The 5th Wave is a young adult sci-fi/dystopian novel about 16-year-old Cassie who is trying to survive an alien invasion. There have been four “waves” of the invasion so far which have wiped out the majority of the planet and Cassie is learning who she can trust as she tries to survive the fifth wave of destruction.
Cassie is a great lead protagonist. She is very believable in her reactions to events and you can see how she grows from an average American teenager before the aliens arrive into a young woman who, while she is still often scared, will fight for her family and can be strong when it’s needed. Cassie is one of the most believable and relatable YA heroines I’ve read in a while.
The 5th Wave is fast-paced and action-packed (I read it in just two days). It is full of twists and turns and you never really know if certain characters are telling the truth. That’s one of the best elements of the book – you never know everything and if a character is trustworthy. There are plot points that are explained and you, like the characters, take elements at face value and then suddenly everything is turned around.
It’s told from multiple points of view (the most prominent being Cassie) but it lets you work out who each character is and what their connection is to the bigger picture and other characters in the novel. Like with the plot-twists, because Rick Yancey lets elements unfold and doesn’t make anything too obvious it makes The 5th Wave more enjoyable and exciting because you are constantly on your toes.
The 5th Wave is the first book in a trilogy that I’m looking forward to continuing. I did think the premise would make a good standalone book but at the same time I liked the characters and ideas so much that I’m glad the story’s going to be developed more.
I give The 5th Wave 5/5 and am looking forward to getting my hands on the next book, The Infinite Sea.