Rating: **** Suggested Age: 13
Summary: “After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one. Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother–or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.” (Summary found on Goodreads).
This book is amazing, but somehow I still managed to give it four stars. The plot is spectacular, and I usually don’t like science fiction with alien invasions, but I like this book (maybe this is a sign that I should read sci-fi more often…). The characters are well-done and seem realistic. In conditions like the ones in the book, I can see our world reacting in similar ways. I can imagine the fear and guilt people might face and what it would drive them to do. That’s what made this book special to me, the fact that if this happened in our world (and technically, if aliens are out there, it could), people would do exactly what the characters did. Even though it’s fiction, Rick Yancey managed to make it realistic and that is what I love. For example, the depictions of people either leaving their homes or staying when news of the alien invasion comes and how the main character doesn’t trust anyone anymore once Earth is already undergoing attacks.
However, what I dislike is the multiple point of views and the narration. The beginning of the book is narrated by the main character. Then, once you start to like her, the POV switches to some guy you don’t know the name of until the end of the part (the book is split into parts). The POV switches plenty of times throughout the book. As for the narration, the book read as though it was the character’s thoughts, in first person present tense. Usually, when written in that style, the writing can come across rather informal or choppy. I’m not overly found of that style of writing, but it works in certain books. It may have worked well with this story, but I still don’t appreciate the style that much. In a few years I might grow used to it and begin to like it, but for now it will remain slightly bothersome because it takes away from the writer’s actual talent and seems as though it is dumbing down the content. I do, however, love the pages that give the title of the part; they are so artfully made and beautiful! Also, take note that there is some violence (given this is an alien apocalypse that shouldn’t be too shocking) and some romance as well.
With that said, I definitely love this book and recommend it to fans of every genre, even fantasy geeks like me. The movie comes out in January and I am so stoked to see it! I do hope that it follows the plot of the book and doesn’t stray too far away (ahem, Insurgent).