Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Fifth Wave - a book review, Or She's Got Those Moves Like Jagger

The 5th Wave
Rick Yancey
497 pages

This book is about an alien invasion--which has been in movies, books, and songs since someone looked up at the sky and said "Someone out there is trying to kill us!"--so I'm not going to pretend like OMG this is such an original concept at all.

Humanity is removed from the face of Earth in a series of waves (not unlike the TV show Falling Skies). Not, like, water waves. We're talkin' waves of destruction, chaos, famine; Honey Boo Boo renewed for another season and cats and dogs living together. All witnessed by Cassie. Who is named after a constellation and is looking for her missing brother (which is not an over used plot element at all). She's survived the first four waves and is waiting on the fifth to kill her.

Cassie, though, she's tough as nails (not unlike other female teenage characters who are tough as nails and have dead parents). Until she meets some guy in a cabin and they start a-snoggin' (this is British slang for kissing). But is he one of THEM or is he someone else? Is there going to be another wave? Will she rescue her brother? Am I going to ask more questions than I answer in my first blog post of 2014? Yes.

"Welcome to Bel-Air."
So let's see: alien love story set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Yeah, still not original. Oh it's referencing Independence Day? Still not original. Why am I pointing out the lack of originality in Rick Yancey's book? Because its lack of originality works so fucking well.

What is right with The Fifth Wave since I'm unabashedly bashing it: it's paced really well. I couldn't put it down. It was boom. Then a big boom. Then a bigger boom. Then a BOOM! You know what I'm talking about?

Rick takes all the scifi cliches like the God Rod and parent death and "Welcome to Earth!" moments and ties them together into a singular thrill ride. A ride where half the time I was waiting for Rick to reference a movie or book or scifi cliche and then he did (you're my homeboy, Rick). It's a fast paced novel filled with nerdy genre references and it somehow works. I'm coming to terms with it.

Three Out of Five Fucks Given

(Full Disclosure: I purchased this and read this on my Kindle)

Side Note: Yes, there is one water wave. I forgot about it until after I wrote this post.. 
Extra Side Note: I have no idea how to review this book without spoiling it, but since everyone else has read it, I probably could. But hey, I'm a nice guy and the Internet is an archive and this is probably on a To Be Read Pile for someone somewhere. And if Google brought you here because you didn't know what to read next: you're welcome.


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