5th Wave

5th Wave

Gripping, dynamic, and hard core, The 5th Wave will scare the daylights out of readers! Yancey creates a dystopia that is unspeakably terrible.  Aliens have taken over the Earth, but have they, really? Trust me, The 5th Wave is the best dystopian novel in years!

Cassie (short for Cassiopeia) has survived the 1st, 2nd and 3rd waves, but living terrified of dying 24/7 is nearly killing her. The only rule is "Trust no one." And it's worked for her so far. The Others look like humans, they talk like humans, they learn the rules that make them appear human, and for that reason, Cassie trusts no one. When her little brother Sams is taken away with all the other children, Cassie's father tells her take the guns and warns her with a silent signal--Run! Every human is slaughtered  back at Cassie's camp, and she's lucky to have escaped. She stays in the woods for weeks, learning to exist on bottled water and canned sardines. She knows she has to move on as winter is rapidly approaching.

When on the move, Cassie is wounded. She wakes up in a farmhouse and is nursed back to health by a boy named Evan. Cassie trusts no one, not even her savior. She knows something is "off" about Evan's story but can't figure out what it is. Cassie vows to find her little brother Sam and rescue him.

Evan agrees to help Cassie but she knows she has to go alone. Evan confides that he has fallen in love with Cassie, and he finally tells her his secret. Together, they face the enemy.

The 5th wave is humans turning on themselves. The aliens have been watching Earth for centuries; they know how humans think and act. They know they can defeat us, but do they know the sheer, brave will of one very determined teen-aged human  female? Cassie says, "But if I'm it, the last of my kind, the last page in human history, like hell I'm going to let the story end this way...Because if I am the last one, then I am humanity. And if this is humanity's last war, then I am the battlefield."

I was sorry when I had turned to the last page. The 5th Wave is unputtdownable; readers will empathize with Cassie--she is the kick-butt girl I want on my side at the end of the world. This is a dystopia with a human heart. Often, dystopian fiction is devoid of heart and soul, but not The 5th Wave. Yancey allows hope for dystopia and humankind. I have to love a writer who lists his trusty (now deceased) dog Casey in the acknowledgements; Yancey writes, "I will miss you, Case."

Highly, highly recommended and a MUST READ. Suitable for grade 7-up. One f-bomb when Cassie tells the alien commander off; violence, a few kisses. Cassie has to cut shrapnel out of Evan's backside, but it's not sexy in the least; it's a necessary medical procedure.  480 pages

Recommended by: Pamela Thompson, Librarian, Texas USA

See more of her reviews: http://booksbypamelathompson.blogspot.com/ 


They came way before, nestling into the quiet brains of the sleeping, waiting and biding their time.... Eighteen years later, they showed themselves, their ship hovering like a giant green eye in the sky, silent. Everyone watched it for ten days, hoping for some kind of communication or sign. Their unease grew, but if these aliens were trying to kill, wouldn't they have done it by now?

On the tenth day, the attack began. Electricity and power shut down by a massive EMP. At first people were thinking that it would be restored in a few hours, but it didn't happen. The mayhem grew, causing worldwide panic, and few died.

 Then the second wave hit. This was planned methodically and with precision. The result were giant tsunamis taking out cities, countries, entire chunks of the earth as we knew it. Millions died, and without any electricity there was no hope of rescue. But they weren't done yet.

 The third wave was the most deadly. They used nature to attack humanity, spreading a deadly virus that killed. If the second wave didn't kill you, this one would. Millions more were killed in this wave, with a few who lived through it because of resistance to the virus. Humans became an endangered species. 

The fourth wave was the first direct assault from the aliens. The silencers...tracking down humanity and killing them point blank, no questions asked. They used drones and foot soldiers to locate colonies and wipe them out. No mercy. Whatever you called them, they were the enemy.

Cassie saw her family die, and now alone, she struggles to survive, holding the last remnants of her old life, a teddy bear her little brother loved. Beside the bear is her protector, an M-16. Cassie knows survival depends only on yourself, never any other person. One will make you invisible, two will make you a target.

Little did she know that there was a 5th wave, the deadliest of all...

Told in four teen perspectives, Yancy writes an incredibly in-depth dystopian novel that is noticeably more sophisticated. The reader walks beside Cassie, a tough kick-A girl who knows the reality even when it frightens her; her little brother Sam, an innocent kid who wants protection but becomes the ultimate pawn; Ben, a popular athletic boy who finds himself defending his life and those of others as a soldier; and Evan, who escaped attacks through isolation and ingenuity. Although it is the characters that capture the readers' attention,it is the psychology behind the attacks and how it affects survivors that gives this novel an edge, pulling the reader through the story until realization dawns on them about what exactly is happening. The pace is fast and the writing is spot on for anyone wanting hardcore dystopian science fiction. You had better buy not two copies, but three or four because they will be quickly checked out and on demand. The book trailers are equally compelling (found on http://www.rickyancey.com/ ). HIGHLY recommended!!

Recommended by:  Naomi Bates, Librarian, Texas USA

See more of her recommendations at: http://www.naomibates.blogspot.com/  (YA Books and More)


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