Monday, April 22, 2013
ARC Review: "The 5th Wave" by Rick Yancey
From Goodreads: "The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.
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."
As many will know, this book has had major hype surrounding it- perchance the most hype that the world of young adult literature has experienced in years. While in the large majority of cases I do believe that hyped up books deserve all of the hype surrounding them, I must admit that I didn't believe that that to be the case for this book. While overall I did really enjoy it, I can't think of a single reason why this book stands out more than any other YA book of this nature out there.
While I hate making book comparisons with best-sellers, I do find the following titles to be the most apt description- this book is "The Hunger Games" meets "The Host". Like Katniss, Cassie goes out of her way to protect her brother at all costs- even if means sacrificing herself, she's quick on the draw, and she has a difficult time trusting people. Like "The Host", this book makes us question what makes humans human and whether others are capable of humanity. Furthermore, like "The Host", the aliens implant themselves within humans and have a similar make-up.
I think that my largest complaints about this book was the pacing of the book- I personally found the first 100 pages to be a draaaaag- almost entirely composed of world-building/ back story. There were a number of times when I thought that the characters were dragging their feet/ not realizing the severity of the situation that they were in/ the action-packed moments never really felt as such. If upwards of a 100 pages of this book were shaved off I think that I would have enjoyed it more so.
Furthermore, I didn't find the plot to be near as unique as I had hoped (as becomes evident with my comparing it to "The Hunger Games" and "The Host")- we have a kick-butt female character, a mysterious male who quickly sweeps her off of her feet, a post-apocalyptic society reminiscent of "Partials" by Dan Wells, and so forth. Additionally, I found myself growing increasingly overwhelmed with the changes in POV (we have POVs from Cassie, Zombie, and Cassie's young brother)- especially with the POVs being so un-uniform (one character's POV would be a hundred pages, the next 20 pages, the next 60, and so forth)- every time I found myself finally starting to settle into a character it switched.
That being said, Yancey knows how to write THE FEELS/ twisty turns quite unlike any other. There were a number of times while reading this book that I literally gasped out loud. Furthermore, I LOVED Evan- he is very likely to knock a number of my top YA book boyfriends down the list, if not entirely off of it.
All in all, while I did overall enjoy this book I do question whether or not it has the potential to become the "next big thing in YA". I personally find it to be no different than many other books on the market, the aforementioned "The Hunger Games" and "The Host", "Partials", "Blood Red Road", and so forth. That being said, I will continue on with this series, if only just to see how it wraps up.
I received this book from the publisher to read and honestly review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.