Reviews for 5th Wave

Booklist Reviews 2013 February #1
*Starred Review* The Monstrumologist series set a bar for YA horror nearly impossible to match. Can Yancey do the same for sci-fi? He makes a hell of an effort with this ambitious series starter set in the aftermath of a crushing alien invasion in which the aliens themselves never appeared. Seven billion humans have died in the months following the appearance of a giant mother ship. Wave 1: an electromagnetic pulse rendering all machines useless. Wave 2: tsunamis wiping out coastal cities. Wave 3: the Red Death, a deadly plague carried by birds. Wave 4: Silencers, humans who were implanted with alien intelligence as fetuses. We don't even want to know about Wave 5--do we? Monstrumologist fans will be surprised to discover that Yancey grounds his multiperspective survivalist thriller in two fairly conventional YA voices: Cassie, 16, whose grim solitary existence changes when she is rescued by hunky but mysterious Evan; and Zombie, 17, ex-sports star thrown into a brutal boot camp to train as an alien killer. Yancey's heartfelt, violent, paranoid epic, filled with big heroics and bigger surprises, is part War of the Worlds, part Starship Troopers, part Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and part The Stand, but just close enough to dystopic trends to make this a sure thing for reviewers and readers alike. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Hype has been heavy since a big preempt sale and an announced 500,000 first printing. Film rights are sold, tours are planned, ads will be omnipresent--need we say more? Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
Cassie, sixteen, prepares herself for the fifth wave of aliens, the final takeover, fearing that she may be all that's left of humanity. She's alone until she meets "very good-looking" Evan Walker, and together they must figure out how to fight back. Yancey vividly portrays Cassie's existential crisis in a broken world: how to live, why to live, and what to care about.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2013 #3
"Once they found us, we were toast," says sixteen-year-old survivor Cassie, after aliens have invaded Earth. No "little green men and giant mechanical spiders spitting out death rays," no earthlings locked in epic battles. Just seven billion humans killed in waves of systematic attacks. First, a massive electromagnetic pulse knocked out the power grid, breaking down the social order. Then an attack on the coastlines created killer tsunamis, followed by a worldwide ebola-like plague, followed by the emergence of what Cassie calls the Silencers, implanted in humans years before, out to kill any remaining people. Cassie prepares herself for the fifth wave, the final takeover, fearing that she may be all that's left of humanity -- but "if I am the last one, then I am humanity. And if this is humanity's last war, then I am the battlefield." She's alone until she meets seventeen-year-old Evan Walker, "a very good-looking guy with a lopsided grin and large strong hands," and together they must figure out how to fight back. Until then, the pacing is slow and methodical, with the action escalating only toward the conclusion. Still, Yancey vividly portrays Cassie's existential crisis in a broken world: how to live, why to live, what to believe in, and what to care about. As with other current dystopian novels, fans will read breathlessly to see if the potent mix of war, romance, and hope are enough to save a world. dean schneider

Kirkus Reviews 2013 April #1
The challenge? Surviving the genocide of the human race when aliens attack Earth in the not-too-distant future. Sixteen-year-old Cassie, her brother Sam and her dad survived the first four gruesome waves of the attack. Together, the three wait out the titular fifth in a military base for survivors until school buses arrive to take all children to safety, including her brother Sam. Cassie, her dad and the rest of the adults are then divested of their weapons and marched into a bunker by their protectors. Cassie escapes, only to see her dad (and everyone else) brutally executed by their so-called protectors. She then embarks on a mission to rescue her brother. As in his previous efforts (The Monstrumologist, 2009, etc.), Yancey excels in creating an alternative world informed by just enough logic and sociology to make it feel close enough to our own. The suspension-of-disbelief Kool-Aid he serves goes down so easy that every piece of the story--no matter how outlandish--makes perfect sense. The 500-plus-page novel surges forward full throttle with an intense, alarming tone full of danger, deceit and a touch of romance. The plot flips back and forth with so much action and so many expert twists that readers will constantly question whom they can trust and whom they can't. Best of all, everything feels totally real, and that makes it all the more riveting. Nothing short of amazing. (Science fiction. 14 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Library Journal Reviews Newsletter
The first wave was an electromagnetic pulse; the second, disasters that destroy the world's coasts; the third, an ebola-like plague; and the fourth, "Silencers" picking off those unlucky enough to remain. Now Cassie and Ben must survive the fifth assault by an alien species intent on eliminating the human race. This high-octane thriller by a Printz Honor winner famous for his ability to scare delivers apocalyptic thrills that will have you clamoring for the next installment. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 February #4

Yancey makes a dramatic 180 from the intellectual horror of his Monstrumologist books to open a gripping SF trilogy about an Earth decimated by an alien invasion. The author fully embraces the genre, while resisting its more sensational tendencies (rest assured, though, there are firefights and explosions aplenty). A rare survivor of the invasion, 16-year-old Cassie, armed with an M16 rifle and her younger brother's teddy bear, is trying to reunite with her brother and escape the "Silencer" (assassin) trying to kill her. Meanwhile, 17-year-old "Zombie," an unwitting military recruit, is facing a crisis of conscience. The story's biggest twists aren't really surprises; the hints are there for readers to see. Yancey is more interested in examining how these world-shaking revelations affect characters who barely recognize what their lives have become. As in the Monstrum-ologist series, the question of what it means to be human is at the forefront--in the words of cartoonist Walt Kelly, "We have met the enemy and he is us." It's a book that targets a broad commercial audience, and Yancey's aim is every bit as good as Cassie's. Ages 14-up. Agent: Brian DeFiore, DeFiore and Co. (May)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 April

