Thursday, 13 June 2013

The Book That Got Me Blogging Again – A Short Review

To be honest, at the tail end of last year I wasn’t sure that I would come back to blogging. Reading wasn’t grabbing me at all and life had told me in no uncertain terms that I had far more important things to be getting on with. I still do in fact but here I am. So what happened?

I was still receiving review copies and one of the last stragglers came through the post a couple of months ago. I thought I’d give it a go, just because nothing else was doing it for me, and despite feeling really jaded with reading I ended up being hooked by the whole thing. I had to finish the book and, when I did, really wanted to tell people about the time I’d had with it. There’s only one way to do that so, a couple of months later, the first post on my new blog was born :o) It’s taken me a little while to actually post about this book but that’s no surprise really!

So, what was the book?

Took out half a million people.

Put that number to shame.

Lasted a little longer. Twelve weeks . . . Four billion dead.

You can't trust that people are still people.

No one knows.
But it's coming.

On a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs.
Runs from the beings that only look human, who have scattered Earth's last survivors.
To stay alone is to stay alive, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan may be her only hope.

Now Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up

Surprised? I was… I’ve got nothing against YA fiction per se but do find that it misses rather more than it hits when I read it. I thought that ‘The 5th Wave’ would be more of the same with the ol’ tried and tested ‘one girl having to choose between two boys’ storyline coming to the fore. I’ve seen it before, you’ve seen it before and it’s getting more than tired now. I’m not sure about the whole reasoning behind the alien invasion either. Without giving too much away, the aliens could have co-existed quite peacefully with humanity (without us even knowing in fact) but for some reason decided to wipe us out instead. No, me neither.

What really nailed it for me was just how brutal the alien invasion was (even the bits that you, or Cassie, don’t see happen have power through what is left afterwards) and the state that you see the survivors in afterwards. This is a world where trust cannot exist but has to if people like Cassie are to retain their humanity. Yancey captures this feeling really well in Cassie, who is all on her own but must learn to interact again if she is to not only survive but find her brother again. Cassie is a very engaging character whom I couldn’t help but root for, even though I knew where the story was headed. Okay, I didn’t see the ‘5th Wave Twist’ coming (which turns the plot upside down in a spectacular way) but as soon as Cassie met Eva, I knew where that was going.

It’s a world where aliens really don’t pull their punches. Invading, and a five-year-old boy is forced into military service to combat the threat (with some really heart wrenching moments that just made me want to give the little guy a hug). Yancey doesn’t sugar coat anything and it’s this honesty that will see me return for the next book in the series. There may be some tired old tropes putting in an appearance but the overall feel of the book is refreshing and has left me wanting more. Count me in for the next installment.


  1. I actually wrote up my review for this one today, and I'm sad to say that I was underwhelmed. thought the book started out quite strongly, with an excellent narrative and a really good premise. Then came the romantic subplot, which I found boring and more than a little trite with the whole, "I fell in love with you as soon as I saw you" deal. And after that came a giant plothole regarding the motivations the aliens had for doing everything they did, and well, the whole experience was so inconsistent that I can't rate the book very highly. When it was good, it was GOOD, but that sadly didn't balance out the bad for me.

  2. I'm kind of where you are with 'The 5th Wave' but I think I enjoyed the good bits more. I definitely agree about the whole alien invasion thing though; I read those passages and found myself thinking 'so the invasion really didn't need to happen like that then...'

  3. I love it when a book makes you want to talk about it with others - it's what got me blogging in the first place. I'll have to check out the 5th Wave - if it's powerful enough to bring you back then it's got some good juujuu :)