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Thursday, 2 May 2013

Review: The 5th Wave

Author: Rick Yancey

Release date: 7th May 2013
Genre: Sci-fi, Thriller, Dystopian
Target audience: 12+
UK publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780141345833

The 5th Wave is a sci-fi thriller. It’s about an alien invasion of the most sinister and creepy kind. It’s a full-throttle page-turner and a story of survival against all the odds.

When the visitors’ mothership appears in the sky, the world waits with bated breath and delighted anticipation about the fact that we are no longer alone in the universe. But when the visitors make no attempt at contact or communication with humanity, things start to look bad. The first wave sends an EMP across the world – taking out all electronics – and killing half a million people in the process. But that’s the tip of the iceberg. Humanity has yet to face the worse and all this is without ever seeing the face of this new hostile race.

There are two main characters in this story. There’s Cassie – she’s just an ordinary girl until the alien invasion. Then she becomes one of the few surviving humans left on Earth. She trusts no one and her survival depends on her isolation and willingness to kill anyone who crosses her path. Then there’s Ben – another survivor who struggles with the guilt of abandoning his sister. Their paths will cross. But not in the way you expect.

What I loved most about this book was that I had no idea how it was going to end. I didn’t know who to trust just like Cassie. That made it such a thrilling, absorbing book to read. Yes, I did find it awfully creepy. I guess I hope that one day we’ll find out we’re not along and that other races in the universe are loyal and friendly. This book dispels those illusions. It’s sort of plays with our idea of what an encounter will be like. It reminds us of those movies – Independence Day, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Contact – and then makes us feel kind of foolish for even thinking we can win out. This book has a point – any race advanced enough to travel to Earth would have to have technology beyond anything we have invented.

This book is well-paced. It has plot twists galore. It has convincing characterisation. I can’t remember the last time I started a book and couldn’t wait to get home to finish reading it. The 5th Wave has that must read on NOW quality about it.

Brutal and full of hideous deaths, The 5th Wave is a dark read. The menacing way it’s written will get inside your head. You’ll be thinking about it even when you’re not reading it. So of course, it is a must read. Especially if you’re enjoying the TV show Revolution on Sky 1, then you have to read this book. But even more so if you were hoping that show would be better (like me), then this will satisfy your craving. Until the end, when like me, you’ll be praying there’s a follow up. Recommended!

Source: Review copy sent by the publisher. Thank you.


Shweta said...

Sounds a lot like Justin Cronin's Passage but without the blood sucking thingies. I am all for fast paced books these days. Will definitely read this one!

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

I'm hearing such amazing things abour this - I'm gutted I forgot to bring it back to uni with me!

Becky Scott said...

The Passage was too scary for me. This book was just at my limit.

Sophie, oh I feel your pain. It is just so good.