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.
My Expectations: kind of okay? I went into it with a "hoping for the best" mentality, but I wasn't counting on the hype.
Delivery: definitely exceeded my expectations
Put-down-ability: 2/10, low. I mean, bought this book, paid full price and everything.
I haven't read a book I really loved in months, and I've been picking up and putting down countless books recently. Until this one. And I loved that as I was reading it, I was realizing that it was going to be a new favourite of mine and let me tell you, I was never so disappointed to see the Acknowledgements page after that last chapter.
That's not how it ends at all.That passage near the beginning made me sit up and take note, it made my brain scream that this was not a book that was to be ignored.
It ends with us killing each other behind rows of empty beer coolers in the dying light of a late-summer day.
I went up to him before the last of the light was gone. Not to see if he was dead. I knew he was dead. I wanted to see what he was holding in his bloody hand.
It was a crucifix.
"It's hopeless. And it's stupid. It's suicidal. But love is a weapon they have no answer for. They know how you think, but they can't know what you feel."Damn, Rick Yancey, I like your book a lot.
This one took me by surprise, I'm usually one to ignore the hype and I've done my fair share of wandering around bookstores and reading 50 or so pages, then leaving. However, I took this baby home with me ;)
Before we get to the brilliance of the writing, can we just talk about the freaking plot? It's so well crafted and builds a solid foundation for the series. Everything from the 1st wave to the Arrival, from Camp Ashpit to Camp Haven, I loved the way Yancey really thought through the Others' plan of attack. It allowed for much better rapport between the protagonist and the actions of the antagonist instead of one directional volleys.
Okay, but if plots aren't your thing, maybe writing is. It really is gorgeous, I especially noticed some of the colour imagery (because it was reminiscent of The Book Thief), as well certain distinct features/images like the Eye and the Mothership (reminiscent of the District 9 movie). Some passages were breathtaking and haunting, and definitely made my mind turn over on itself; he fleshes out the complications and pain of war, loss, family, and love, yet still maintains an action-packed atmosphere and a tense feeling of impending doom.
So then there are the characters, where I loved the whole bunch. Another thing I didn't expect-- the switching POVs (okay, okay, maybe I didn't thoroughly research this book before reading it) but it was such a pleasant surprise. There was a point where Yancey switched between 1st and 3rd POV which I found interesting and enjoyable. I had a small issue with the central romance, which I thought was lacking... I mean, okay, hopeless devotion is only romantic to an extent. After that it's dull. I much more enjoyed Cassie throwing meat at his head. Yancey leaves an aura of mystery around many of the characters that leaves me eager to find out more.
I found one or two of the POVs slowed down the story and I definitely felt a lull during the middle portion of the book; however, there's enough heart-pumping action in the third act to make me forget all about it :)
Rating in HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations/Outstanding
Recommended for: Fans of The Hunger Games, Divergent, all those big name dystopian/sci-fi books
Acknowledgements: 4/5, lovely
9/10 - because it was an exhilarating, addictive book and I'm still smiling about it. A well-developed, intricate plot paired with characters who you want to see make it through really seems to be a winning combination. Fabulous writing, and hugely recommended. Now it's the waiting game, August 2014, come faster.
author website / twitter