The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
So, I saw the movie trailer and was sufficiently intrigued. Not that I needed a lot of convincing. My fellow blogger and friend Heidi at Rainy Day Ramblings has raved about this one. I have about 650 "friends" on Goodreads and I believe this book has been reviewed by more of my "friends" than any other book I've read. Honestly, I didn't even own this book until the movie trailer started showing on the t.v. screen and then I was hooked. And it's a shame that I bought not one, but two more books because I have a BOOK ROOM! My blog name is real. But I could have worse habits.
First the narration is unique. It starts out with Cassie, a young female who is telling us what happened when the mothership parked above the planet. She is somewhat detached as she recounts what happens in each wave. Interspersed are real time chapters and other narrators. It sounds complicated but it isn't and I think the way the "waves" are recounted is done well. There would be way too much detail to go into earthquakes and tsunamis and all. The simpler the better. The effect is the same- total devastation. I like the uncomplicated way Cassie sees the world and describes the alien takeover. As a character, she's okay. I probably liked her more in the beginning of the book than the last part of the book. And I can't really pinpoint why that is, maybe her not seeing what she should have sooner. Maybe her reliance on someone. She lost her hard edge. But she never strayed from her mission.
I can't comment on all the characters but I will say that my favorite was Ringer. She was smart, tough, better than any of the guys and though we don't get her story, we aren't even sure how old she is, we know she isn't dead behind those eyes. She never wavers. She never loses her edge and she always wins. I can't tell if she has feelings for Zombie or if that's something he's just hoping for but I guarantee if that is something she wants, it'll happen and she'll keep him alive to make sure it does.
The story is what kept my mouth hanging open and had me explaining the whole book to three otherwise engaged men/boys who could have cared less. I can't really say much without giving the plot away but there are twists and turns and betrayals so that you don't know what to believe or who to believe or who is who. The only thing you know is that the aliens are winning. And you aren't sure what humans have to beat them with except maybe hope or soul or faith or love. Or all of those things. And I am glad that we have those things. Because we all read dystopians and science fiction and apocalyptic novels and close the book with the relief that it didn't really happen. But Rick Yancey has scared the pants off me! I closed the book and thought, "Damn, that could happen. We have these stupid ideas that aliens want to be friends with us. And can be beaten. What if they just want our planet and want to wipe us out???" It's a scary thought. I hope someone has a plan for that because I'm not sure I could ever be ready for The 5th Wave!
I do highly recommend this novel with some cautions. There is a lot of violence (shooting, fighting to the death) death from various benign and not so benign causes, and some mention of sexual assaults and being naked but no sex on the page or sex at all that I recall. So use your judgement. I don't know what they will do in the movie. I haven't noticed the ratings. I wouldn't hesitate to let anyone 10 and up read this- it's no worse than some of the video games I've seen, the school hallways or the nightly news. But that's your call mom and dad!
Have you patted yourself on the back today??