Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on May 29, 2013 | 15 Comments

Review: The 5th Wave by Rick YanceyThe 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Series: The Fifth Wave #1
Published by Putnam Juvenile (5.7.2013)
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 480 pages
Source: I own it
Buy on Amazon

5 Stars

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.

My thoughts

After seeing all the glowing reviews for this book, I was sure I was going to love it; yet at the same time, afraid I wouldn’t. But love it I did! I usually feel kinda blah about alien stories, but this was one of the best ones I’ve ever read!

I was hooked right from the very first chapter with the owl, which reminded me of the movie The Fourth Kind (only way, waaaay better). Rick Yancey’s prose is engaging and entertaining – I was never bored! The 5th wave was unputdownable, cinematic! I seriously hope it gets turned into a movie (it’s being optioned!) because it will be EPIC.

Something I always love is a writer who can pull of switching points of view. It can be rather tricky, because the prose has to feel different from character to character so the reader can tell them apart. This book switched between several points of view – in fact, I think the first 4 or so sections were all from the perspective of different people. But it worked! You could tell when it was someone else, because they felt different. It was a clear change, even though they were never labeled and you were just kinda thrown into it. And there was a big shocker when it finally got to one character’s real name! (Okay, so technically I think there were supposed to be two of those shocks, but I had already figured out who one was as soon as it changed to their POV. It was predictable – to me, at least – but not in a bad way.) 

The parts with flashbacks switched from present tense to past tense so flawlessly that I didn’t even notice it happening. I was blown away by Yancey’s writing style! It’s hard to really describe it – you just need to read it for yourself – but he’s a very talented writer! After reading the 5th Wave I definitely want to read more of his work.

This is what the Others have done to us. You can’t band together to fight without trust. And without trust, there is no hope.
How do you rid the Earth of humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.

The Others were disturbingly realistic and terrifying! The 1st wave: EMP. Just the idea of this scares the bejeesus out of me, because if it ever happened, we would be totally screwed! We rely so heavily on technology that without it we would be devastated. The 2nd wave: tsunami. 3rd wave: plague. This is awful to contemplate because between the two, it killed off most of the population. To think of watching your loved ones suffer and die from a nasty virus? Horrible. The 4th wave: This is the worst of them all, the worst to imagine. Because they disguised themselves as us. If you had to second guess the humanity of everyone you met, how could you trust anyone? That was the worst part about what the Others had done to the humans. The humans turned on each other because of mistrust, mistaking one another for the Others. Better safe than sorry, right? Kill or be killed? The idea was rather scary. And it was so realistic!

If I am the last one, then I am humanity.
And if this is humanity’s last war, then I am the battlefield.

I looooved Cassie. She was strong and kick-ass, and she fought for what she believed in. She fought for her family. She was driven to find her little brother, and let absolutely nothing get in her way. She’s what a heroine should be! I freaking adored Evan, too. I loved him from the very first page in his point of view! The romance was sweet, and not overbearing – because hey, the world is dying so now is not the time to be making out. I like that. It made me feel warm and gooey inside rather than giving me the urge to vomit. Zombie and Ringer were badass, too! I can’t wait to see more of these fabulous characters!

And the ending. THE ENDING. I almost cried. PLEASE MR. YANCEY CAN WE HAVE BOOK 2 ASAP?! I’m dying here. Need. More. Evan!!!! *faints*

Do I recommend The 5th Wave? HECK YES I DO. So go read it!

(Did you notice the cover has an owl on it? I didn’t until someone pointed it out, then I was like OMG MIND BLOWN. How many times did I look right at it without even seeing it?! Awesome! )


“Love is a weapon they have no answer for. They know how you think, but they can’t know how you feel.”

Overall Assessment

Plot: 4.5/5
Writing style: 5/5
Originality: 4.5/5
Characters: 4.5/5
World-building: 5/5
Pace: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Overall rating: 5/5

Jessi (Geo)

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15 responses to “Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

  1. I haven’t read any books about aliens before and I need to change that for the Paranormal reading challenge. I’m so looking forward to this book! Flashbacks can be awesome in books :) And I love the idea of those waves!

  2. HOLY CRAP. I love that first quote. That is pure genius right there. I’m even more pumped for this book. Haha. One of my peeps is getting it for me at BEA so I don’t have to wait too much longer..but GAH. It kills me. I’m so glad you loved this one! It would have been super sad to be the black sheep. This book sounds like the COOLEST alien thing ever.

    And gosh. I can’t get over that quote. MEEEEP. *nerdy writer in awe right here*

    Just Wow.

    I want.

    Glad you loved!!

    I need.

    SHNEE. This sounds freaking epic.

    It should totally be a movie.


    Okay. I’m done. *happy dance*

    Awesome review!!! [If you can’t tell]
    <333 Inkinator

    • It SHOULD be a movie!! It’s being optioned, so I hope some awesome director picks it up sometime soon! (My boyfriend is going to be a director, and he wants it…but I don’t think it will take very long to get snagged)

      YOU’D BETTER NOT BE THE BLACK SHEEP. I would probably cry!


      • Your boyfriend…director? HOLY CRAP THAT IS AWESOME.
        Dude I should get in his movies. O.O Lol
        *inner Inky dream* Haha. But it would probably never happen.
        Oh I plan on loving this book. Even if I hate it. Which I probably won’t. LOL.
        Course I didn’t like TFIOS as much as everyone seemed too…


        <33 Inky

          • Hehe that’s totally awesome though!
            Truly? I know your reading tastes pretty well, and I honestly, don’t know what you’d think of it. Mostly because my official opinions were so different from what I thought I would think. WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT ME?!?!?!

            DAAW. Luff you too!

            • I’m not a big contemporary fan….but I shall have to see what all the fuss is about nonetheless. Hopefully I won’t be 30 by the time I finally read it, lmao!

  3. Jessica@a GREAT read

    Ooh nice! I started seeing this a lot in the bookstore this weekend and now it’s popping up in the blogosphere! Sounds like quite the read! Might have to add it to the TBR pile one day soon! Great review!

  4. laura thomas

    I have got to get this book! Everything I hear is fantastic and the synopsis blows me away!
    So glad you loved it!

  5. Thank God I read your review! This book didn’t sound like a good book to me but I loved looking at cover.
    But now… Now everything’s changed. I want to read it soooo bad! I love the part when you talk about the Waves.. Damn that sounds interesting!!!!!
    I’m just speechless because of the quotes!

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