Frightful Friday is a weekly meme in which I feature a particularly scary or chilling book that I’ve read that week. The featured title this week is The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey:
- Age Range: 12 and up
- Hardcover: 480 pages
- Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (May 7, 2013)
- ISBN-10: 0399162410
When the first wave hit, it wiped out electricity. The second wiped out entire coastlines. The third spread a deadly plague. During the fourth wave aliens known as The Others sought to destroy all surviving humans. The fifth wave is far more deadly and destructive.
Cassiopeia (Cassie) Sullivan has survived the first four waves. Quickly adapting to her new survivalist life, toting a M-16 her only goal is to rescue her younger brother, Sammie, from The Others. Along the way she is rescued by Evan Walker, a quiet and mysterious loner. His involvement in the fifth wave seems completely innocent at first but the more Cassie learns of The Others plans, the more she begins to question everything and everyone she has ever known. She must do anything she can to survive the alien attack and reunite with her only remaining family.
I’m purposefully being quiet vague in my synopsis of this novel. The beauty, and intensity, of this story is discovering the chain of events as it occurs. A long time fan of Yancey myself, I was once again rewarded with a truly remarkable and engrossing tale of horror and the unknown. Cassie is an incredibly strong protagonist; it is refreshing to see a young girl cast in this role. Secondary characters are so well-crafted that you will forget they are just that, secondary pieces or pawns in a larger scale story. Yancey varies the point of view allowing each of the key players to give readers a truly unique and unaltered portrayal of what could be the end of human life as we know it.
At nearly 500 pages, one would think that this book would take forever to get through. Completely untrue, for I couldn’t tear myself away from this book for a moment, eventually reading it in one afternoon. In addition to the incredibly compelling and terrifying storyline, Yancey writes a truly intelligent and thought-provoking read. While readers are asked to dispel belief in some cases, a large portion of this novel is completely plausible.
Plot twists scattered throughout the novel add intensity to the already fast-moving storyline. You will want to stop, shocked about what was just revealed yet you won’t be able to tear yourself away for one moment, a hunger for more that won’t be satisfied until you turn the last pages. While this is geared toward young adults/older middle-grade, this is the sort of novel that adults would find to be compelling and enjoyable as well.
Bottom line: The 5th Wave is an intense, tremendously chilling and terrifying read. Highly, highly recommended.
Be sure to check out The 5th Wave website for additional information and content!