The 5th Wave (Fifth Wave Series #1)

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"Remarkable, not-to-be-missed-under-any-circumstances."—Entertainment Weekly (Grade A)

The Passage meets Ender's Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.

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...

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The 5th Wave (Fifth Wave Series #1)

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"Remarkable, not-to-be-missed-under-any-circumstances."—Entertainment Weekly (Grade A)

The Passage meets Ender's Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.

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.

"Wildly entertaining . . . I couldn't turn the pages fast enough."—Justin Cronin, The New York Times Book Review

"A modern sci-fi masterpiece . . . should do for aliens what Twilight did for vampires."—

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  • The 5th Wave - "The 4th Wave"
    The 5th Wave -  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

After the first wave, only darkness remains. After the second, only the lucky escape. After the third, only the unlucky survive. After the fourth, only one rule applies: trust no one. Somehow, Cassie has survived and now she is running from monsters who look like humans. By this point, she knows that the only way to stay alive is to stay alone. But then she meets Evan Walker, the teenager behind the one pair of eyes that she can begin to trust.

The New York Times Book Review - Justin Cronin
…wildly entertaining…Just about everything here is borrowed from one venerable pop culture source or another, but it's a rip-roaring setup, and as the bodies accumulate, the pages turn themselves. It's hard to recall a novel—Y.A. or otherwise—in which more bad things happen to more good people in such a short span of time…it's a testament to Yancey's skill that for the duration of this grown-up's reading, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.
Publishers Weekly
Yancey makes a dramatic 180 from the intellectual horror of his Monstrumologist books to open a gripping SF trilogy about an Earth decimated by an alien invasion. The author fully embraces the genre, while resisting its more sensational tendencies (rest assured, though, there are firefights and explosions aplenty). A rare survivor of the invasion, 16-year-old Cassie, armed with an M16 rifle and her younger brother’s teddy bear, is trying to reunite with her brother and escape the “Silencer” (assassin) trying to kill her. Meanwhile, 17-year-old “Zombie,” an unwitting military recruit, is facing a crisis of conscience. The story’s biggest twists aren’t really surprises; the hints are there for readers to see. Yancey is more interested in examining how these world-shaking revelations affect characters who barely recognize what their lives have become. As in the Monstrum-ologist series, the question of what it means to be human is at the forefront—in the words of cartoonist Walt Kelly, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” It’s a book that targets a broad commercial audience, and Yancey’s aim is every bit as good as Cassie’s. Ages 14–up. Agent: Brian DeFiore, DeFiore and Co. (May)
From the Publisher
New York Times bestseller
USA Today bestseller
Winner of the 2014 Red House Children's Book Award 
2014 Children’s Choice Book Awards Finalist for Teen Book of the Year
A YALSA 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults
A YALSA 2014 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers
Booklist 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults
VOYA 2013 Perfect Ten

"Remarkable, not-to-be-missed-under-any-circumstances."
Entertainment Weekly

“It has the dark, swoopy adrenaline of The Hunger Games, but the elegiac tone of The Road. Who cares what shelf you find it on? Just read it.”

“Makes for an exhilarating reading experience.”

“Wildly entertaining.... I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.”
—Justin Cronin, The New York Times Book Review

"A modern sci-fi masterpiece... should do for aliens what Twilight did for vampires."

"Step aside, Katniss."
—The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Action-packed intrigue."

—Publishers Weekly, *starred review*

*"Nothing short of amazing!"
Kirkus Reviews, *starred review*

*"Yancey's heartfelt, violent, paranoid epic, filled with big heroics and bigger surprises, is part War of the Worlds, part Starship Troopers, part Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and part The Stand . . . a sure thing for reviewers and readers alike."
—Booklist *starred review*

"This is DAMN and WOW territory.  Quite simply, one of the best books I've read in years."
—Melissa Marr, New York Times bestselling author

"Breathtakingly fast-paced and original, The 5th Wave is a reading tsunami that grabs hold and won't let go.  A postapocalyptic alien invasion story with a smart, vulnerable heroine."
—Melissa De La Cruz, New York Times bestselling author of the Blue Bloods series

"A fantastic read. The 5th Wave is an electrifying page-turner."
—Kathy Reichs, New York Times bestselling author

"Prepare to set everything else aside when you launch into this one. The break-neck pace and high stakes will draw you in, but it's the characters who will keep you turning pages. It's been a long time since I've read a story this compelling."
—Cinda Williams Chima, New York Times bestselling author

Other awards for Rick Yancey:

The Monstrumologist Series: Printz Honor Book, YALSA Readers’ Choice List – Best Book for Young Adults, Kirkus’ Best Teen Books, Booklist Editors’ Choice for Youth, Los Angeles Times Book Award Finalist—Best Young Adult Literature, Tayshas Reading List (Texas Library Association), NCTE’s Walden Book Award Finalist, Garden State Teen Book Award Nominee, Teen Choice Book of the Year Nominee, Pacific Northwest Library Association Young Readers Choice Award Nominee
The Alfred Kropp Series: A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, A Book Sense Pick Best Books of the Year, A BookBrowse Recommendation, A Texas Lone Star Reading List Selection, A Sunshine State Readers List Selection, Featured Author/Book - Scholastic Book Fairs , Nominated for the Carnegie Medal (U.K.), Nominee for the Grand Canyon Reader Award

