THE 5TH WAVE by Rick Yancey is about a sixteen year old girl named Cassie Sullivan, who has so far survived the first four waves of an alien apocalypse on Earth. After being separated from her five-year-old brother, Sam, Cassie fights for survival, and to keep her promise to him that she will return for him as soon as she is able. Along the way, Cassie meets Evan Walker, a mysteriously handsome boy about her age who has also managed to survive on his own. Despite her initial suspicions, Cassie decides that they must work together to find her brother, and keep each other alive.
From the beginning I became very attached to the characters, particularly Cassie’s younger brother, Sammy. I especially loved Sammy’s complete trust in Cassie, despite everything he has gone through, Sam still believes that, if his sister says it, everything will be ok, and he will be safe. Cassie’s complete devotion and loyalty to her brother is so sweet and beautiful, she feels such a strong attachment to him, and he is the only thing in her life she is willing to live or die for. Without him, she would have nothing to live for, and would probably give up.
Evan is a very complex character. From start to finish I wasn’t entirely sure what to make of him, and even has he began to reveal himself to Cassie little by little, I still wasn’t sure if he was telling the truth. I still wasn’t sure if Cassie was wise to trust him. Then again, neither is Cassie. The more she gets to know him, the more suspicious she becomes.
Zombie is probably my favorite character in the whole book. Probably because he is just so relatable and human. He knows he can’t rewrite the past, so he clings to it as tightly as he can to keep himself from remaking the same mistakes that haunt him constantly. He is strong, but not fearless, protective, but not entirely unwilling to make sacrifices, gentle, but capable of harshness, and humble, though not unwilling to take control of the situation. His relationship with his squad represents his character very well, he will become dominant and clearly outlines that he is in control, but he is also fair and just, rewarding disobedience with due punishment.
The only real negative thing I have to say about this book is that I didn’t feel the actual Waves were entirely believable. I felt the 3rd Wave was the most realistic, but the 1st and 2nd Waves just didn’t seem physically possible to me. I’ll go into more detail about this in the spoiler section. The 4th and 5th Wave were probably the most realistic in that I could see something similar happening in the real world, and I could draw parallels between characters in the book and German citizens in WWII.
Overall, THE 5TH WAVE was very interesting and gripping, and I can’t wait for the second book to come out so I can devour it. I am so excited to see where Rick Yancey takes this series next.
I gave THE 5TH WAVE by Rick Yancey 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
THE NEXT SECTION OF THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO BE SPOILED FOR ANY EVENTS THAT OCCUR IN THE 5TH WAVE, PLEASE STOP READING NOW
I have to say my favorite scene in THE 5TH WAVE is when Cassie and Sam are reunited in the camp. Cassie sees her brother as someone who is so different and has changed so much since she last saw him, so she nervously holds the bear between them, hoping that it will remind him of who she is and who he used to be, but he demolishes all of her fears by pushing the bear away and throwing himself at her, exclaiming how he knew she would return for him and that he never gave up hope. The only thing I didn’t like is that Cassie never got around to telling Sam that their father had died, though of course, giving the circumstances, it’s understandable why that was never brought up. I also particularly enjoyed the moment when Ben and Cassie meet for the first time since the beginning of the invasion. They have both become so protective of Sam that they compete for who knows what’s better for him and who is better equipped to care for him. I was a little bit disappointed that Ben didn’t remember the discussion which took place surrounding Sam and Ben’s sister, but at the same time, I wasn’t really surprised. Ben had been through so much that his memory was likely not focused on a random conversation with a girl he didn’t even know when he was eleven.
I am curious to see what becomes of Evan in the next book. I am not entirely sure that he died, as no one actually saw him die. Cassie just assumes that he died in the explosion, not believing he would have had enough time to clear the building before it exploded. But, who knows? Would Evan have given his life to destroy his own kind? Or did he know that he had a way out without telling Cassie?
I am also really interested to see how Ben and Cassie’s relationship develops over the next book, since Cassie has been completely infatuated with him since she was eleven. Will her relationship with Evan get in the way now that she can be with Ben? Would Ben even be interested in Cassie? He never took notice of her before the apocalypse, so he doesn’t have much reason to take notice of her now, other than her connection with Sam.
Basically, I can’t wait for the next installment in the series THE INFINITE SEA to come out. The release date (as of now) is September 16 of this year. I’ve had to wait longer for a book, but… I want it NOW. 😦