Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hyped-Up 5th Wave Just Okay for Me

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

The Others have invaded Earth in four devastating waves of destruction.  Unlike 97% of Earth's population, 16-year-old Cassie Sullivan has managed to survive all of them.  Her parents were not so lucky.  Alone and terrified, she's making her careful way toward Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where she hopes to find her 5-year-old brother, Sammy.  With only an M16 and her own wits to keep her alive, Cassie must evade the Silencers that roam the destroyed landscape.  These "sleeper agents" look just like humans, but they're not people and they're certainly not friendly.  Therefore, she can't trust anyone.  No matter how benign they might appear.  

Evan Walker looks like your average 17-year-old boy.  He's not.  Even he doesn't understand why he takes the risk of rescuing Cassie Sullivan, but he does.  She doesn't want to trust him.  She shouldn't trust him.  But maybe the two can help each other navigate the dangerous world in which they now live.

In another world, "Zombie" was an average teenager, too.  Now, he's a soldier, training to stop the aliens and whatever horrors their 5th wave might unleash.  His recruits are a pathetic bunch, scared children even younger than Zombie.  Among them is a tiny 5-year-old boy, whom Zombie must teach to kill or be killed.

The fates of these three teenagers intersect in the strange, post-apocalyptic land that has become their new normal.  As they fight to save themselves and their world, they will learn some shocking truths about each other.  Despite their differences, they will have to come together to defeat an enemy bent on annihilating them once and for all.

Even though I've read about a million YA post-apocalyptic novels, many of which are unoriginal copycats, I'm still intrigued by this genre.  When I received an ARC of The 5th Wave, the first book in Rick Yancey's popular alien invasion series, a couple years ago, I naturally wanted to read it.  It took me awhile, but I finally got to it.  What did I think?  Although the book starts slow, it's got plenty of action which kept me turning pages.  The characters and plot offered nothing really new or original and there were few surprises I didn't see coming.  Considering all the hype that has surrounded this book since its publication, I expected it to knock my socks off and ... it really didn't.  It's an engrossing book, yes, but not an exceptional one.  Eventually, I'll get around to reading the sequels and seeing the movie—I'm just not in any big rush.  As you can tell, in the end, The 5th Wave was just an okay read for me.  

(Readalikes:  Reminded me a lot of the Partials series [Partials; Fragments; Ruins] by Dan Wells)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (a few F-bombs, plus milder expletives), violence, blood/gore, and mild sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of The 5th Wave from the generous folks at Putnam (a division of Penguin).  Thank you!

2 comments:

  1. I have the feeling I wouldn't like this one but I'm still intrigued. I think I'll see the movie first though. I'll decide if I still want to read the book after. I know some people would scream at me for doing this but I'd rather waste 2 hours an a movie than 6+ on a book.

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  2. I still really want to read this but I'm so scared I'll have a similar reaction!! I hate when I can guess what's happening. Then again, I'm very bad at guessing what's happening,s o there's probably hope after all ;)

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