Children's Literature - Remy Dou
In an era of emotionally sensitive werewolves, conservative vampires, and heartwarming zombies the cold-blooded alien seems to have fallen out of regard. Although alien invasions continue to reign over the science-fiction genre, not since Ender's Game have they had the potential for commercial attraction that they do with Yancey's fresh, unremitting protagonist: Cassie. From the very beginning, this seemingly shy, introspective sixteen-year-old faces the challenge of living in a post-invasion world, where over ninety percent of the population has perished, including her mother. Do not expect to read about slimy monsters or funny-faced humanoid species. These beings elude description; they are as far removed from humans as humans are from ants. After three major alien attacks, Cassie finds herself alone in the woods dealing with a fourth: alien possession of human minds. Who can be trusted when there is no way of telling the good guy from the bad guy? Yancey does a good job at refreshing this old premise by allowing readers to see through Cassie's eyes. Although about a quarter of the way through readers get to see other characters' perspective, Cassie's holds the most attention. Cassie will remind readers what it means to be human. Ender's Game meets Hunger Games, Yancey has written another hit. Reviewer: Remy Dou
VOYA - Amanda Fensch
Cassie is on the run from the Others, beings who invaded the Earth and wiped out billions of people. She has learned to survive by carrying only the essentials and trusting no one, even if they look human. After four waves of invasion—darkness, tsunamis, plague, and humans implanted with alien consciousness—Cassie finds herself alone and on a mission to save her brother from the Others. Ben, a former classmate of Cassie's, winds up recruited by what is left of the military and trained to wipe out the invaders. It is only by luck that he is put in a squad with Sammy, Cassie's brother, and Ben swears he will protect Sammy to the end of the Earth. Then, there is Evan, a solitary figure in the woods fighting off invaders, who gives Cassie another reason to live. And they are all trying to find a way to stop the fifth wave and what may be the end of humanity. If Yancey's Monstrumologist series was not proof enough that he is a masterful storyteller, this book should convince any doubters. Undeniably gorgeous, heartbreaking, and thrilling, The 5th Wave strikes at the very heart of what it means to be human, to love, trust, and survive in the worst possible situations. This is a must-read for anyone, from the sci-fi fans and thriller junkies to those looking for a book that will keep them up way past their bedtimes. Expect this book to be in heavy demand. Reviewer: Amanda Fensch
VOYA - Geri Diorio
Aliens have come to Earth, bringing death with them. First, they killed all electrical devices. Then, they flooded coastal cities. Next was a pandemic, spread by birds. Their fourth wave of destruction are snipers, "sleeper agents" planted long ago, who awaken to kill humans. Cassie is sixteen, surviving alone with her best friend—an M16 assault rifle. She is targeted by a fourth wave sniper, but rescued by farm boy Evan, who has depths to him that Cassie cannot fathom. "Zombie" is seventeen, a former high school athlete now being trained to kill aliens in humanity's last-gasp effort at survival: a child army. Zombie is a squad leader, and his squad gets a new recruit, a very tiny five-year-old boy named Nugget, who awakens protective instincts in Zombie. Although this science fiction thriller has plenty of fast action, Yancey makes sure there is still time for thoughtfulness. The end of the world is a big deal, and the characters do reflect on it. Cassie is smart enough to know her weaknesses, snarky, scared, and yet strong. She keeps fighting past all hope. Zombie is clever, kind, and learns from his past, as well as his terrifying present. The characters are deep, rich, and real. Yancey does not hand over everything on a plate; he makes readers figure things out from context, drawing you deeper into the world. The ending, while obviously setting up for a sequel or two, is satisfyingly not a cliffhanger. Yancey writes so well, he is like a Stephen King for YAs. Reviewer: Geri Diorio
VOYA - Holly Storm
The 5th Wave is absolutely captivating. Yancey imbues a melancholy premise with surprising humor and buoyancy. The language is familiar but still sophisticated and, in places, quite beautiful. The plot is a little slow at first, but quickly accelerates until it is impossible to put the book down. It all converges in a spell of well-constructed action that carries without pause through the end. The characters' interactions are alternately heartwarming and heart wrenching. It is easy to befriend and root for Cassie, even with the palpability of her doom in the offing. Reviewer: Holly Storm, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Cassie travels with just the essentials. First on the list: Luger, M-16, ammo, Bowie knife. Incidentals like food, water, sleeping bag, and nail clippers come further down. A nondescript 16-year-old, she is one of the very few people left alive on Earth. Aliens sent waves of destructive forces to eradicate humans: Cassie's family survived the 1st and 2nd Waves. Her mother died in the 3rd Wave (Pestilence) and her father in the 4th (Silencers). Her little brother may still be alive; he may even be safe in a military compound, as Cassie deals with the 5th Wave- a carefully orchestrated survival dance of kill or be killed. The aliens are never described in detail, and their reasons for wanting the humans gone are not clear. But they are ruthless and determined, and their methods for gaining control mean readers will never again see owls as the friendly, mail-delivering avians portrayed in the world of Harry Potter. The compelling story is told from the viewpoints of Cassie and Ben, who is now a soldier known as Zombie. Cassie crushed on Ben at school, but he never particularly noticed her. Now he has transformed from handsome high school sports star to focused paramilitary killer. Yancey's story is full of violent twists and turns, but character development continues along with nonstop action. Cassie and Ben grow out of high school self-centeredness and find leadership qualities. Cassie's interactions with an alien elevate him from a one-dimensional "bad guy" role. While the big body counts (billions die) happen largely offscreen, there are numerous more personal instances in which teens are both killers and killed. The ending has enough planned loose ends to practically guarantee a sequel.—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX
Kirkus Reviews
The challenge? Surviving the genocide of the human race when aliens attack Earth in the not-too-distant future. Sixteen-year-old Cassie, her brother Sam and her dad survived the first four gruesome waves of the attack. Together, the three wait out the titular fifth in a military base for survivors until school buses arrive to take all children to safety, including her brother Sam. Cassie, her dad and the rest of the adults are then divested of their weapons and marched into a bunker by their protectors. Cassie escapes, only to see her dad (and everyone else) brutally executed by their so-called protectors. She then embarks on a mission to rescue her brother. As in his previous efforts (The Monstrumologist, 2009, etc.), Yancey excels in creating an alternative world informed by just enough logic and sociology to make it feel close enough to our own. The suspension-of-disbelief Kool-Aid he serves goes down so easy that every piece of the story--no matter how outlandish--makes perfect sense. The 500-plus-page novel surges forward full throttle with an intense, alarming tone full of danger, deceit and a touch of romance. The plot flips back and forth with so much action and so many expert twists that readers will constantly question whom they can trust and whom they can't. Best of all, everything feels totally real, and that makes it all the more riveting. Nothing short of amazing. (Science fiction. 14 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399162411
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 5/7/2013
  • Series: Fifth Wave Series, #1
  • Pages: 592
  • Sales rank: 6,723
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: HL690L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.58 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 1.47 (d)

Meet the Author

Rick Yancey

Rick Yancey ( is the author of the New York Times bestseller The 5th Wave, The Infinite Sea, several adult novels, and the memoir Confessions of a Tax Collector. His first young-adult novel, The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp, was a finalist for the Carnegie Medal. In 2010, his novel, The Monstrumologist, received a Michael L. Printz Honor, and the sequel, The Curse of the Wendigo, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. When he isn't writing or thinking about writing or traveling the country talking about writing, Rick is hanging out with his family.

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Read an Excerpt



I’m not talking about real aliens. The Others aren’t stupid. The Others are so far ahead of us, it’s like comparing the dumbest human to the smartest dog. No contest.

No, I’m talking about the aliens inside our own heads.

The ones we made up, the ones we’ve been making up since we realized those glittering lights in the sky were suns like ours and probably had planets like ours spinning around them. You know, the aliens we imagine, the kind of aliens we’d like to attack us, human aliens. You’ve seen them a million times. They swoop down from the sky in their flying saucers to level New York and Tokyo and London, or they march across the countryside in huge machines that look like mechanical spiders, ray guns blasting away, and always, always, humanity sets aside its differences and bands together to defeat the alien horde. David slays Goliath, and everybody (except Goliath) goes home happy.

What crap.

It’s like a cockroach working up a plan to defeat the shoe on its way down to crush it.

