Today's Grateful List/31 December 2015

  • Going to get answers no matter what

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The 5th Wave...Go Read This One. Now. What Are You Waiting For?

Rick Yancey's The 5th Wave starts off with a bang, launching us into the life of Cassie Sullivan, who has somehow survived the Arrival of the aliens and their four waves of attack designed to decimate the humans of Earth: Lights Out, Surf's Up, Pestilence, and Silencers. Determined to retrieve her five year old brother Sammy from the hands of those who have taken him for protection, Cassie sidesteps burning cities, carrying her Luger and her M16, knowing her parents and most of those she has known are dead. Her trek to the former Wright-Patterson Air Force base where Sammy is being kept is treacherous, and when she is shot by a Silencer, she knows her time has come to an end. Maybe.

Sorry I can't do justice to this gripping story in so short a summary, but there is so much going on with several twists and turns that it's hard to grasp it all. Cassie's voice is horrifyingly real as we experience her emotions and her determination to get to her brother, the last family she has left; she's a survivor who somehow finds ways to either outsmart or out manuever the aliens who are systematically destroying all humans. I felt her pain and I experienced her thoughts; she's become one of my favorite teenaged protagonists. If she were the only redeeming character in The 5th Wave, I'd have been completely satisfied with the book. But amazingly enough, her point of view is not the only one, nor is it the most riveting.

Interspersed with Cassie's tale (told both in the present and also through flashbacks) are the stories of Zombie, Evan, and even Sammy, the five year old brother of Cassie. Every time I moved from one point of view to another, my heart went along just as deeply; I found myself submerged into the head of whomever was telling the story. But it's Sammy who had my soul; when I followed him as he told the story of his departure from Cassie and their father, my heart melted and I wanted to reach inside those pages and hold him close. Kudos, Mr. Yancey; you had this non-crier in tears seeing things through Sammy's eyes.
The 5th Wave is, of course, a post-apocalyptic tale, but it's so much more than that. There's justifiable hatred, despair, determination, stubbornness, heartbreak, brilliance and redemption on almost every page; there's a deep sense of humanity's ability to rally in the face of overwhelming odds. Our main characters aren't perfect but they don't have to be. I'm so far beyond hooked that I'm literally giddy with the thought of more novels to come in this series. Do yourself a favor and go read this one right now. I guarantee that you're gonna find pieces of yourself left inside its pages when you close it. Highly recommended. What are you waiting for?

Seriously, why are you still here? Go get this book.


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