I thought it was good, but not the best.
What I really liked about The 5th Wave was the way that Rick Yancey made his heroine something of a badass without making her a bitch. But at the same time, the heroine’s story line was not my favorite, and bored me at times. Conundrum.
Aliens come to conquer Earth and wipe out billions of people within weeks. The remaining few humans begin to fear and kill each other — as it seems that the alien race appears human. See a stranger? Kill him. Better than letting him kill you. Cassie — our badass — was luckier than most. She survived the first four waves of the invasion — an electromagnetic pulse, an enormous tsunami, a deathly plague, and the emergence of alien/human assassins called “silencers”. Along with her dad and baby brother (and his teddy bear), she finds herself at a military refugee camp which seems safe. The military whisks her brother and a busload of kids away to “safety” and promises to return for everyone else. Cassie promises little Sammy that she’ll come for him soon.
And if the story had just been about Cassie trying to find her brother during an alien attack, I think I might have stopped reading it. I found the first 100 pages or so somewhat slow-going. Which, in an action-packed story, isn’t great.
Then the book turns and does a 180. We get a new narrator — a completely unexpected one — who brings a fresh voice and perspective to the story. And I was back in.
The middle chunk of the book flew by for me. I enjoyed flipping from narrator to narrator — but preferred Cassie to have shorter sections than others — and was pleased with the tricks and turns the story was taking.
However, the ending didn’t do it for me. Why does every YA novel have to be so open-ended? Is there a law that if a book is branded as YA that is has to have the potential for a sequel, or the dreaded TRILOGY? Can’t a story just be a story that has an ending that actually ends? Such a pet peeve of mine.
Regardless, I enjoyed Yancey’s writing style and skill. While I didn’t 100% buy him as the voice of a teen-age girl, he’s clearly a talented writer who did a lot of research. If there is actually a sequel, I’ll definitely pick it up.