The 5th Wave - Rick Yancey

Holly hell that was crazy!

You may have been hearing that this book is The Next Big Thing. The next Hunger Games even. Well, it's true. Even though I've rated it slightly lower that seems appropriate considering what I've just said, the fact remains that this series is going to be huge.

**Edit 6/8/13** I'm lowering my rating to a 3 instead of 4 stars, because as time as passed I have to shamefully admit that the hype got to me with this one. :hangs head in shame: It wasn't that it was bad, but my problems with it were pretty big.**

"It wasn't the aliens that first made us gear up for war; it was our fellow humans."

The story is about first contact and what happens next. 1st Wave: lights out. 2nd Wave: surf's up. 3rd Wave: pestilence. 4th Wave: Silencer. As I was reading this a friend of mine on Facebook was talking about how excited they were for the real thing, and I think to myself, well not if this book is anything to go by. It was genius really, the way that [a:Rick Yancey|3377941|Rick Yancey|] wrote this novel, and the man deserves some serious credit for his mad geniusness, imo. I can't think of anything I've read that is quite like this. And I'll be happy to never see an alien now thankyouverymuch.

For such an amazing story it was not without it's faults, and that is what drove my rating down some. Among my issues was the fact that it took way too long to feel completely connected for some reason. One of the first things that bothered me was the transition between characters. The first one in particular was rough, and I actually back tracked to see if I had missed something because I hadn't expected to be in the mind of someone else all of a sudden. It got easier after that to see who I was reading, but that first one really caught me off guard, and I should say partly because of the way that Yancey had written the story to that point, because I really felt like Cassie was the very last person on the planet.

Another issue I had was how exactly did the pestilence come to pass? We're told how it's brought into the world, but I want to know more. And for the record, this was yet another brilliant aspect of the story, and it's probably just me who wanted to know a little more.How did they get all the birds to transmit it like that? Did I miss something there, because I wanted to know what changed, or how they were able to infect them.

After the first 4 waves we see the survivors being whipped into an Army to serve as the resistance, but I had major problems with this. Some of my problems were resolved later on in the story, which I'm seriously grateful for as I was really frustrated, but one thing that I thought Mr. Yancey should have known better with some research were rank structures.
--At one point Cassie's dad calls someone Corporal (I didn't highlight that part, so it might have been another rank, but for the sake of my point I'm going to leave it as Cpl) and mentions another as having officer insignia, and my first thought was, how the hell would he know?! There wasn't any mention of why her dad would know anything about the Army at all, and I don't think of the average person as having very much by way of that kind of knowledge. I certainly didn't before joining, so I could be wrong, but to me the majority of people wouldn't know what rank patch a person was wearing.
--Then there is the parts where Zombie calls the others in the squad privates, and refers to himself as the CO (Commanding Officer), when he's actually just a Sgt (a Non-Commissioned Officer), and those two ranks are very different. Or when they call him Sarge...that just isn't done unless you're being a smart ass. You are called Sergeant, not sarge. And you only call officers Sir, never enlisted.
--In fairness I can see this bothering only people like me, and it's doesn't detract from the story, but when I have to read so much Army crap, including the correct stance for being at ease, then it really gets on my nerves. A lot.

Also, why in the name of anything would the mother ship park itself over Ohio and never leave? Shouldn't it be spreading terror to other parts of the world too?! This was sort of explained with the explanation of the Air Force base that the new Army trains in, but still. I expected this to feel more global. Why on Earth was that base the one chosen?! It's not the most centrally located, so what made it so special? They get all this shit running but have no idea what's happening for the rest of the planet. I would have been happy with just offhand remarks like "meanwhile in Germany there are pockets of survivors that we need to bring in" or something like that.

I'm not a big fan of the ending either honestly. The way they were sitting together like that made it look like they were a little family, or it's setting up a triangle...or quadrangle.

Now that I've ranted about that let's move on to positives! The characters are pretty speculator, humor abounds, and I found Cassie's voice completely believable. I felt my heart get ripped out with this line: "A shark who dreamed he was a man." Oh, and Cassie's little brother gives her his Bear to keep her from being scared, and that whole thing just tore me up. I have a 7 y/o son with a stuffed animal named Bear so I kept picturing his face in Sams' scenes. I have a total crush on Ringer. Ok fine, the main characters all have a special place in my heart.

In closing, I'll say that even though it took me way too long to feel connected, and I had some issues with some parts of it, overall I enjoyed this story immensely and think that you will too. Ricky Yancey is some kind of awesome.