Book Reviews

The Fifth Wave BY RICK YANCEY

Psss… Hey you! I heard you liked sci-fi movies involving an alien invasion. Wanna hear what this book is all about? Aliens invade the earth in five steps, using electromagnetic pulse, induced tsunamis, and a pandemic. They must have their own reasons for this methodical but inefficient campaign, and the motivations of aliens could indeed by inscrutable to us.

From “The Hunger Games” to “Divergent,” all of these dystopian young-adult dramas wind up hitting the same notes over and over again. At least “The 5th Wave” boasts a full-bodied turn by a sulky and smart teenager, who makes rooting for her stereotypical character easy to do.

But if I’m it, the last of my kind, the last page of human history, like hell I’m going to let the story end this way. I may be the last one, but I am the one still standing. I am the one turning to face the faceless hunter in the woods on an abandoned highway. I am the one not running but facing. Because if I am the last one, then I am humanity. And if this is humanity’s last war, then I am the battlefield.
The sci-fi disaster book/movie “The 5th Wave” starts very promisingly in its own apocalyptic fashion, but then turns into yet another teen flick along the lines of the Maze Runner, Divergent and Hunger Games franchises. The early chapters, in which the mysterious aliens (known as The Others) are first laying waste to humanity, are the best. For some unspecified reason, these aliens need the Earth’s resources but they won’t want “us”, the humans. They launch wave after wave of attacks, crippling the power system and unleashing pestilence and plague. As we are shown devastated cities, biblical floods and even a shot of Tower Bridge in London being snapped in half, the special effects are top-notch. The same can’t be said for the plotting, dialogue or the performances.

Cassiopeia Marie Sullivan (played by Chloë Grace Moretz), is an all-American high-school girl who turns into a Katniss Everdeen-like warrior once the alien assaults start in earnest.

She is struggling to survive, one of the last representative of humanity after an Alien attack, in which she survived the 4 first Waves purposing extinction of humankind. She used to be the average teenager, she liked reading, hanging out with her best friend Lizbeth, fantasying (from afar) about Ben Parish, the school star with a sexy smile. After the 1st Wave, Cassie is part of those who went on with their life, keeping things as normal as possible, by keeping going to school for instance. When her mother dies from infection during the 3rd Wave, her father decides to take her and her brother Sammy away from the city, to find safety. When the book starts, Cassie is by herself, her brother has been taken by the army, her father killed by this same army and she has only one goal: find her brother back, as promised. While alone, she keeps writing a diary about the past, present and future. She sleeps with her brother’s teddy bear in one hand and her rifle in the other. She is determined and I really loved her dry humour. This is the character I connected the most with, I really get her.

 

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

Benjamin Thomas Parish aka Ben or Zombie is one of the remaining survivors; leader of Squad 53, he survived the Waves by abandoning those he loved, by running away instead of facing, and he seems to never really forgive himself about that. He lost everyone he knew in the previous Waves.

Evan Walker is one of the Silencers/Others. As part of the 4th Wave, his role was to find earthen and kill them. He looks like a human as his Alien’s spirit was “downloaded” into his Human host. He finds Cassie quite early in this book but can’t find the force to kill her. Instead, he keeps following her, spying her in the shadow, reading her diary when she is out of camp. Well, he is quite creepy when it comes to Cassie. One day he tries to do what he is meant to do, but misses his hit and only injured Cassie’s leg. When she passes out, he nurses her back to health. I liked this creepy stalker even though he was… well a creepy stalker. He fell in love with Cassie’s personality and her determination. He fell in love with her hope and hopelessness. It was sweet, but kind of insta-love anyway.

This book is about how you would survive in a world where the person standing in front of you could be your enemy. It is all about whom you will trust at the end.All I could do was to keep reading because it was impossible to even predict what would happen in next chapter. The chapters are very short, which I really liked.

“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.”

I liked this book, it was almost perfect for a YA book, I liked the action parts and the way the book introduces aliens to the narrative (very original) I would have given it 5 stars but I don’t like the cheesy ending (where Ben is hugging and kissing casey) what was up with that ? According to the story they don’t even know each other , (just son glances from school) so why would it end up like that?

Ok now there are 2 more books in this series so i hope they don’t abuse that angle (the romantic one with Ben) . I liked Evan a lot more btw .

4.5/5