[Wipes sweat off forehead in relief] This is not another Hunger Games. However, there’s military presence and a regime with an iron fist. What I like about The 5th Wave is that it takes place at the beginning of the apocalypse and a dystopian world that is still developing.
The 5th Wave follows Cassie Sullivan whose teenage life is disrupted by an alien invasion. As the apocalypse progresses, Cassie loses almost all her family. She only has her brother who is taken to a promising safe place, separating the siblings.
Cassie goes on a quest to find him while being tracked by aliens. She can’t trust anyone especially a seemingly innocent guy named Evan Walker. Because humans might be working for the aliens…or are the aliens.
The 5th Wave has a strong plot and developed characters – I’m glad that Cassie keeps her guard up when she meets Evan Walker who’s attractive (of course, he is, he wouldn’t be the main male character if he wasn’t). The only thing that bothered me was the romance. It was cheesy and I rolled my eyes at the “I’m a monster, but I’m in love with you” trope. Cassie is sceptical. I love that finding her brother remains her first priority.
While Cassie wields weapons, she uses them only if she needs to. She’s more of a survivor than a warrior or rebel leader, so that’s refreshing.
Although trauma or psychological aftereffects on people are in the book, it’s brief and the story moves on. The “crazy” aspect that some characters have is a bit cliche and unfeeling. I would’ve liked to read what’s going on their minds more, take the “crazy” aspect more seriously, read scenes where the characters take a moment to process their experiences. I know it’s a keep-moving-or-die environment, but I just want the psychological explored deeper.
Overall, The 5th Wave is a good read and the film adaptation looks promising (please don’t make it into the “next Hunger Games”).