This review and others are posted at Read, Rinse, Repeat.
The 5th Wave starts off at an incredible pace. I read the 70 page preview a couple of days before publication date (I didn't want to read it any earlier than that, because I didn't want to wait too long to read the rest), and it was amazing. I've realized that in the post-apocalyptic genre, it's the actual apocalypse that hooks me, more so than the after-effects. In these initial pages, we relive, via Cassie's narration, the events that occurred when humans realized that “the Others” stopped by Earth for a visit. Did they just drop in to say hello? Or was their purpose a bit more nefarious? When the first few waves killed the vast majority of the world's population, the answer became clear. These aliens aren't here to make friends.
Rick Yancey gives us an incredibly original take on an alien invasion, although it wasn't as frightening, perhaps, as a graphic depiction of an army of little green men blasting humans off the face of the earth. But, of course, that's been done before. Instead, Yancey creates a world where no one can trust anyone else, and people aren't always who they seem.
The 5th Wave is written from multiple POV's, and while Yancey writes equally well from the male and female perspectives, I did get attached to Cassie, the opening narrator, and I wish we could have stayed with her through the entire story. To avoid a spoiler, I won't divulge the identity of the other narrators, but I will say that one was just a bit too “coincidental,” and that one also happened to be the least interesting.
The 5th Wave wasn't quite the masterpiece I was hoping it would be, but it was still a very enjoyable read that will keep your heart racing. After the initial devastating waves of attacks, the action cools off considerably while the few survivors scavenge and await the unknown 5th and final wave. But have no fear. (Wait, I take that back. Have a LOT of fear.) The ending is a wild ride, and while it may have been a bit too pat, I can't deny that Yancey packs a ton of excitement into this book.