The 5th Wave: The First Book of the 5th Wave Series

by Rick Yancey | Science Fiction & Fantasy |
ISBN: 0142425834 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 1/9/2016
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, January 9, 2016
I found this good-condition softcover on the book-swap shelf in the Tyngsboro MA post office, and as I've enjoyed other books by Yancey I decided to give this one a try. [This volume includes a sample from Yancey's The Monstrumologist, first of a four-volume series about a 19th-century monster-hunter and his young apprentice; I really loved that series!]

This book is told mainly from the alternating viewpoints of two characters, teenage girl Cassie and teenage boy "Zombie", with a brief interlude from the viewpoint of Cassie's 5-year-old brother, whose rescue becomes the center of the story. We learn how the world has been hit by devastating waves of attack from some extraterrestrial source, beginning with a global EMT-like attack that disables nearly all electronic devices. This causes global pandemonium, which only gets worse when a different attack triggers tidal waves that destroy most coastal cities - and that is followed by a deadly global plague...

So as the story opens there are few people left, those immune to the plague or just not yet exposed to it. Cassie, her father, and her little brother are among the lucky few to still have each other when so many other survivors have no family left at all. But the enemy isn't finished yet; there are aerial drones that target gatherings of humans, and even some individual sharpshooters lurking to take out any who attempt to flee...

But perhaps there's still hope: a military unit reaches the refugee center where Cassie and her family have holed up, with a suggestion that might offer safety to at least one of them - but requires that they split up!

Meanwhile, we find out what life looks like for "Zombie", a boy who did lose his entire family, and who is now with the military, training hard to form some kind of resistance force against the alien enemy.

The paths of these two eventually intersect, and along the way they each pick up allies - some of whom may not be entirely trustworthy; in fact, the whole question of who to trust is one of the key elements of the story. Things get very suspenseful, and even when I guessed what was going on before the characters did I found myself caught up in the question of when - or if - they'd work it out, and whether they'd make the best choice when they did...

There's a lot of fairly gritty detail here, with the young heroes having to work very, very hard to gain the skills they need to survive, and with attention paid to things like running out of ammo, the perils of unattended wounds, and other things that often get glossed over.

I did wonder about a few things that might be plotholes or might have explanations that I just didn't figure out. It seems this is going to be a trilogy, so I may check out the next book to see how the survivors of this one fare!

[There's a 2016 film based on the book, due for release in a couple of weeks. And the TV Tropes page on the book has some entertaining tidbits.]

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Monday, January 11, 2016

Released 5 yrs ago (1/12/2016 UTC) at Nashua, New Hampshire USA

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I'm sending this to BCer T02S03B11D20 in Michigan to fill a wish, for the US/Canada wishlist-tag game. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 3 by T02S03B11D20 at Springport, Michigan USA on Saturday, January 16, 2016
Thanks for the book, which arrived yesterday. Your review of the book makes it sound very interesting. Probably will see if the granddaughters are interested in it when I am done.

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