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Monday, April 22, 2013

Is that some sort of alien technology in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Book Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Book Type: YA, sci-fi, alien invasion, dystopian thriller

Stereotype Alert: I was very afraid of the deadly YA love triangle but it never really surfaced.  Thank god!

Cover Art: Cool.  Only downside is that it only depicts one of our main characters.

Bed/Bride/Bludgeon: Evan/Ben/Vosch 

Character Score: 6.5 out of 10 Mr. Micawbers

What's the Story?: 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.

X-Factor: Action packed

Stereotype Alert: Not so much.  It wasn't a typical YA novel, it wasn't your typical sci-fi or your typical dystopian book either.  Again, I was super scared there was going to be a love triangle between Cassie and Evan and Ben but that didn't happen.  *whew*

Cover Art: I like it.  Here we have Cassie at twilight- the only time when the Silencers don't come out.  If only it gave us a glance at Evan and Ben... but I guess this cover does capture the loneliness of life on earth after an alien invasion.

Bed/Bride/Bludgeon:  Um, guys?  I'm going to confess something.  Evan may or may not be an alien (will Cassie ever find out for sure???) but he is super hot.  And even though I (Cassie) have longed to marry awesomely hot/popular Ben Parish my entire life, I would totally sleep with Evan.  What's that?  Ben hasn't been killed by aliens??? And he's been looking after my sweet kid brother?  OMG.  Future husband, how is it going?  But Commander Vosch is one sick freak and we need to put that guy down.  

Character Score:  The characters in this book were good.  But for me, this wasn't a book driven by the characters, it was one driven by insane alien killing(?) action.  I thought everyone was accessible etc. but because the POV changed around a lot, it was hard to really get all the way into one character's mind.  But again, this does not take away from the book in any way shape or form.

What's the Story?:  An alien race is attacking the earth in waves.  The first wave is an EMP that takes out all electricity on earth.  The second wave is a mega-tsunami which the aliens create by dropping a huge metal rod over a fault line in the ocean from waaaaaay far up; taking out islands and coastlines all over the world.  The third wave is a fatal disease carried by birds.  The fourth wave consists of highly trained alien snipers; what one of our protagonists, Cassie, calls "Silencers."  The aliens have killed off nearly all of the humans on earth and have succeeded in making the rest desperate and terrified.  But the humans who do survive all of these disasters aren't the weak ones.  

Cassie lives in the woods in a tent.  She has a backpack filled with a few provisions, a sleeping bag and her younger brother's stuffed teddy bear.  She watched her mother die from the bird plague.  She and her father and brother Sam made it to a sort of refugee camp only to have some army guys come in and take all of the children away on buses.  They promised they would come back for Cassie and all of the adults.  And they do.  But only to completely destroy the camp and everyone in it.  Cassie manages to escape aided by her father's quick thinking and then she is on the run.  She knows that the aliens have to have been studying humans for years, maybe even centuries.  She knows that they know that humans come together in groups during times of crisis.  And this is why Cassie must stay alone.  Being with others makes her a target.  And besides, she hasn't ever seen one of these aliens face-to-face.  What if they look just like humans?  

At some point here, we also meet Ben Parish who, during the course of making it to an army base has been renamed "Zombie."  Ben is a zombie for all intents and purposes.  He cannot forgive himself for leaving his kid sister to die like everyone else.  The army recruits him to be a badass alien killer and he throws himself into the job completely.  Anything so he doesn't have to think about Sissy.  When his commander adds a new recruit to his unit, a five-year-old named "Nugget," Ben takes responsibility for the scared little kid and creates a surrogate sibling.  And yes, Nugget would happen to be Cassie's brother Sam.  

After a nearly fatal gunshot wound to the knee from a Silencer, Cassie hobbles away only to pass out during a snowstorm.  She comes to expecting the afterlife but instead finding a cozy country house.  And a super hot guy who is nursing her back to health.  Here we meet Evan Walker: super hot farm boy who hunts, bakes bread, teaches Cassie how to shoot a gun and also lies about a lot of stuff.  But has dreamy chocolate colored eyes (OK, there's a bit of stereotype there).   Through various turns of events, it becomes clear that though Cassie has a LOT of reasons not to trust Evan, the two of them are stuck together in Cassie's plan to rescue Sam. 

X-Factor: Guys, this book deserves an award that combines Chuck Norris, a bunch of machine guns and a race car.  That is how fast-paced and action packed this book is.  

I was so excited to learn that Yancey was coming out with a new series.  I was even more psyched when I found out that our library had obtained an advanced copy.  It was so awesome!  People have been saying it and I will agree that this series is the new Hunger Games.  It will knock your socks off.  I already know that Yancey has what it takes to write a gritty YA novel because I LOVED The Monstrumologist.  Um, Victorian-era scientist who hunts/studies monsters and is filled with very graphic monster autopsy scenes??? Yeah.  Awesome.  

Do yourself a big favor and read this book!

The 5th Wave is available at all bookstores May 7th, 2013.  


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