bleeds through onto the pages and it doesn’t take long until you feel as though you know her personally. She made me laugh out loud more than once. This incredible narration had me in utter awe of Rick Yancey’s skill.

Most of the book is written in short chapters and that had me turning pages faster than I usually would. I’d sit down to read a chapter, and a hundred pages later I’d put the book down. Or would I? Once picked up, The 5th Wave is almost impossible to put down. The book is split into 13 parts and I’d find myself reading entire parts in one sitting.

I can’t sing Yancey’s praises enough. The 5th Wave is just so intense. The action will have you gripping the pages and getting closer and closer to the words. I was so involved in the story, I was no longer in my living room. I was running alongside Cassie. Even when the action died down, I was still curled round the book in total reading bliss.

So yeah, excellent. Fast-paced and gripping and intense. Bring on book two, The Infinite Sea.

First Blogged on Movellas: [...]
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on 4 April 2016
I'm going to just write notes for the moment on this one, as I'm saving writing my full reviews til I have some time.

An intriguing start which drew me in straight away - the pace worked well for me, including the multiple POV shifts. That is, up until about the halfway mark, but then I have to admit for a while I started to get a bit impatient/bored and my attention drifted to other books I'm reading. I think there was just too much info around the training camp and in reality it was a bit crap in my mind. It seemed to go into way more detail than needed and spend too much time on this aspect, while I was more interested in getting back to Cassie and what was happening with the Silencer.

Actually, the part around the Silencer was the bit I found most interesting initially and so every time we went over to Ben's POV I wanted it to hurry up and come back to Cassie. This did change though once the Ben's team went out on a mission, then it got much more interesting over with his POV!

And I know it was probably to be expected from a YA, but there was some very sappy/cheesy romantic stuff going on when they should be more worried about, like, their lives and the fate of the world maybe? There was a lot of 'chocolatey eyes' and 'opening like a flower' talk and don't even get me started on the stalkery stuff. I'm not really sure how I'm feeling about these aspects, as there's some sort of love triangle/complication being set up here I'm guessing...

When I take some time to consider the explanation about the aliens we learn as we go, I am not overly convinced on the detail provided. There seem to be a lot of implausible parts to their reasoning. I can't really say more due to spoilers.

However, saying all of that, I kind of didn't really care while reading it! Because once I got into it, the action and tension in the last third really swept me along - it was pretty intense and you were right in there with the action as it was happening - and I couldn't put it down. Will be reading Book 2 a bit closer to Book 3 release date.
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on 3 April 2016
[Spoilers in here] I really enjoyed this book which was a fast-paced apocalyptic vision about the days after an alien invasion. The epigraph to the book pretty much sums it up "If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn't turn out very well for the Native Americans" (Stephen Hawking). As predicted by possibly the world's smartest man, the alien visit doesn't turn out so well, with them raining down upon humanity a range of things to neutralise them (including wiping out the whole of technology as we know it and reducing humanity back to the dark ages, a devastating disease which wipes out pretty much everyone else, in addition to invading humanity by taking over the consciousness of certain humans, so it becomes impossible to tell who's who any more).

The story primarily follows Cassie in her struggle to survive after the death/loss in one way or another of her entire family. It's a well known fact that if the human race does face this kind of difficulty in the future, it's going to be entirely down to teenagers to save us, and, so, of course, Cassie is a normal teenager before all of this happens. In fact, she continues to be pretty much a normal teenager after it all happens (throwing strops about the alien invasion and reducing the fate of mankind down to the fact that it's her who has suffered most). When she is saved by Evan Walker, who tells her he is in love with her and seems to know way too much about her (hmm, I wonder how that could be?), even he gets a bit sick of her whingeing on and on about me, me, me, all the time, and starts thinking that perhaps alien annihilation wasn't such a bad strategy after all.

In some ways, this book was so obvious (you don't have to be Stephen Hawking to work out that Evan is one of them there aliens), the reader can predict pretty much how things are going to pan out before you get there. On the other, this is a wonderful exciting read and there were some surprises in here, as not everything was as certain as it initially seemed.

With this in view, despite the clichéd nature of some of the material, I think this deserves 5 stars and adding to my favourites list. It's a product of our times - and it's good to know that us older folks can rely on teenagers to save the world, if it comes down to it.
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