Title : The 5th Wave
Author : Rick Yancey
Narrators : Brandon Espinoza, Phoebe Strole
Genre : Sci-fi, Post-apocalyptic
Publisher : Listening Library
Listening Length : 12 hours 45 minutes
Rating : 3.5/5
Narrator Rating : 4/5
The aliens have come, and they are ridding the earth of its native population, the humans, before they settle down. Humans are almost extinct after 4 Waves of destruction: the EMP, the Tsunamis, the Pestilence and the Silencers. But Cassieopeia Sullivan is a survivor. Her parents are dead, but her younger brother Sam has been taken by the Others, and she survives by the skin of her teeth, driven by the desire to rescue him. On her journey she comes into contact with rural farm boy Evan Walker, who convinces her that he is a friendly although she cannot be totally sure. Together they hatch a plan to rescue Sammy.
The 5th Wave was an interesting read. Yancey tells his story well. We understand the 4 Waves and all the events that have led to Cassie being the lone survivor. Yancey’s world has no technology – no cars etc. so Cassie is forced to travel by foot. For the most part, the characters are drawn well, although Cassie seems a little too brash and over-confident for a 16 year old, who until lately was happily going to school and contemplating high school crushes. The other main protagonist of the story is Ben Parrish, Cassie’s high school crush, who makes an appearance halfway through the book. Ben or Zombie, suffering from the pestilence has been taken to the Air Force Base and trained with other children (including Sammy) to fight against the Others.
Towards the beginning Yancey tells us the story from Cassie’s point of view. The narrative later shifts to Ben’s description of the boot camp where he is being trained. The end of this first book (yes, this is a series) comes when Ben and his friends, and Cassie and Evan, realize the full implication of the 5th Wave.
Yancey maintains an eventful pace throughout the book. Barring the spots where his characters exhibit YA-like symptoms of love, the writing was interesting. Even so, I couldn’t quite get into the book, and the whole thing with it’s climactic, the world-is-blowing-up ending seemed run-of-the-mill.
You might like this better if you like YA. Me, I’m not sure if I’m listening to Book 2.