There’s no way to know for sure, but I bet the Others knew about the human aliens we’d imagined. And I bet they thought it was funny as hell. They must have laughed their asses off. If they have a sense of humor . . . or asses. They must have laughed the way we laugh when a dog does something totally cute and dorky.

Oh, those cute, dorky humans! They think we think like they do! Isn’t that adorable?

Forget about flying saucers and little green men and giant mechanical spiders spitting out death rays. Forget about epic battles with tanks and fighter jets and the final victory of us scrappy, unbroken, intrepid humans over the bug-eyed swarm. That’s about as far from the truth as their dying planet was from our living one.

The truth is, once they found us, we were toast.


SOMETIMES I THINK I might be the last human on Earth.

Which means I’m the last human in the universe.

I know that’s dumb. They can’t have killed everyone . . . yet. I see how it could happen, though, eventually. And then I think that’s exactly what the Others want me to see.

Remember the dinosaurs? Well.

So I’m probably not the last human on Earth, but I’m one of the last. Totally alone—and likely to stay that way—until the 4th Wave rolls over me and carries me down.

That’s one of my night thoughts. You know, the three-in-the-morning, oh-my-God-I’m-screwed thoughts. When I curl into a little ball, so scared I can’t close my eyes, drowning in fear so intense I have to remind myself to breathe, will my heart to keep beating. When my brain checks out and begins to skip like a scratched CD. Alone, alone, alone, Cassie, you’re alone.

That’s my name. Cassie.

Not Cassie for Cassandra. Or Cassie for Cassidy. Cassie for Cassiopeia, the constellation, the queen tied to her chair in the northern sky, who was beautiful but vain, placed in the heavens by the sea god Poseidon as a punishment for her boasting. In Greek, her name means “she whose words excel.”

My parents didn’t know the first thing about that myth. They just thought the name was pretty.

Even when there were people around to call me anything, no one ever called me Cassiopeia. Just my father, and only when he was teasing me, and always in a very bad Italian accent: Cass-ee-oh-PEE-a. It drove me crazy. I didn’t think he was funny or cute, and it made me hate my own name. “I’m Cassie!” I’d holler at him. “Just Cassie!” Now I’d give anything to hear him say it just one more time.

When I was turning twelve—four years before the Arrival—my father gave me a telescope for my birthday. On a crisp, clear fall evening, he set it up in the backyard and showed me the constellation.

“See how it looks like a W?” he asked.

“Why did they name it Cassiopeia if it’s shaped like a W?” I replied. “W for what?”

“Well . . . I don’t know that it’s for anything,” he answered with a smile. Mom always told him it was his best feature, so he trotted it out a lot, especially after he started going bald. You know, to drag the other person’s eyes downward. “So, it’s for anything you like! How about wonderful? Or winsome? Or wise?” He dropped his hand on my shoulder as I squinted through the lens at the five stars burning over fifty light-years from the spot on which we stood. I could feel my father’s breath against my cheek, warm and moist in the cool, dry autumn air. His breath so close, the stars of Cassiopeia so very far away.

The stars seem a lot closer now. Closer than the three hundred trillion miles that separate us. Close enough to touch, for me to touch them, for them to touch me. They’re as close to me as his breath had been.

That sounds crazy. Am I crazy? Have I lost my mind? You can only call someone crazy if there’s someone else who’s normal. Like good and evil. If everything was good, then nothing would be good.

Whoa. That sounds, well . . . crazy.

Crazy: the new normal.

I guess I could call myself crazy, since there is one other person I can compare myself to: me. Not the me I am now, shivering in a tent deep in the woods, too afraid to even poke her head from the sleeping bag. Not this Cassie. No, I’m talking about the Cassie I was before the Arrival, before the Others parked their alien butts in high orbit. The twelve-year-old me, whose biggest problems were the spray of tiny freckles on her nose and the curly hair she couldn’t do anything with and the cute boy who saw her every day and had no clue she existed. The Cassie who was coming to terms with the painful fact that she was just okay. Okay in looks. Okay in school. Okay at sports like karate and soccer. Basically the only unique things about her were the weird name—Cassie for Cassiopeia, which nobody knew about, anyway—and her ability to touch her nose with the tip of her tongue, a skill that quickly lost its impressiveness by the time she hit middle school.

I’m probably crazy by that Cassie’s standards.

And she sure is crazy by mine. I scream at her sometimes, that twelve-year-old Cassie, moping over her hair or her weird name or at being just okay. “What are you doing?” I yell. “Don’t you know what’s coming?”

But that isn’t fair. The fact is she didn’t know, had no way of knowing, and that was her blessing and why I miss her so much, more than anyone, if I’m being honest. When I cry—when I let myself cry—that’s who I cry for. I don’t cry for myself. I cry for the Cassie that’s gone.

And I wonder what that Cassie would think of me.

The Cassie who kills.


HE COULDN’T HAVE BEEN much older than me. Eighteen. Maybe nineteen. But hell, he could have been seven hundred and nineteen for all I know. Five months into it and I’m still not sure if the 4th Wave is human or some kind of hybrid or even the Others themselves, though I don’t like to think that the Others look just like us and talk just like us and bleed just like us. I like to think of the Others as being . . . well, other.

I was on my weekly foray for water. There’s a stream not far from my campsite, but I’m worried it might be contaminated, either from chemicals or sewage or maybe a body or two upstream. Or poisoned. Depriving us of clean water would be an excellent way to wipe us out quickly.

So once a week I shoulder my trusty M16 and hike out of the forest to the interstate. Two miles south, just off Exit 175, there’re a couple of gas stations with convenience stores attached. I load up as much bottled water as I can carry, which isn’t a lot because water is heavy, and get back to the highway and the relative safety of the trees as quickly as I can, before night falls completely. Dusk is the best time to travel. I’ve never seen a drone at dusk. Three or four during the day and a lot more at night, but never at dusk.

From the moment I slipped through the gas station’s shattered front door, I knew something was different. I didn’t see anything different—the store looked exactly like it had a week earlier, the same graffiti-scrawled walls, overturned shelves, floor strewn with empty boxes and caked-in rat feces, the busted-open cash registers and looted beer coolers. It was the same disgusting, stinking mess I’d waded through every week for the past month to get to the storage area behind the refrigerated display cases. Why people grabbed the beer and soda, the cash from the registers and safe, the rolls of lottery tickets, but left the two pallets of drinking water was beyond me. What were they thinking? It’s an alien apocalypse! Quick, grab the beer!

The same disaster of spoilage, the same stench of rats and rotted food, the same fitful swirl of dust in the murky light pushing through the smudged windows, every out-of-place thing in its place, undisturbed.


Something was different.

I was standing in the little pool of broken glass just inside the doorway. I didn’t see it. I didn’t hear it. I didn’t smell or feel it. But I knew it.

