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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and a great read
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...
Published on 8 May 2013 by Danielle @ What Danielle Did Next

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great kids book but not for grownups
This book had promise but ended up being a load of kids running around playing soldiers. What really did it for me was the army sergeant shouting at a 5 year old new recruit, it was downhill from there. Needless to say, the 16 year old heroine managed to outwit the nasty evil invading aliens... need to say any more?
Published 8 months ago by Mr. RM Adams


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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and a great read, 8 May 2013
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars not waving but drowning......, 7 April 2014
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, 23 Mar. 2014
By 
Paula Mc (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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'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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Riding the Waves, 9 Aug. 2014
By 
Adam "Say something about yourself!" (Dunton, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The 5th Wave (Book 1) (Paperback)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The 5th Wave Book 1, 8 July 2014
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The 5th Wave (Book 1) (Paperback)
This is a great sci-fi novel, set on Earth at a time which could easily be ours; where in the night sky a gigantic mothership has appeared, sparking speculation, attempts at communication, wonder and fear. When the first wave hits the world, an electromagnetic pulse affects all transport, communications and the modern conveniences and infrastructure we all take for granted in just a few seconds. Half a million people die. The second wave is environmental; flooding caused by unnatural forces takes out millions more living near coastlines in a day. The third wave is slow but pervasive; a plague spread by birds. By the time the fourth wave arrives, survivors can't trust that people are still people. And everybody's waiting for the last shoe to drop; the fifth wave.

The story is narrated by a few survivors; Cassie, a young girl; Ben, who finds himself inducted into the military, and a couple of others (no spoilers). The action is this book is fast-paced, and just as you think you've got the plot and all the tricks of the narration sorted, there will be a surprise which throws all your expectations again and again. Although some of the characterisations are a bit gung-ho American tough-guy types, generally that's not an issue in this novel which relies more on action and continuity than deep characterisation.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I'm delighted to find that there's a sequel due out in September, The Infinite Sea.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great kids book but not for grownups, 3 Sept. 2014
By 
Mr. RM Adams "TrickyDicky" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This book had promise but ended up being a load of kids running around playing soldiers. What really did it for me was the army sergeant shouting at a 5 year old new recruit, it was downhill from there. Needless to say, the 16 year old heroine managed to outwit the nasty evil invading aliens... need to say any more?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brlliant sci-fi., 19 Mar. 2014
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Sort of book you cannot put down until you have finished it. The main character Cassie becomes very real, and the circumstances of a decimated world is fascinating
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The 5th Wave is Coming, 2 May 2013
By 
Michelle Moore (Dartford, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The 5th Wave (Book 1) (Paperback)
This is s difficult book to review - I need to express how much I loved it, but I don't want to give too much of the story away.

When the aliens arrived, nothing was as they expected, no little green men, no flying saucers, in fact there was no contact at all. Instead, the attacks came in waves - the first was simply to cut the power, the 2nd was a tsunami along every single coastline, killing three billion. The 3rd wave was a deadly virus, killing a further four billion. During the 4th wave, the remaining survivors began to kill each other, trusting no-one. The final few are now alone, anticipating the 5th and final wave.

The story mainly centres on Cassie and Ben, two survivors who paths take very different turns. Cassie is 14, and her story does brings in the YA aspects such as first kiss, and falling in love, but it's all part of the story, and is done well. Her position as a teenager does give us an interesting view of how people react when the spaceship first arrives, and then when the power goes out, and her character grows as her world changes around her.

Ben is rescued by the military, and then taught how to fight, and from here the story begins to darken. We are shown an army of small children and teenagers, and the influence of Ender's Game (which I also loved) is apparent.

Both of these young people have to learn that no-one can be trusted, whilst also learning it's impossible to do be alone. Despite their new lives, and the on-going mistrust, they both find people to love and fight for.

What I can't describe fully is the full impact of this book - it grab holds of you and won't let go. It'll tear you apart at times, but it won't let go. It's impossible to put down, and leaves a big gap when you're done. It comes to a conclusion, but it's not the end, and I'm going to be very impatiently waiting for the next instalment.

This book really doesn't fit neatly in a genre - yes, there is YA, dystopia and sci-fi, but they are all parts of the total. It has some very dark moments, but also some moments which make you smile. I felt as if I was taking the journey with the characters, and you can feel and understand their mistrust and fear.

My advice would be to ignore the genres, ignore the detailed reviews which spell out the story, and ignore the hype. If it interests you just a little bit, read it - I don't think you'll be disappointed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tailed off, 3 Feb. 2014
This review is from: The 5th Wave (Book 1) (Paperback)
I was really enjoying this, great premise, I liked Cassie as a spunky heroine and then...we had a Twilight/The Host/most teenage fictionesque 'oh, he's so beautiful, amazing hands, soft lips, gorgeous hair' and I just switched off.

Some of the plot developments were so heavily dependent on coincidences it made me scoff out loud and without spoiling the plot the hints about potential relationships seems so tired and well-travelled I have no interest in reading the second book.

It reminded me of The Passage, great set-up, excellent idea, drab execution that just got poorer as the book moved on, and I don't know if I had a faulty copy, but I jumped straight from Part IX to Part XI. I doubt I missed much in Part X.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Science fiction with the dirt & blood left on. Great stuff., 16 May 2015
By 
Andrew D Wright "Andrew W." (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The 5th Wave (Book 1) (Paperback)
The 5th Wave - Ricky Yancey (published by Penguin)

Watch out here comes the next BIG THING. Think Independence Day, The Stand, The Day After Tomorrow and Hunger Games. Think slick story-telling that makes reading is effortless. Think intense first person narrative, great action sequences and a very believable end of the world. Dystopia just grew up, got covered in dirt and blood and came to kick our arses.

This is how the book starts, with Hawking's quote. And then the aliens let rip, four waves of destructive annihilation aimed at ridding the planet of the seething cockroach of humanity. No spoilers here, but Yancey's aliens are quite special, nicely believeable and different enough from what's gone before to be a refreshing change. Our protagonists are Cassi, Zombie (a foot solider in the human fight-back) and Evan Walker, mystery hunk whose motives keep us guessing 'til the end.

Yancey has done a great job, this is science fiction with the dirt left on, a cultural bomb that is about to go off in the Hunger Games, Divergent, Twilight type way. The film rights were snapped up early and the film is already in production and the second book, Infinite Sea, is already out.

If you liked Patrick Ness's More Than This or Chaos Walking trilogy you will love this. I loved it, such an excellently told story and the obligatory scene* when it came was so beautifully trailed I had a smile on my face as it was delivered.

Cassi is sassy, kick-arse, like Sarah Connor with a great emotional range. All the elements are here and they are brought together with panache and assurance and in the manner of all good stories we gobble words like we're hungry, that need to know driving us right into the final sentence.

Watch this space, the 5th Wave is about to detonate in the culture big time, a story experience that puts many adult thrillers to shame. Proof again that stories for young people are so of the most exciting, innovative and well-told on the planet and books for adults are having to run to keep up.

Read it. Read it now.

Five stars *****

*Obligatory scene - In a well-constructed story the audience is held in expectation of what is called an obligatory scene brought about by a reversal (or indeed, a series of reversals). Note that the obligatory scene, usually the denouement of a story, classically expresses the theme. It is an expression of the story’s central moral, the point expressed as a generalisation as seen in character-in-action. (A good way of defining this moment, in fact many moments in a dramatic narrative, is to ask: ‘Who does what with which to whom and why?’)
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The Fifth Wave 01
The Fifth Wave 01 by Rick Yancey (Paperback - May 2013)
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