Title: The 5th Wave
Author: Rick Yancey
Genre: YA science fiction
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review download from Audiobook Jukebox‘s reviewer program
Audiobook reader: Brandon Espinoza, Phoebe Strole
Audiobook length: 12 hours and 41 minutes
First line: There will be no awakening.
Goodreads blurb: 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.
I was really in the mood for a good science fiction novel, and I can tell you that The 5th Wave absolutely fit the bill. I noticed that it even got a 4 and a half star rating in the latest issue of Bookmarks Magazine, which doesn’t happen very often.
Cassie is a strong, determined young woman, and yet she hasn’t become so fierce that she has lost her human-ness. She is still a teenage girl, thinking about the guy she had a crush on, her best friend, school – the way life was before They arrived. That’s when everything changed. The world is completely unrecognizable – no power, no communications. The majority of the world’s population has been decimated by tsunamis on the coasts and then a terrible plague bio-engineered by the Others. Cassie has kept on, driven by a promise she made to her younger brother.
The other main character/first-person narrator is Ben, a teenager who has lost everything, but is drawn to the hope promised by the new Army. He is broken down by their training and then rebuilt as a warrior, a leader of other children, all being taught to kill the Others. Ben wants to see the world freed of the aliens, but as he sees what his fellow soldier/children are becoming in the training process, he begins to have doubts. Can the Army leaders really be trusted?
I loved both Ben’s and Cassie’s storylines, and the narrators Brandon Espinoza and Phoebe Strole were both excellent. First person narratives lend themselves especially well to the audio format, and when you have a great narrator, it is like someone is telling you their personal story directly. That’s how I felt as I listened to The 5th Wave. I also appreciated that the author was able to keep the twists coming. I look forward to reading – or, preferably, listening to – the rest of the series.