Something was different.

It’s been a long time since humans were prey animals. A hundred thousand years or so. But buried deep in our genes the memory remains: the awareness of the gazelle, the instinct of the antelope. The wind whispers through the grass. A shadow flits between the trees. And up speaks the little voice that goes, Shhhh, it’s close now. Close.

I don’t remember swinging the M16 from my shoulder. One minute it was hanging behind my back, the next it was in my hands, muzzle down, safety off.


I’d never fired it at anything bigger than a rabbit, and that was a kind of experiment, to see if I could actually use the thing without blowing off one of my own body parts. Once I shot over the heads of a pack of feral dogs that had gotten a little too interested in my campsite. Another time nearly straight up, sighting the tiny, glowering speck of greenish light that was their mothership sliding silently across the backdrop of the Milky Way. Okay, I admit that was stupid. I might as well have erected a billboard with a big arrow pointing at my head and the words yoo-hoo, here i am!

After the rabbit experiment—it blew that poor damn bunny apart, turning Peter into this unrecognizable mass of shredded guts and bone—I gave up the idea of using the rifle to hunt. I didn’t even do target practice. In the silence that had slammed down after the 4th Wave struck, the report of the rounds sounded louder than an atomic blast.

Still, I considered the M16 my bestest of besties. Always by my side, even at night, burrowed into my sleeping bag with me, faithful and true. In the 4th Wave, you can’t trust that people are still people. But you can trust that your gun is still your gun.

Shhh, Cassie. It’s close.


I should have bailed. That little voice had my back. That little voice is older than I am. It’s older than the oldest person who ever lived.

I should have listened to that voice.

Instead, I listened to the silence of the abandoned store, listened hard. Something was close. I took a tiny step away from the door, and the broken glass crunched ever so softly under my foot.

And then the Something made a noise, somewhere between a cough and a moan. It came from the back room, behind the coolers, where my water was.

That’s the moment when I didn’t need a little old voice to tell me what to do. It was obvious, a no-brainer. Run.

But I didn’t run.

The first rule of surviving the 4th Wave is don’t trust anyone. It doesn’t matter what they look like. The Others are very smart about that—okay, they’re smart about everything. It doesn’t matter if they look the right way and say the right things and act exactly like you expect them to act. Didn’t my father’s death prove that? Even if the stranger is a little old lady sweeter than your great-aunt Tilly, hugging a helpless kitten, you can’t know for certain—you can never know—that she isn’t one of them, and that there isn’t a loaded .45 behind that kitten.

It isn’t unthinkable. And the more you think about it, the more thinkable it becomes. Little old lady has to go.

That’s the hard part, the part that, if I thought about it too much, would make me crawl into my sleeping bag, zip myself up, and die of slow starvation. If you can’t trust anyone, then you can trust no one. Better to take the chance that Aunty Tilly is one of them than play the odds that you’ve stumbled across a fellow survivor.

That’s friggin’ diabolical.

It tears us apart. It makes us that much easier to hunt down and eradicate. The 4th Wave forces us into solitude, where there’s no strength in numbers, where we slowly go crazy from the isolation and fear and terrible anticipation of the inevitable.

So I didn’t run. I couldn’t. Whether it was one of them or an Aunt Tilly, I had to defend my turf. The only way to stay alive is to stay alone. That’s rule number two.

I followed the sobbing coughs or coughing sobs or whatever you want to call them till I reached the door that opened to the back room. Hardly breathing, on the balls of my feet.

The door was ajar, the space just wide enough for me to slip through sideways. A metal rack on the wall directly in front of me and, to the right, the long narrow hallway that ran the length of the coolers. There were no windows back here. The only light was the sickly orange of the dying day behind me, still bright enough to hurl my shadow onto the sticky floor. I crouched down; my shadow crouched with me.

I couldn’t see around the edge of the cooler into the hall. But I could hear whoever—or whatever—it was at the far end, coughing, moaning, and that gurgling sob.

Either hurt badly or acting hurt badly, I thought. Either needs help or it’s a trap.

This is what life on Earth has become since the Arrival. It’s an either/or world.

Either it’s one of them and it knows you’re here or it’s not one of them and he needs your help.

Either way, I had to get up and turn that corner.

So I got up.

And I turned the corner.

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Interviews & Essays

One of the most-anticipated YA books slated for this year is THE 5TH WAVE, an alien apocalypse survival story by beloved author Rick Yancey. The book combines multiple narratives to create a sweeping portrait of a shattered world, where nothing and nobody is at it seems.

In one narrative, Cassie, a teenage survivor of the multi-level invasion that's wiped out most of the earth's population, tries to make her way to the refugee camp where her little brother is (hopefully!) still alive; in another, a boy nicknamed "Zombie" undergoes grueling training in preparation for humanity's last stand. And yes, it is very exciting.

People are already comparing the book, the first in an intended series, with epic end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it works like Stephen King's THE STAND or THE PASSAGE series by Justin Cronin (and the debut of a Hollywood-worthy book trailer last week has only added to the buzz.) With a month to go before the book's release on May 7th, we got Yancey to share his insights on the world of YA, the scariness of multi-book projects, and the relative romantic desirability of various famous aliens.

You're an incredibly prolific writer, with a memoir and several adult novels under your belt in addition to your various, more recent YA series. Did you set out to make a move into writing for teens, or did it happen organically? Do you have plans for more YA books after this series?
Prolific? Naw. R.L. Stine and Stephen King are prolific. Next to those guys, I'm a slouch. I think of my series for teens (ALFRED KROPP, THE MONSTRUMOLOGIST, THE 5TH WAVE) as three very long books broken into convenient reading segments, so that cuts down on my total count.

My foray into young adult lit was by no means planned. I wrote the first Alfred Kropp book as an adult novel, which everyone loved but no one would publish—until I changed my protagonist from a thirty-something P.I. into a 15-year-old kid. After that, it was off to the races and I am so GLAD. There's nothing like writing for that age group, so I consider what happened the happiest of accidents.

I always have ideas (usually half-baked) floating around in my head while I'm working on a series—but I'm the kind of writer (and person) who has to focus on one thing at a time or suffer creative schizophrenia. It's been a while since I've written a novel aimed at the adult market, but I never sit down and say to myself, "Okay, now I'm going to write something for us old folks." I get gripped by an idea and I go where the idea takes me.

When we first meet Cassie, the heroine of THE 5TH WAVE, she's about to be on the move and making the difficult choice of which books to keep in her traveling library. In the event of an alien apocalypse, which two titles would you want with you at all times?
I would take an old volume of poetry I still have from my college intro to American poetry course. In dark times, nothing beats verse. Second choice is harder. Maybe HOW TO SURVIVE AN ALIEN APOCALYPSE FOR DUMMIES?

