Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave
by Rick Yancey
Series: The 5th Wave #1
Published: 07 May 2013
Putnam Juvenile, Hardcover, 457 pages
Source: Library

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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.

Rating: ★★★★½

I never saw this coming. Yes, I’ve read countless amazing reviews about The 5th Wave but holy cow, this is one superb book. Why did I give it a 4.5 rating then? Well, lets just say I had some teeny issues with the book. Nonetheless, I still loved it. The plot was complicated but incredible and the story was told from a few perspectives. Though the only one I can reveal is Cassie, the protagonist, or else it would be a spoiler, and that a seemingly unimportant character would come to play a huge role.

Set in a gruesome and terrifying post alien invasion world, the dry humor involved in the story was surprising fitting. Cassie, short for Cassiopeia, was so fearless. Not that she had a lack of fears but she was brave enough to face them. However, she also annoyed me slightly at the start, mostly because she’s so much like me & babbles crazily (in her head, since she did not have anyone to talk to). Yes, I get annoyed with myself. Anyway, despite Cassie’s tendency to babble, she does say many meaningful & intelligent things.

Don’t even get me started on the number of amazing quotes I’ve found in this book. Though I could just put them all below, at the end of this review…

Moving on, I loved how the aliens in The 5th Wave were so… silent. All they did was sit in their mothership and send waves upon waves of destruction to us humans. How’s that for scary and powerful? As for what the waves exactly were… here’s a little extract from the book (or you could scroll down to watch the book trailers):

THE 1st WAVE: Lights Out

THE 2nd WAVE: Surf’s Up

THE 3rd WAVE: Pestilence

THE 4th WAVE: Silencer

Go infer.

Now, for the character I’ve been dying to fangirl over – Evan Walker. Right this moment, I’m a puddle of fangirl feels. Don’t question how I’m still typing. Evan… where do I even start? He’s perfectly mysterious yet adorably sweet. His lethality and steady presence contradicted so much, but still made him all the more attractive. I feel like I’ve said something similar about all my favorite male leads in books. Guess I’ve found my type of book boyfriend?

However, if Rick Yancey wanted to make the truth of well, Evan as a whole, more of a mystery… it was not very effectively. I totally predicted that aspect of the book from the very start, though it was about the only predictable thing in The 5th Wave.

As for the romance, although endearing, I was a little worried at the fast pace it progressed. Then I reasoned it was pretty understandable due to the loneliness of their situations and what they had did, after all, blossom into so much more than just mutual dependency and attraction.

As I followed the story, I found myself doubting every character’s trustworthiness, just like Cassie. The 5th Wave literally got under my skin and was a wonderful & beautifully gruel read. The crazy intensity and touching underlying messages of survival, desperation, hope, love and humanity just had me hooked.

The characters’ truly traumatizing, horrifying and defining experiences created both amazing world-building and character development. AND THAT ENDING. My heart is crippled. I NEED the next book now & you would too after reading this.


As promised, my favorite quotes:

“I had it all wrong,” he says. “Before I found you, I thought the only way to hold on was to find something to live for. It isn’t. To hold on, you have to find something you’re willing to die for.”

What is it about him that makes me want to slap him and kiss him, run from him and to him, throw my arms around him and knee him in the balls, all at the same time? I’d like to blame the Arrival for the effect he has on me, but something tells me guys have been doing this to us for a lot longer than a few months.

…when the moment comes, and it always comes, if you can’t get up and you can’t give up, either, here’s what you do: Crawl.

He asked what happened to my leg. I told him I was shot by a shark.

That there was a yesterday doesn’t mean there will be a tomorrow.

And the book trailers:

9 thoughts on “Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

  1. I couldn’t finish this. I got about 50% and the plot just stopped for me, and the whole book just dragged. Especially the part with the kids…and the army where they get trained. I do wanna know how it ends though ahah


    1. Some parts were a little draggy but most of those parts contributed to the plot, especially the kids & the army. I guess it was also to show how messed up humans became when faced with the apocalypse. So I would encourage you to find out what happened at the end! :)


  2. I loved this book as well; Evan Walker is a excellent book boyfriend choice. The cliffhanger ending had me on tenterhooks! I am definitely pre-ordering the sequel next year. :-) Isn’t it great when a book lives up to all the hype. I liked the fact that Cassie wasn’t the only narrator too, it kept you guessing – and no one was safe! You just knew anything could happen next. Rick Yancey, how I envy your amazing amount of talent! Gah! :-)


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