by Rick Yancey
First sentence: “There would be no harvest.”
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Others in the series: The 5th Wave
Content: It’s violent and intense; Yancey pulls no punches. There’s also a lot of (understandable) swearing, including f-bombs. It’s in the Teen section (grades 9+) of the bookstore, but I’m thinking I might need to put a couple in our science fiction/fantasy section.
Spoilers for 5th Wave ahead. You’ve been warned.
I don’t even know where to begin with this. The first four waves of the alien invasion have happened, and the fifth wave is coming. Cassie and the rag-tag group of kids (including her little brother) believe they know what that is and with the help of the alien/human hybrid Evan Walker, they believe they can fight it.
And they are wrong.
I won’t go into the plot much here; it’s better if you just read it. I didn’t re-read 5th Wave first, and thankfully, Yancey dropped enough reminders throughout that I basically remembered what was going on. (I love it when authors do that, as opposed to a blanket summary up front.) What really impressed me, though was that Yancey spares nothing and no one. Everyone is suspect, everyone is vulnerable. Nothing is safe.
It’s intense, I can tell you that. I devoured it in one sitting because I HAD to know what was going to happen, what everything meant. And it’s deliciously complex: you peel back one layer and there are three more waiting for you. Just when you think you know someone — even Vosch, the Big Bad Guy — things are revealed that make you realize you know nothing. And in the best way. Yancy’s writing compelled me onward, made me want to know more. It’s the best of post-apocalyptic fiction: things are going completely, utterly wrong, and yet you can’t help but hope for the best. He does balance some positive things with the horrors; he hasn’t killed off Cassie’s younger brother (yet) and there is some humor along the way. But mostly, it’s an intense emotional roller coaster.
And I say that with all the love in my heart.