Your Monstrumologist series nearly met a premature end back in 2011, but was saved by an extraordinary response from fans. (And there was much rejoicing.) Did you feel any trepidation about embarking on another multi-book project?
One lesson I learned from THE MONSTRUMOLOGIST was never to get too attached to your own characters. That's harder in practice than in theory. At the end of the third book—which coincided with the end of my contract—I was an emotional wreck. I mourned Will Henry and Warthrop. The other thing was their story wasn't finished. For a writer, that's heart-wrenching. I guess the fans felt the same way and rose to Will and Warthrop's defense, for which I am humbled and very grateful.

I always feel trepidation at the beginning of every project. I worry about so many things. Time to get it right, the skill to do it justice, the will to finish. I also worry about more mundane things, like what if my computer crashes and I've forgotten to backup the manuscript?

Speaking of THE MONSTRUMOLOGIST: was it hard to make the switch, as a writer, between the gothic, cobblestone-and-candlelight home of Will Henry and the contemporary wasteland of post-apocalyptic Ohio? How did you immerse yourself in the world of THE 5TH WAVE?

And speaking of the people who love THE MONSTRUMOLOGIST, what's the craziest thing a fan of your work has done? Have you seen any tattoos inspired by the series?
THE MONSTRUMOLOGIST is so unique that I had no problem rocketing into the present day. It occurred to me recently that every book I've written is in the first-person; I'm like an actor slipping into a different role. It's my policy not to immerse myself into a WORLD, but into a character's head and describe that world through his or her eyes.

I did see somewhere a fan was planning to get all tatted up with monstrumologist art. I don't know if she ever carried it through, but I remember being somewhat appalled.

Okay, back to the topic of aliens: what sparked the idea for THE 5TH WAVE? Was there a particular character/moment/setting from which the book emerged?
I've loved science and speculative fiction since I was a kid, so I guess it was inevitable I was going to try my hand at it. THE 5th WAVE evolved out of many separate strands. There was a discussion years ago between my wife and I about the most terrifying thing each of us could imagine. For her, it was an alien abduction, for two reasons: First, it was a frigging alien abduction. Second, she knew afterwards NO ONE WOULD BELIEVE HER. It was the isolation that terrified her. The idea of being ALONE in the face of such a mind-blowing encounter led to an image of a survivor, alone, vulnerable, at the end of hope and maybe of life. Thus Cassie was born, trapped beneath an abandoned car.

THE 5TH WAVE is a unique mashup of survivalist drama (a la "The Walking Dead" or "The Stand") and alien invasion story. Do you have favorite books/movies/shows from these genres, or one in particular that inspired you to write your own?
I read THE STAND years ago and remember liking it very much. I'm a huge movie fan, too. THE MATRIX blew me away. The ALIEN franchise is a favorite (well, I don't count PROMETHEUS). I can't think of a particular book or movie that goaded me into THE 5TH Wave, though.

Let's play Wed/Bed/Dead, alien edition. (Please pick one to marry, one to kill, and one to have... er, interplanetary relations with.) Today's featured aliens are E.T., a Prawn from "District 9," and one of those guys with the big foreheads from "This Island Earth." Ready? Go!
I don't think I could marry an extraterrestrial. I'm in love with a terrestrial. Who could kill E.T.? That would be like offing a bunny rabbit.

Having researched and written THE 5TH WAVE, what advice would you offer the rest of us in the event of an alien invasion?
I'm like Cassie in the opening of the book: the aliens we imagine have been, on the whole, ridiculous, from what they might look like to why they might come here. Stephen Hawking and other scientists have pointed out—correctly, I think—that a) yes, they probably are out there and b) we better hope they never find us. If they do find us, my advice is Evan's from the book: "Find something worth dying for."

Any hints about what we can expect from the rest of the 5TH WAVE series?
Book Two: Some very bad stuff is going to happen as the Others roll out their answer to Cassie's defiance.
Book Three: More bad stuff, some good stuff, and an affirmation . . . maybe not triumph, but an affirmation.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 352 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 352 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    The story is interesting enough, I guess. It's funny: it's marke

    The story is interesting enough, I guess. It's funny: it's marketed as being like Ender's Game, The Hunger Games, and The Road, but it feels more like the author <i>wanted</i>
    to make it like those, so he sloppily threw together a girl wandering the wasteland here, a camp for child soldiers there. When the quasi-Twilight love triangle started to develop, I almost threw the book down entirely. On the other hand, it's fairly entertaining at times and a pretty easy read, and I think my disappointment was augmented by all of the hype and advance marketing the book got.

    I don't know what it is about teen books that they all start to feel the same, like they're written by the same mediocre, seventeen-year-old. Sometimes I wonder if &quot;Teen&quot; is just what publishers call books they've already committed to publishing that aren't good enough for the adult fiction section and happen to be about people under 20. I would just lower my bar for teen books, except that I've read great books geared towards young adults, and it would be a disservice to those authors to call this one-eyed man King.

    If you're big into the Teen Adventure scene, or a fan of Rick Yancey, by no means am I trying to dissuade you from reading. If you're a reader who likes to read a little of everything and got caught up in the hype for this book, just don't expect to have your mind blown.

    33 out of 54 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    Waaaaay over-hyped!!  Sorry starry-eyed Yancey fans (and he dese

    Waaaaay over-hyped!!  Sorry starry-eyed Yancey fans (and he deserves them, credit is due), but this book is just not good.

    If you're looking for good sci-fi - look elsewhere. This is laugh out loud science fiction, borderline insulting.

    If you're looking for good YA - also, not going to find it here.

    Look, by itself, this isn't a terrible book. Probably 2.5 stars. But the 5th Wave is being pitched as the second coming of science fiction (Passage meets Ender's Game? Come on!!). And it comes from an accomplished writer. So I expected something at least good, if not great. I got neither.

    I knew early on Yancey was out of his depth here. Case in point, here's the inner dialogue as the protagonist is packing for the road:

    &quot;Toothbrush and paste. I’m determined, when the time comes, to at least go out with clean teeth.
    Tampons. I’m constantly worrying about my stash and if I’ll be able to find more.&quot;

    Ok - first of all, ew. Seriously, I am concerned about a male author that feels compelled to say this.

    Second of all - and this is more relevant - in a world where there are only a couple hundred thousand humans left, OR if, as she constantly worries, she is the only human left, there will be TONS of tampons available!!

    Logic alert - in an apocalypse, looters don't go for the tampons!! Milk, yes that will be scarce. And gas. Guns, bullets. We've all seen Walking Dead. But feminine hygiene? Come on...

    Other cliched, cringe-worthy things:

    **He calls the aliens &quot;Others?&quot; That's the best he could come up with? Either a) he's not really trying, or b) he hasn't read any other sci-fi book (or seen Lost) and actually thinks this is original or genuinely spooky. Cliche alert: It's neither.

