Now a major motion picture, The 5th Wave tells the story of an alien invasion. The first four waves are more in flashback form and the story involves the points of view of several charachters that are loosely related, but not together until the end of the book. The shift in character viewpoints can confuse, but I believe the author pulled it off well. Learn about the waves as you prepare to see the movie!
Life is going along as usual for life on Earth when a mothership is detected in the solar system. This gives the people on earth a few days to prepare for what may come, mostly to speculate. I can totally see that happening, though my question is why it took so long for us to see anything. These aliens aren’t the most stealthy and we’ve certainly plenty of things looking out in to space. Of course, this isn’t a tale of First Contact. That’s a different genre of books, equally enjoyable in my opinion. This is war.
The First Wave: Kudos for the use of an EMP to knock out electronics. We’re so dependent on this now, you better hope to have a few scouts nearby. There was the typical looting and meyhem, but there were a lot of people who remained fairly calm as well. I don’t see myself holing up in my house after that. I’m not the most physically fit, but I’d be strapping on my walking shoes and getting the heck out of dodge. An EMP knocking us back in time 200 years is an obvious act of war and I live way too close to First Strike Zones.
The Second Wave: Cataclysm. Aliens chose earthquakes which lead to tsunamis. Dang, I’m really toast if I didn’t walk fast enough in those first two days. Thankfully, heading west leads me up in altitude as well. I liked the scientific explanation the teenage heroine gives, though I question how she actually knew with zero access to CNN.
The Third Wave: Disease. The aliens developed some sort of avian flu to spread to humans that’s fairly nasty. I like the name of The Red Death. That’s pretty cool. And let’s face it, birds are everywhere, though why not rats? That did well enough in the middle ages and we’re right back there. At any rate, there goes 90% of the remaining population in the most horrific way possible. And the remaining folks have no way to dispose of that many bodies, which of course means that there’s more disease just waiting. Again, there’s some science in there, especially with that bird flu thing, but how do these people know? MSNBC is also KIA thanks to the EMP.
The Fourth Wave: They are among us. Trust no one. Where’s Fox and Scully when you need them? I bet they saw this crap coming as soon as that Mothership was seen. What do you do when you know the person you just ran in to could be human or alien? This was by far the best part of the book. The sheer psychological impact is staggering. The book covers it well.
Time for The Fifth Wave: I’m not telling. Spoilers! Read the book and watch the movie. Let’s just say, that’s dastardly. I was questioning from the time the little brother gets loaded in the bus (It’s in the preview, shut up about spoilers) this whole thing and boom. There it was. Just as expected. Dang. Harsh.
The question is, will there be a Fifth Column to go with that Fifth Wave? That could certainly throw a wrench in the works. What I like is that all of these waves happen with little to no actual contact with the mother ship. Sure it’s floating in our sky and sends out drones, but there’s no booming voice, no taking over our airwaves and no landing on the front lawn of The White House. Just hovering and being ominous and rolling out the freaking apocalypse horsemen.
It’s dark. It’s hopeful. It’s sometimes gritty. There’s some starcrossed romance. (Wilderness crossed?) There’s a separated brother and sister. There’s a little bit of Ender’s Game thrown in just for good measure.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I also have it in audio, which was pleasant because there was a female reader and a male reader, so you could track the shifts between the four points of view more easily. Have I mentioned how much I love Whispersync?
Star this and leave a comment and let me know what you think about the book, my review, and what you might like to see in the future? I’m likely going to see this movie and also let me know if you would like a comparison/review.