## {Audiobook} Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Title: The 5th Wave
Author: Rick Yancey
Narrators:  Brandon Espinoza, Phoebe Strole
Series: The 5th Wave, book #1
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Source: purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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.

“If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn't turn out very well for the Native Americans.” -- Stephen Hawking

This is how The 5th Wave opens, with a quote from Stephen Hawking foreshadowing things to come, and immediately, you know that this is not going to be a light story with cute little green aliens as the antagonists.  The main character tells us as much in her opening chapter.

-------------THE 1ST WAVE:  Lights Out
-------------------THE 2ND WAVE:  Surf's Up
-------------------------THE 3RD WAVE:  Pestilence
-------------------------------THE 4TH WAVE:  Silencer

This begs the question:  what will the 5th wave bring?  At the end of the 4th wave, the only thing Cassie knows is trust no one.  And that one rule has helped her survive the aftermath of the alien invasion up until this point.  She may have lost everyone she's ever cared about, but she's surviving.
“But if I'm it, the last of my kind, the last page of human history, like hell I'm going to let the story end this way. I may be the last one, but I am the one still standing. I am the one turning to face the faceless hunter in the woods on an abandoned highway. I am the one not running but facing. Because if I am the last one, then I am humanity. And if this is humanity's last war, then I am the battlefield.”
I connected most with Cassie's character.  She isn't super strong, she doesn't have amazing accuracy with a bow and arrow...she's not special in any way.  Cassie is just an average girl, trying to keep going when all seems lost.  She made a promise, and she's not about to break it.  That will to live, that strength of character, that's what I loved best about her.  The other characters didn't endear themselves to me as much, obviously, but I appreciated their points-of-view and what they brought to the story.  At times, the transitions in perspective did get a tad confusing, and it wasn't immediately apparent why it was necessary to include the perspective of Cassie's five-year-old brother Sammy -- especially when his inner thoughts didn't always measure up to what one might expect from someone so young -- but much more time was spent with Cassie than any other character, making it easier for me to wrap my head around the bigger picture here.

Also, the fact that there were two narrators for this audiobook helped a great deal in lessening the confusion during POV switches.  The narrative voice of Cassie was, well, phenomenal, and Phoebe Strole nailed it.  She voiced Cassie's hopes and concerns with the intensity that one would expect from this situation, as if she herself were living this nightmare.  And Brandon Espinoza didn't do such a bad job either.  He had several characters to lend his voice to, and he managed to make each one stand out.  Even the Silencer.  (Yes, you get to read from an alien's perspective for all of about ten pages...but it's worth it.  Trust me.)  I truly hope both of these narrators return for the sequel's audiobook.
“There's an old saying about truth setting you free. Don't buy it. Sometimes the truth slams the cell door shut and throws a thousand bolts.”
Cassie faces many challenges on her quest to keep her promise.  But the other characters in this story face no less hardship.  Possibly the most difficult challenge any of them faces is who to trust.  The dynamic that develops between the different characters as their paths are set to converge is believable, if nothing else.  Both Ben and Evan are great male leads -- though, neither holds a candle to that Cassie -- but the romance that develops was a little...unsettling.  At first.  It goes back to that whole trust no one mantra Cassie repeats to herself for most of the book.  I like where it's going, though.  But this is not a love story...it's an alien invasion story, and Mr. Yancey won't let you forget it.
“It's an either/or world now.”
The 5th Wave is very action-driven, and it keeps you guessing.  Sure, some of the twists are easy to predict, but because of how they're written and how they're alluded to, it didn't bother me.  In fact, it just made me want to sit in the car and continue listening, to see if I was right and see how those twists affected the story and the characters.  This book is intense and riveting -- a real page-turner -- and I expect to see an even more explosive continuation of this story line, come August 2014.  This was my first Rick Yancey novel, but it will absolutely, positively not be my last.
“Some things you can never leave behind. They don't belong to the past. They belong to you.”

Rating:    X  $\infty$

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.

Find Rick:

1. I have seen this book everywhere lately, and finally bought a copy for the old eReader. Because of the hype I'm waiting until I have a full day to devote to it, because it sounds like something I won't want to put down! I usually shy away from male YA authors (I know, judgey, judgey), but often I find their character development a little... lacking? And getting emotionally invested with characters is my fav part of reading. I hope this one gives me that too, as well as the action!! Any thoughts?

1. I was actually thinking about this earlier today, with all the negative reviews I've seen for a YA book that released today from a male author. I think that I like male YA authors maybe 50% of the time, if that. But this one was surprisingly good. I thought the characterization was great, especially for the female protagonist. She was my favorite part of the story. Plenty of action and awesome characters...I think it might even appeal to a skeptic like yourself. :)

2. Oh double narrators sound awesome. I might just have to check out a sample of this Audiobook. Considering you rated this 5 Stars x infinity says Audiobook might just be the way to go with this one.

3. AWESOME REVIEW! I can't wait to read this book or listen to it, I haven't decided. I will probably listen to it since you liked the audio. I am so happy to hear you loved it. I am always weary of post apocalyptic books, they can be done great or not so great. I have been looking forward to this one so can't wait.

1. I love post-apocalyptic...it's those dystopians that are starting to get on my nerves. :P

4. I've heard AMAZING things about this book and I'm still dying to read it. I love the opening, the quote from Steven Hawking fits perfectly and made me bounce up and down in my seat. Plus, the actual quotes sound great too! The whole book sounds great and I'm so glad the audiobook was fantastic as well. Great review :)

1. I knew I was in for a hell of a story with that opening quote. ;)

5. Yup, totally getting the audio. Going to download it now... ;)

1. And it's all true! :0)

7. I just had my own copy of The 5th Wave. Glad to hear that you like it!

Neysa Kristanti

1. Hope you love it every bit as much as I did!

8. The 5th Wave is on my fiending list. If it wasn't already, it would have made it on just based on that first Cassie quote alone. LOVE that quote! The trailer is really awesome too. I'm already thinking it should be made into a full length movie. I'm so happy you loved it. After reading your review, it is definitely moving up in my TBR pecking order. Thanks!

1. It would be GREAT as a movie! As long as they didn't screw up the casting, lol.

9. I'm so happy you loved this! Yeah, I was confused for the first couple pov changes but after I figured out what was going on, it was easier to determine whose voice we were hearing. But I agree, her little brother's pov seems unnecessary. Now we wait FOREVER for the sequel! *cries*

1. FOREVER, right?!? I'm dying. I'll probably listen to the audio again like ten times before the sequel is out. *pouts*

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11. I loved this book too!! I'm having my husband listen to the audiobook now (because he does NOT read, but I thought he would love this would be one we could both enjoy!).