First Line: There will be no awakening.
I am always wary of books with lots of hype or huge publicity campaigns because all too often I end up horribly disappointed. Yet even with all the early buzz surrounding Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave I was still excited for it. One of the things that I loved most about the 5th Wave was that there was a reason for the dystopian world that these characters live in. It starts with an EM pulse (or something similar) in the 1st wave and the world goes dark. Then the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th waves further break down society and the world as we know it all in preparation for the final stages of a very carefully planned invasion.
Normally with a dystopian read you need to take a world at face value but with The 5th Wave the series of events are plausible and so that makes this book stand out from others in the genre. As you read the story you can easily visualize all these things happening and that added bit of realism adds a whole other level to the reading experience. One that I loved and kept me so engrossed in the story that I was unable to put it down until I was finished.
I also liked the multiple view points used as it gives the reader a wider scope of just what is going on. There are no blinking red signs that proclaim when you move into the head of a new character but it was never difficult to tell when the POV switched. These changes in POV also made it easier for me to get close to the various characters. It made me like them all the more and so that the various action scenes left me a bit breathless as I feared for these fictional people I’d come to love.
The 5th Wave isn’t all action though and what there is doesn’t dominate the book. This is more what I’d call a slow burn novel where there is lots of descriptors and running around trying to make sense of this world where your biggest enemy looks like you and so you don’t know who to trust.
What I didn’t like about this book was the gratuitous love triangle although that is something that could have been far worse than it was. In some ways I think it helped that this book was written by a guy as they don’t really allow romance to dominate a story. Many male authors seem to toss in a romance as an aside because its expected. Whereas in many, not all, books written by women the romance and/or love triangle is the main focus with the rest of the plot coming in as an aside. So while I’m grateful that the romance in this story wasn’t overdone I could have done without the love triangle.
I also wasn’t a fan of the cliff hanger ending but as with the love triangle it could have been far worse than it was. I hate being forced to read the next book in a series just to find out what happens next. And so many cliff hangers seem so forced and take away from the realism of the story. In The 5th Wave the slight cliff hanger ending felt very natural and real. It kept up with the slow burn nature of this book and does what cliff hangers are meant to do. It makes me want to continue reading this series. I want to know what happens next. But its also sort of an open ended sort of ending so that if there never were any books in this series the reader wouldn’t be totally let down. There is an ending to this book that ties up several of the plot points raised in the story. But its also a beginning setting the stage for what is to come.
As a whole I really enjoyed this book and I wish that I had its sequel in my hands right now. The waiting is hard but I think it will be worth it. This is a story that I think will appeal to many people regardless of their preferred reading genre as well as span age groups. It was really well written and I think that I will be checking out some of Rick Yancey’s other books as I wait for The 5th Wave’s sequel.