First Lines: Aliens are stupid. I’m not talking about real aliens. The Others aren’t stupid. The Others are so far ahead of us, it’s like comparing the dumbest human to the smartest dog. No contest.
Look at me, knocking out books left and right! That’s because IT’S SUMMER VACATION! So hopefully this means I’ll get back to normal with all these reviews. I’ve got a huge backlog of ARCs and new releases that I’m working on. So sit back and watch me read! (Wait…that sounds kinda boring…) Anyway, this was a book my students are always reading and I needed to see what was up with it. Literally all I knew about it before starting it was it was a movie and there were aliens. That’s it.
Four waves of an alien invasion have basically wiped out the human population. If Cassie has learned anything so far, it’s to trust no one. And with the 5th wave just beginning, she knows that only the strongest and smartest will survive…and she’s determined to be in that group. To stay alone is to stay alive, since the Others can look just like humans. But that all changes when she meets Evan Walker. He is Cassie’s only hope for saving her brother. So Cassie has to choose: stay alone and miserable with little hope of saving her brother but staying alive herself or joining up with Evan to save her brother but putting herself more at risk?
Boy, did it take a while to get into the story. I was stuck in the beginning for the longest time, even stopping to read another book in between because it just wasn’t going anywhere. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the biggest fan of alien stories unless there’s something else about the story to grab my interest. And at the beginning of this, I wasn’t finding that “something else”. It wasn’t until the end of Part II that I started feeling like we were getting somewhere.
It wasn’t that I didn’t like Cassie as a character. I think she’s strong and fierce, especially when she has to deal with the entire world collapsing around her. It’s pretty awesome how she manages through it all. The beginning is this weird mash between Cassie’s past before the invasion and her living alone in the woods trying not to go crazy. And the longer the story went on, the more I liked her.
The story is told from multiple perspectives, which were sometimes hard to keep straight because it never comes out and tells you who is speaking. You have to figure it out. But for the most part, it’s not terribly difficult. The weirdest thing is that one of them is sorta told in 2nd person, which never really happens. And it’s just different.
The minor characters were great as well. I don’t want to get too far into the details because I think half of the fun of this is not knowing what’s coming. (Somehow, even with a movie out, I managed to completely not know what this book was about besides aliens.) But I found the characters to be intelligent and clever and resourceful. Exactly the characteristics someone surviving in an apocalyptic world should have. If they were idiots, they’d be dead.
The action of the story, once you get past the beginning, is actually pretty interesting. We’re basically in the middle of a war zone, humans vs. aliens. So constant battles, injuries, and suspense about who we can trust. It’s always moving. My one complaint about the action is that the constantly switching perspectives sometimes means that something exciting happens and then you have to read an entire part to get back to that. It felt like it slowed things down rather than keeping me in suspense, which I think was the point. I was way more likely to put the book down when it did that than when I could just stick with Cassie.
Sure, aliens aren’t really my thing, but this book was pretty good. I can see why so many of my students kept telling me to keep reading when I told them it was going so slow.