    **Aliens that look like humans!! I've never heard of that idea before! - said nobody, ever. 

    **The aliens try to 'destroy humans by destroying humanity.' First of all, aliens with superior technology don't need to bother with a metaphysical concept of 'humanity.' Hey aliens that are more intelligent than us, let me give you a clue. If you want to destroy humans, you can just - destroy the humans! There you go - just saved a step and at least 5 'waves!' You're welcome, aliens.

    **There's a lot of 'survival' going on in this book, all mediocre to bad. Has the author not seen and/or read Walking Dead? Or just about any zombie book/movie? I know marketing has, since they compare it to The Passage. Having seen and read more than my share, I can tell you the set ups in 5th Wave are rookie at best. Doesn't even hold a candle to The Passage.

    **Just some flat-out bad writing:

    &quot;Crazy. The new normal.&quot;

    &quot;It isn’t unthinkable. And the more you think about it, the more thinkable it becomes.&quot;

    &quot;In the 4th Wave, you can’t trust that people are still people. But you can trust that your gun is still your gun.&quot;


    Like I said in the beginning - 5th Wave is not the worst book ever, but I don't appreciate being played a fool by authors and marketing people. This is an award-winning author, I expect better.

    Stay away from sci-fi, sir. Like another blatant attempt to cash-in, The Host, you risk giving the genre a bad name.

    27 out of 64 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2013

    Books that are greatly hyped rarely live up to the hype.  This b

    Books that are greatly hyped rarely live up to the hype.  This book does live up to that hype and then some! 
    Epic, beautiful, terrifying , dark and hopeful all at once.  I can't wait for the next one.

    23 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2013

    Enjoyable read.

    An epic story of trust and human survival in the wake of an alien invasion, The 5th Wave is a well written teen fantasy novel that is a page turner. Cassie Sullivan is a strong female lead that is thrust into a deadly new world on her own. She's seen her fair share of death and has some serious trust issues. Not very heavy on the actual sci-fi stuff, but that doesn't matter. Teens will be talking about this one this summer.

    19 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I'm a big fan of Rick Yancey's Monstrumologist series, which is

    I'm a big fan of Rick Yancey's Monstrumologist series, which is a fantastic, and actually scary, YA horror series. So I was very happy to see the big marketing push behind Yancey's new book, The 5th Wave, which people are singing the praises of. I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC and I'm excited to report to you that it is stunning! Believe the hype! It looks like this could be the big one to read this summer, so get your hands on it ASAP. The 5th Wave is a book that takes place during an alien apocalypse. They have come, they have landed, they are not friendly. They have bombarded humanity with four waves of destruction to weed people out, with perhaps a fifth on the horizon.

    Cassie is a teenager lucky enough to have survived the first four brutal waves, which include an electro-magnetic pulse that cuts off the world's power, earthquakes that create tsunamis, and a plague. Those not killed by those threats have to face silencers, aliens who are hunting down the remaining humans with great skill. This book is epic, but it's also really grounded, focusing on a small group of survivors. I was a little skeptical when I realized that each new &quot;part&quot; in this book switches characters, but I found myself really enjoying the story revolving around each character. When I was finished with one part and was like, I need to find out what happens next, I was equally drawn in to the new part that I was beginning. Yancey just has a way of making these characters and their circumstances, which were very different from one another, all really relatable and exciting.

    I really liked that as far-fetched as this concept is, it's grounded in a stark reality, and it's very emotional. The material can be a little heavy at times, but is lightened by humor throughout. It's very well-balanced, with things that haunt the characters running through the course of their character arcs. I could definitely guess that some things were coming, but even though you kind of know, you second guess yourself, and then, it's just so interesting seeing things play out that you don't mind.

    The 5th Wave is very different than The Monstrumologist series, and proves Yancey's versatility as a writer. But even though this is very different for him from his Printz Award Honored book, it's still a really well-written, thoughtful piece of writing that's every bit as riveting and suspenseful as anything he's written. In fact, I could barely tear myself away from this book, and eagerly sat down for hours at a time to tear through it. I would recommend this for anyone who loves a good action title, and it will satisfy hardcore science fiction and dystopian fans.

    12 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2013

    Great book.

    Engrossing. Couldn't put it down.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2013

    3 1/2 Stars My Review Is Solely Off A ARC And May Or May Not Be

    3 1/2 Stars

    My Review Is Solely Off A ARC And May Or May Not Be Exact If It Was Off A Finished Copy!

    I don't even know how start to explain how I feel about this book! As a HIGHLY anticipated book for 2013, I expected SO MUCH MORE then what I got from this book!

    I am going to be doing this review different then I do most of my reviews, because I want to elaborate on some of the negative and positive points that I felt about the 5th Wave!

    The Negative:

    - The First issue I had with this book was that I was expecting to go through the waves. Meaning, have the book start off as the alien invasion starts, then go through the 1st to the 5th wave. But it doesn't. It starts off in the 4th wave and we have Cassie going back in forth in memory, re-living the events that had occurred. I really wanted to see how everything played out as it was happening. It was VERY annoying going back and forth, and it was like that for about half of the book!

    - The second issue was the different POV's. I don't mind different POV's, I actually enjoy them sometimes if the writer writes them well. But that was not the case here. Well, I shouldn't say that they weren't written well, because actually they weren't written bad. But my issue was the changing of the POV's. When this book first changed to a different POV, I didn't even know! I have a Advanced Reader Copy, so I don't know if the changing of the POV's will be different in the Finished Copy. But in my copy, when the POV changed, I thought was still reading about Cassie and Cassie's events! Until finally, it made absolutely no sense Whatsoever, and I figured out that when you see the back paper after a certain chapter, that it was going to change POV's. And it was up to you (Me) to figure out who's POV it was. When the chapters changed it didn't say who's chapter you were reading about, it just gives that little section a title! And I did NOT like that at ALL! After I figured that out, and got to know the characters more, it was fairly easy to figure out who's POV is who's. But early on it was difficult, and SO dam FRUSTRATING!

    - The third issue that bothered me was that I was not able to really connect with some of the characters. Not all of them, mainly Cassie. I was not crazy about Cassie. I mean she was okay at some points, but she is NOT the type of character that I like to read about. She came off (To Me) as being whinny, clueless and very immature. Which I totally understand for a 16 yr old girl to be clueless in how to survive in a alien invasion. But that's the problem! How did a type of person like Cassie survive through 5 waves? When SO MANY TRAINED SOLDIERS and other people that knew a lot more about survival, with barely nothing, die and Cassie, a naive, whinny, clueless, immature child, that barely knows how to shoot a gun, survive as long as she did? Granted, she did have her father until the 4th wave. But then she survived on her own for a while before she meet Evan. How? Was it pure Luck or just not too thought out by the author? So that was another one of the many problems that I had with Rick Yancey's The 5th Wave!

