Title: The Fifth Wave
Series: The Fifth Wave, #1
Author: Rick Yancey
Source: Purchased (Audiobook)
Length: 12 hours 41 minutes (Unabridged)
Narrated by: Brandon Espinoza, Phoebe Strole
Published by: Recorded Books
The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.
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.
The Fifth Wave is one of those books that I hummed and hawed over getting. EVERYONE was talking about it, it was getting rave reviews, and that can usually mean one of two things — I’ll either really hate it, or I’ll really love it. But it could go EITHER way. Just because everyone else loves a book doesn’t mean (actually, it usually means) I’ll like it, too.
Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised by this story when I started listening to it. I loved the dystopian aspect of it and the fact that it was about aliens. Maybe it’s just me, but there aren’t enough books about aliens these days! And the great thing about this one is that the aliens aren’t out there, front and center, but it’s almost like Courtney Summers’s This Is Not A Test and its zombies, where they’re mentioned a lot, we know they’re bad, and they add a super eerie feeling to the story. It also has elements of Stephenie Meyer’s The Host, with the aliens of the story being inserted into their host bodies. That part didn’t seem all that original to me.
The characters were strong and determined and it was great to see a range of characters, from the bad guy to the possible romance to the siblings — everyone was quite different and I had a hard time picking a favourite character. I’m not entirely too sure about the romance in the story — it really didn’t seem necessary to have it and it almost made the story lag a bit, taking the focus away from what the story really was about. I was a little hesitant about the story being told from numerous points of view, especially since a lot of these characters’ stories take over great amounts of the book — I found myself wondering what was going on with the other characters as I listened to the story, but it was nice that everything started to tie together as the story reached the halfway point or so.
Another downfall I found with this story was that there were aspects that did seem quite predictable, from one certain relationship made early in the story, to an event later in the story, to the usual trusting of the people in charge — and that predictability really took away from the story. There was still plenty of suspense going on, enough so that I listened to the story within two days, but I wish there was more surprise. The other problem with the story is that it really doesn’t pick up until about halfway or so into the story. By the time I had about four hours left of listening, I didn’t want to stop, but a lot of the story in the beginning is more telling than showing.
I really liked the narration of the story and feel like the narrators are what really held my interest for most of the story. Both narrators had excellent pacing and suited the characters well. I wouldn’t say that this story stood out as much to me as it did for other people — I’m not entirely sure if I’m eager to listen to the next story in the series or not. The story is resolved in a way, which is nice, but there is plenty of potential for it to grow into quite the series. All I can recommend is to not go into it with too high of expectations.