The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey: Book Review

Title: The 5th Wave
Series: The 5th Wave #1
Author: Rick Yancey
Publication Details: May 7th 2013 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Copy: Paperback bought from Fully Booked
Link: Goodreads

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.

A gripping, thrilling read. I've been hearing a lot of good reviews about The 5th Wave but never had the chance to read it until recently.

The story started in the midst of Cassie's survival with portions about the past to explain her circumstances and give background to the story. From there, Cassie's mission to fulfill a promise then follows.

I have read a few apocalyptic novels but still, The 5th Wave gave something refreshing. Yes, we still have some old YA, apocalyptic elements but the refreshing ones (at least for me) made up for the cliché. I especially liked the element of how the Others was able to successfully attack the earth. I don't think I have read anything like that before. I find it really interesting and am looking forward to reading more of the Others and how humans will fight them.

Since the story is told in multi-perspective, I was able to glimpse different sides of what it's like to be under an apocalypse. I liked how the story did not only focus on Cassie's mission but also on other characters' circumstances. Aside from the fight between the Others and humans, I'm also looking forward to Cassie and Evan's story and how things will work out for them. :)

The 5th Wave is both predictable and unpredictable. I was able to predict Ben's, Evan's and Vosch's stories (although I doubted my prediction regarding Vosch for a little while I was reading). But there were some things that surprised me particularly toward the ending. :)

I really like the main character, Cassie. I enjoyed reading her thoughts and following her mission. She's brave, easily relatable and has a sense of humor. Cassie already started strong in The 5th Wave so I am looking forward to how her character will develop further.

As for Evan, he's still a mystery to me, but I think I also like him. I still have questions about his background and his true color, which I'm sure will be answered in the next books. :)

Sammy is another interesting character. He's only 5 years old (I forgot... I'm not sure), thus he offers a refreshing perspective. I'm looking forward to knowing more of how he will take his new environment.

Vosch, the main villain, was not explored yet in The 5th Wave. During his few exposures, I think the author was able to create a villain that can really be convincing. Like all others, I'm sure more will be known about him soon.

I liked the writing style of the author. I liked the past-present, multi-perspective way of story-telling. And I was able to enjoy my reading experience. It was actually hard to put the book down. Haha!

Though I had a hard time following the beginning of one of the chapters, in general, the events are easy to follow and picture in my mind.

Overall, I enjoyed reading The 5th Wave and I can't wait to read The Infinite Sea. If you're looking for a thrilling, gripping apocalyptic, sci-fi read, then I suggest you go read The 5th Wave.

Rick is a native Floridian and a graduate of Roosevelt University in Chicago. He earned a B.A. in English which he put to use as a field officer for the Internal Revenue Service. Inspired and encouraged by his wife, he decided his degree might also be useful in writing books and in 2004 he began writing full-time.

Since then he has launched two critically acclaimed series: The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp, for young readers, and The Highly Effective Detective, for adults. Both books are set in Knoxville, Tennessee, where Rick lived for ten years before returning to Florida.


  1. I've been meaning to read this book, especially with the movie coming out. It seems like you liked all the characters which is great, I love it when there's a whole cast I enjoy reading about. I haven't read much apocalyptic-type books but I always enjoy them, my favourite has to be Susan Ee's Angelfall series, it's so so amazing but I think I will definitely give this one a try.
    So glad you loved it, great review!
    Cody @ Literary-ly Obsessed

    1. Ooh. I haven't read the Angelfall series, but it's on my wishlist and TBR. I hope to buy it very soon. I hope you'll like The 5th Wave too. Thanks for stopping by! :)

  2. I loved this book so much, the multiple perspectives meant that you could see a larger picture of the invasion as well as the different aspects that were really interesting. My favourite remained Cassie's however and not just because of Evan ;) although to be fair he did play a big part! It's one of the reasons the second book wasn't my favourite but I hope you still enjoy it :)
    Enchanted by YA

    1. Ooh nice. I'm hoping to read The Infinite Sea some time in March, maybe? Or some time close to the release date of the last book. I've heard mixed reviews about the second one, so I'm looking forward to read it and find for myself what I think of it. :) Thanks for stopping by! :)

  3. I read this when it first came out and it was super hyped at the time, which, I think, ruined it for me, since it didn't feel like anything special. But I'm glad you enjoyed! Great review.

    1. It happens. That's actually one of the reasons why I don't immediately read new releases. I wait for some time to read it. :) But thanks for dropping by! :)

  4. I'm currently reading this book and yes, it is really good! Cassie is - like you said - brave, funny, relatable. How often do you get post-apocalyptic books about aliens? Well, it isn't that popular in the 21st century. But this book is amazing! Glad to hear you enjoyed it too :)

    Cloe @ Mornings and Epilogues

    1. It is indeed an amazing read! :) The second book has mixed reviews, but I'm still looking forward to read it. Thanks for stopping by! :)

  5. I'm glad you liked this one! I read it back when it came out so I don't remember much. I really want to reread it and continue on with the series so maybe I'll do that soon.
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

    1. I'm planning to read the second book sometime in March or April. :) Maybe we can buddy read?

      Thanks for stopping by! :)


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