    I don't want to list ALL the problems I had with this book because this review is already going to be so long and I don't want to be here ALL day!

    Now, I know it seems like I have so many negatives, well I do, but their is some positives in this book too.

    Main Characters


    Cassie was very young acting, and I think that's one of the first things I noticed about her character that I did not like. At 16 your not really a baby anymore, and you would like to think that when a alien Apocalypse occurs, you grow up real fast no matter how old you are! Even Cassie's 5yr old little brother seemed to act more mature then her in certain points of the book! Here's a Perfect example of Cassie acting very childish during the alien invasion:


    &quot;Are you scared?&quot; he asked. Trying to get my attention. Or for some reassurance. He was looking at me very intently.

    I shook my head. &quot;Just bored.&quot; A lie. Of course I was scared. I knew I was being mean, but I couldn't help it. For some reason I can't explain, I was mad at him. Maybe I was really mad at myself for saying yes to a date with a guy I wasn't actually interested in. Or maybe becasue he wasn't the guy I wanted to date. I was mad at him for not being Ben Parish, which wasn't his fault. But still.

    (The quote was from an ARC and may be different from the final copy.)

    Okay, this is happening in the MIDDLE of I think the 3rd Wave (Don't Quote Me On That) but who the hell in their RIGHT mind is going to be going on a date while aliens are invading and killing are planet? Not me that's for dam sure! But, yes maybe a VERY immature child might still be worrying about boy's, when were being invaded and killed off by aliens!

    Okay, all that aside, did I like Cassie? No, not really, well maybe a little! But she was by far NOT my favorite character in this book!

    One of the things I did enjoy about Cassie's characters was her determination to find and save her little brother. Most of everything I mentioned above happened in the beginning of the book and as the book progressed I did notice Cassie's character grow and come out of SOME of her childish ways. So that was a Plus for her.

    But I can say that I looked up to Cassie for wanting to fight for her little brother. Not evening knowing if he was alive anymore. But she was NOT going to give up until she either saved him, or found out that their was nothing left to save.

    -Sammy (aka Nugget)-

    Little Sams was SO CUTE! I think him &amp; Ben (Zombie as they call him) were my favorite characters! Sams was so strong and brave through all this. And at being on 5 years old I expected a lot less out of his character. It was refreshing to see Sams determination and bravery to get through an alien Apocalypse, even without his family!


    I don't want to spoil this, but Sams was recruited it to something that he should NOT of been in at is age, and he stood-up and seemed braver then some of the older kids!



    Evan is mysterious and sweet. He was willing to bend over backwards for Cassie, even when the majority of the time she was just so mean to him! But Evan Still took all of her crap! When we first meet Evan it's about halfway or more into the book, and he doesn't open himself up a lot, So we don't have much to go on about who he is. But later on in the story we get to uncover some of Evan's secrets...

    -Ben (aka Zombie)-

    I defently enjoyed Ben's (Zombie's) character the best (And Sams). Ben's character was strong, smart and caring. When little nugget (Sams) comes into Ben's life he takes him under his wing and protects him. I really liked that about Ben's character. He also has a leadership roll that I liked about him, and enjoyed reading about.

    Now all that being said, their was some positive parts that I enjoyed a little about this book! It wasn't all bad. It just wasn't really the book for me.

    The Positives:

    - I liked the idea about the aliens invading a human body. I thought it was interesting and very well done.

    - Cassie's determination to find her brother.

    - Sams character was amazing! I enjoyed his bravery &amp; strength for a 5 year old.

    - The surprising twist we had. Their wasn't to many parts where I was left surprised, but when I was, I was SHOCKED!

    - The ending was AMAZING! About halfway through the book is when I actually started to KINDA enjoy it! The first half, I could of really thrown out the window! And I know a lot of people are probably not going to agree with my review. And that's totally understandable, because everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and that's all that mine is, is an opinion. But I stand 100% beyond my review, and I really wished I felt different about The 5th Wave b/c I was really looking forward to it, and I was seriously let down!

    Would I reco

    8 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2013

    Even though it is a YA, I loved this book! I couldn't put it do

    Even though it is a YA, I loved this book! I couldn't put it down....I hope, hope, hope there is a sequel!!!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2013


    (No spoilers, I swear)
    I am amazed. As a big sci-fi fan who enjoys books like The Hunger Games, Ender's Game, and basically every other sci-fi book i have ever read (except Across The Universe) i really, really loved this book. It had the perfect mixture of everything, i think even non-scifi fans would like it. The book is huge, but i read the whole thing in two days. Trust me, you wont be able to put it down.
    All in all, the 5th Wave is at the top of my list of favorites.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2013

    this book is outstanding and I can't imagine giving it anything

    this book is outstanding and I can't imagine giving it anything less than a five star review I loved the going back and forth between characters because it showed the alien invasion from different perspectives. I don't know there's a whole bunch of dystopian books all of a sudden with everyone having their favorite - like people went nuts for divergent where I could barely keep my eyes open. This book I couldn't put down - utterly fantastic - I can't say enough about it - aliens take over the world and it shows basically, subtle like what war is all about. I am 42 years old reading these teen books so maybe that twists my opinion but I think this and hunger games are the best of the genre. and this is my opinion only; I know some people will disagree I just think this was excellent for many different reasons. I have a harder time expressing WHY I like something more than another it's just the 5th wave seemed to grab me - its War this is war and my dad was in Vietnam and a huge portion of the book when they're in boot camp is very similar to the stories he has told me of boot camp in Vietnam being like - maybe it;s that realism that drew me in

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2013

    worst book i have ever read in my life

    worst book i have ever read in my life

    5 out of 43 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2013


    Definitely worh reading. Almost as good as the hunger games

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2013

    It was ok

    Too much hype for this one. Disappointing, kept waiting on something to happen. Reminded me too much of The Host.

    4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2013

    This was a great book. I know some have said that is is "si

    This was a great book. I know some have said that is is &quot;simply&quot; written, but the book is being told through childrens eyes so........I feel like it is very accurate on how a teenager would think of things. If you liked The Hunger Games, you will like this book.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2013

    I picked up this book and finished it in two sittings, one of wh

    I picked up this book and finished it in two sittings, one of which involved me staying up wayyyyy too late on a work night. I was hooked from the start. The book tells the story of a post-apocolyptic world through the eyes of a couple different characters, and documents their fight for survival in very different situations.

    In a world where aliens are trying to take over and human children run around with heavy artillery, “Silencers” (deadly alien assassins) have been sent to wipe out any survivors who have lived through the first waves of extinction (disease, explosions, natural disasters, etc).

    The ending left me antsy for the sequel. I'm a huge fan!

