14 May 2016
The 5th Wave
Series: The 5th Wave #1
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
This novel started out pretty fast paced and exciting. Cassie and her family are on the run trying to survive the Others. Few humans remain after the first four waves and it's a struggle to survive. When her brother is separated from Cassie and her father, Cassie vows that they will reunite.
The Cassie at the beginning of this novel I can root for. Sure, she might be a little caught up on Ben. Parish. though she still can't seem to talk to him even though each day could literally be the end of the world (or, I guess, the end of humankind). That little fact I could get over. The fact that Cassie holds on to her brother's Teddy bear completely sold me, as did her snarky comments and sarcasm.
Unfortunately, somewhere along the line these personalty traits seem to fall to the wayside as teen romance rears its ugly head. Cassie meets up with Evan Walker and suddenly all bets are off. Her promise to rejoin with her brother hits the back burner and her portion of the story seriously starts to drag.
The other thing that struck me about this novel is the narration. We have three - no, wait, sorry it's four - different narrators. Three are told in the first person (Cassie, Ben, and Evan), and one is told third person (Sammy). When the narrative first shifts from Cassie to the next narrator, I was thrown for a massive jolt and had no idea what the heck was going on for a while. And then the third person for Sam was such a diversion from the others that it also threw me for a loop. With how slow Cassie's portion of the story becomes for a while, the other narrators were definitely a necessity, but I found it took away from her character which is probably the main reason I really didn't invest 100% into the story.
Following Ben and Sammy's arc, quite a bit of what unfolds for them was pretty predictable, but Yancey still managed to find a way to make it mostly entertaining. I liked the addition of Ringer, though again I thought the teen angst/romance sort of took away from her character a bit. I'm hoping we'll get some more exploration of her character in the next installment.
The only other beef I have with this book that's keeping me from being completely obsessed is the fundamentals behind the plot. Why did the Others (dumb name and meh movie) spend all this time invested in observing the humans and planting their alien parts into babies and then waiting for them to fester? If they have all this massive biowarfare technology, there have to be about a hundred (thousand) easier, quicker ways they could have wiped humans off the earth so they could enjoy the planet for whatever they want it for (and if they've been studying us for so long, you would have thought they would have invaded much sooner before we started completely destroying our ecosystem, unless they like a lot of greenhouse gases).