Gr 9 Up--Cassie travels with just the essentials. First on the list: Luger, M-16, ammo, Bowie knife. Incidentals like food, water, sleeping bag, and nail clippers come further down. A nondescript 16-year-old, she is one of the very few people left alive on Earth. Aliens sent waves of destructive forces to eradicate humans: Cassie's family survived the 1st and 2nd Waves. Her mother died in the 3rd Wave (Pestilence) and her father in the 4th (Silencers). Her little brother may still be alive; he may even be safe in a military compound, as Cassie deals with the 5th Wave- a carefully orchestrated survival dance of kill or be killed. The aliens are never described in detail, and their reasons for wanting the humans gone are not clear. But they are ruthless and determined, and their methods for gaining control mean readers will never again see owls as the friendly, mail-delivering avians portrayed in the world of Harry Potter. The compelling story is told from the viewpoints of Cassie and Ben, who is now a soldier known as Zombie. Cassie crushed on Ben at school, but he never particularly noticed her. Now he has transformed from handsome high school sports star to focused paramilitary killer. Yancey's story is full of violent twists and turns, but character development continues along with nonstop action. Cassie and Ben grow out of high school self-centeredness and find leadership qualities. Cassie's interactions with an alien elevate him from a one-dimensional "bad guy" role. While the big body counts (billions die) happen largely offscreen, there are numerous more personal instances in which teens are both killers and killed. The ending has enough planned loose ends to practically guarantee a sequel.--Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX

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VOYA Reviews 2013 June
Aliens have come to Earth, bringing death with them.  First, they killed all electrical devices. Then, they flooded coastal cities. Next was a pandemic, spread by birds. Their fourth wave of destruction are snipers, "sleeper agents" planted long ago, who awaken to kill humans. Cassie is sixteen, surviving alone with her best friend--an M16 assault rifle. She is targeted by a fourth wave sniper, but rescued by farm boy Evan, who has depths to him that Cassie cannot fathom.  "Zombie" is seventeen, a former high school athlete now being trained to kill aliens in humanity's last-gasp effort at survival: a child army. Zombie is a squad leader, and his squad gets a new recruit, a very tiny five-year-old boy named Nugget, who awakens protective instincts in Zombie. Although this science fiction thriller has plenty of fast action, Yancey makes sure there is still time for thoughtfulness. The end of the world is a big deal, and the characters do reflect on it. Cassie is smart enough to know her weaknesses, snarky, scared, and yet strong. She keeps fighting past all hope. Zombie is clever, kind, and learns from his past, as well as his terrifying present. The characters are deep, rich, and real. Yancey does not hand over everything on a plate; he makes readers figure things out from context, drawing you deeper into the world. The ending, while obviously setting up for a sequel or two, is satisfyingly not a cliffhanger. Yancey writes so well, he is like a Stephen King for YAs.--Geri DiorioThe 5th Wave is absolutely captivating. Yancey imbues a melancholy premise with surprising humor and buoyancy. The language is familiar but still sophisticated and, in places, quite beautiful. The plot is a little slow at first, but quickly accelerates until it is impossible to put the book down. It all converges in a spell of well-constructed action that carries without pause through the end. The characters' interactions are alternately heartwarming and heart wrenching. It is easy to befriend and root for Cassie, even with the palpability of her doom in the offing. 5Q, 5P.--Holly Storm, Teen Reviewer 5Q 5P M J S Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.

VOYA Reviews 2013 August
Cassie is on the run from the Others, beings who invaded the Earth and wiped out billions of people. She has learned to survive by carrying only the essentials and trusting no one, even if they look human. After four waves of invasion--darkness, tsunamis, plague, and humans implanted with alien consciousness--Cassie finds herself alone and on a mission to save her brother from the Others. Ben, a former classmate of Cassie's, winds up recruited by what is left of the military and trained to wipe out the invaders. It is only by luck that he is put in a squad with Sammy, Cassie's brother, and Ben swears he will protect Sammy to the end of the Earth. Then, there is Evan, a solitary figure in the woods fighting off invaders, who gives Cassie another reason to live. And they are all trying to find a way to stop the fifth wave and what may be the end of humanity If Yancey's Monstrumologist series was not proof enough that he is a masterful storyteller, this book should convince any doubters. Undeniably gorgeous, heartbreaking, and thrilling, The 5th Wave strikes at the very heart of what it means to be human, to love, trust, and survive in the worst possible situations. This is a must-read for anyone, from the sci-fi fans and thriller junkies to those looking for a book that will keep them up way past their bedtimes. Expect this book to be in heavy demand.--Amanda Fensch NONFICTIO 5Q 5P S Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.