    If you liked the Hunger Games Trilogy, you will love The 5th Wave.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2013

    The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey

    Children are used to help aliens. Good story line, fine for teens and adults alike.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2013

    I couldn't put it down.  It was a great, quick read, and I was c

    I couldn't put it down.  It was a great, quick read, and I was completely engulfed in the story of Cassie Sullivan.  I can't wait for the next book!  

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 15, 2013

    Rick Yancey¿s latest offering is a promising start to a series t

    Rick Yancey’s latest offering is a promising start to a series that should satisfy readers searching for something darkly entertaining and adventurous, a science fiction novel that is still grounded in the real world. With an action-packed and engaging plot, sympathetic characters under various states of physical and emotional duress, and an outlook that is simultaneously bleak and optimistic The 5th Wave is one of my favorite books of the year.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 22, 2013

    (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a re

    (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Penguin Books (UK) and Netgalley.)
    When the aliens arrived, they didn’t respond to messages, their ship just hovered out in space, and Cassie chose to ignore them. Then came the EMP, and it was lights out. Then the aliens caused giant Tsunami’s, and then a plague spread by birds. 98% of the world’s human population dead.

    16-year-old Cassie was lucky in that both her father and brother survived the first 3 waves, but now she’s alone, and she’s got one clear objective in her head – save her little brother from the aliens that took him from her.
    Can Cassie ever hope to save her little brother? Who is the silent assassin who is stalking her? And is this really the end for humanity?

    This was an interesting dystopian, with a sci-fi element, but I expected more.

    We started off following Cassie, and I liked her. She was fairly feisty and determined, and she gave her all for her family. Then we switch to some kid calling himself Zombie, which was pretty confusing. I didn’t like Zombie as much, his depression and withdrawal from society made him difficult to really get a feel for.
    The story then jumped back and forth between Cassie and Zombie, and every time it happened I had trouble working out who I was now following (maybe this is cleared up with some editing in the final version?), this could be easily solved.
    Anyway, I liked the bits with Cassie, she was fighting for her survival, and trying to do the best by her family in a really stinky situation, but she never gave up hope.

    The bits with Zombie on the other hand got old quick. There was stuff about training – military training, stuff about micro-chips inserted into people, missions etc. and unfortunately I got bored of this really quick. I got so bored in fact that I put this book down to read two others whilst trying to get through it. I mean, I’m a big fan of dystopians, this one just bored me in places, which was a really shame after such a promising start. Maybe the hype spoilt this for me, I don’t know, but I just didn’t like this one as much as I expected.

    There was a bit of romance in this one quite strangely, although I did get a real déjà vu vibe at one point that reminded me very strongly of a similar plotline in ‘The Host’. I can’t say that I was that big a fan of the romance in this one though, it didn’t excite me, and if anything I was a little wary of trusting anyone in this dystopian world.

    I thought the plot was okay, and some of the ideas were quite clever, but the slower and more boring parts just dragged so much that they kinda ruined it for me. I have read quite a lot of dystopians, and this one for me was pretty average.

    One annoying thing that I have just suddenly realised though, is that the aliens don’t have bodies, they only have consciousness – they take over bodies (a bit like in ‘The Host’ only they don’t even have that much physicality.) anyway, if they’re planning on killing all the humans so they can have the planet to themselves, what are they going to live in? Are they going to use cockroach bodies or something? I mean realistically, if they kill all the humans, won’t they have nothing to inhabit? And if they only have consciousness and no bodies, surely they don’t need food, water etc. so what’s the point? I’m puzzled by this.
    Overall; an interesting sci-fi/dystopian, but I expected more.
    6.5 out of 10.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 18, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The 5th Wave by author Rick Yancey is a novel that caught my att

    The 5th Wave by author Rick Yancey is a novel that caught my attention the moment I read what the story was about. Aliens? What? And dystopia? The perfect mixture. When I got the opportunity to read The 5th Wave I was absolutely dying to get started and once I did, I couldn’t stop. This is a novel that made me do it all; I laughed, I cried and I got caught up in the action and romance. An awesome read guys, really awesome.

    The 5th Wave is a story that takes place after the end of the world, sorta. The world still exists and is intact, but mankind is about to face extinction. Aliens made their appearance and attacked the Earth in the form of the first wave, then came the second wave, then the third and finally the fourth. Main character Cassie has learned enough to survive after the fourth wave. Trust nobody and you’ll survive. When Cassie is left shot, bleeding and freezing after being shot by an alien sniper, she expects that she’ll die soon. What she didn’t expect was to wake up inside of a house and being taken care of by the extremely handsome Evan Walker.

    Cassie trusts Evan and he’s one of the few people she’s come to have an actual conversation with after the fourth wave. Evan nurses Cassie back to health and vows to help her find her little brother, Cassie knows that she can’t sway Evan from his decision to help her and allows him to do whatever he needs to if it ensures her own survival. Evan begins to grow more and more attached to Cassie, eventually falling in love with her and Cassie can’t deny that she feels the exact same way about Evan. There’s a secret that separated the two and if Cassie can figure out what it is she can become closer to Evan in ways she could never imagine, but it could make her hate him in the process.

    Main thing I didn’t expect from The 5th Wave was how the point of view would change from character to character. The novel doesn’t do it on a whim like some stories that I’ve read in the past where every second chapter (and in one case, every other paragraph) was written in a new point of view. In The 5th Wave the novel is split up into different “parts” and each “part” has a specific main character who undergoes specific events that all impact the stories plots. Personally, my favorite one would have to be the “parts” that took place in Cassie’s point of view. She’s a feisty and hot-headed heroine and come on—who doesn’t like a badass heroine?

    The 5th Wave is everything that a novel taking place straight after the end of the world should be. I loved getting to see a world without humanity, one where basically you do what you need to do to survive and abandon all the things about us that make us civilized. Way different than anything I’ve ever been exposed to (think The Walking Dead) and I’m super pleased with the apocalyptic feel that I got from the novel. As for the romance in the novel, it’s definitely the type that a lot of readers will enjoy, I find. However if readers are looking for a romance that accumulates over time it isn’t exactly the kind found in The 5th Wave, the romance here is definitely more spontaneous but honestly that’s why I loved it.

    A big thing that I’ve been saying a lot when it comes to The 5th Wave and when people ask me my opinion on it, I tell them how much I loved the writing. It’s really seldom that I’ll pause and just think “O-M-G could the author have a better writing style?” ‘Cause honestly, The 5th Wave has phenomenal writing. It’s the type that not only wove a ton of emotions inside of me (I cried twice) but also left me with my jaw dropped. The 5th Wave is beautifully written and its opening chapter (that totally reeled me in) was creepy and had me dying to know more. My only complaint would be the pacing that got pitchy in places, but other than that I loved it. This is definitely a read that you should all look out for.

    I’d recommend The 5th Wave to readers that are looking for an all-around good book. Readers who are big fans of dystopia and romance will love The 5th Wave and so will thriller junkies.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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