Summary (from Goodreads):
The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.
After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother –or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.
So this book has been taking over this summer. Seriously, I see it everywhere. I wasn’t sure about the description, but after reading six really good reviews, I knew there was no way I couldn’t read it.
The biggest thing this book has going for it is the characters. I absolutely loved Cassie. I thought she was honest, brave, and real. I liked that she was always herself throughout all the terrors she endured. She never looses her thoughts about her high school crush. She’s always thinking about her brother. She hates being alone, but knows she has to be. And she’s willing to kill people in order to protect herself and her brother. She is pushed to her limits over and over, but her personality still remains intact. And she has such a personality!
There’s all these snippets of the past that the reader gets in small does. The epic downfall of our planet isn’t all summarized and jammed down out throats in the first chapter (though it is just tiny bit). It happens fluidly over time. I really was guessing as to what exactly happened for at least half of the book. Each wave was terrible, and the worst one seems like the fifth, which you eventually understand in the later parts of the book.
A lot of people have remarked on the suspense and surprise here. I called almost all the major twists; however, this author wrote them extremely well. Everything was in the right spot –and nothing about this world was summarized. It was all shown through painful memories and the questions/debates characters have among each other, and I was super impressed by this. I loved hearing this conversations –knowing what people believed and didn’t believe.
I liked the other characters too. The book did sometimes follow other characters, besides Cassie. And at first, this was kind of confusing. Almost the entire first half was in Cassie’s point of view, and then it just all of a sudden changed to someone else’s with no indication of doing so, and it took me a few pages to realize I was now in the head of male character. I get why Yancey did this. He didn’t want you to know who the character was yet; there’s a big reveal later. But, still it was really disorienting sometimes and it took away some of my enjoyment of the story because I had to keep reminding myself who I was reading about.
On another note though, I read this one super fast. It gets to a point during the last half, where it is literally impossible to put the book down. Do not read this book until you have the time to read a book in almost one sitting! I was up to 2 am reading, when I had to be up by 5:40am the next day. That was a mistake. But seriously, there is no good point to stop reading here.
The sci-fi elements weren’t brand new, but mixed in with the way Yancey writes dystopia elements, the story really did become unique. Some of what was happening was legitimately terrifying. And I was on the edge of my seat, biting my nails, in hope of a lot of these kids surviving. The romance was pretty awesome. The description makes it sound like it’s a much more major part of the book than it is. Frankly, there’s not a ton of time for falling in love. But, I absolutely adored the relationship between Cassie and Evan. So much tension, fighting, and mystery –my favorite kind of romance.
I wanted to learn more about Evan than I had the chance to. I’m hoping more is explained in the next installment. I also want to learn more about Them. I want to learn more about other camps, other survivors, and I’m dying to see how things work out between Cassie and someone else too.
This book is sad, suspenseful, terrifying, romantic, and just so addicting. It definitely feels like a Stephen King novel for the YA audience. And nothing is sugar-coated. I highly recommend this one to fans of Divergent and The Hunger Games. Cassie is an amazing main character. The story is impossible to put down. And I’m dying to get more answers. This gets a 10/10 from me (even though the character points of view switches were a little confusing).