The 5th Wave
Yancey, Rick. New York: G. P Putnam’s Sons, 2013. 9780399162411
Quantitative Reading Level:
This is considered a YA novel. I was unable to find a grade level equivalent. The reviews have generally said grades 9 and up or age 14 and up.
Qualitative Reading Analysis:
I would rate this as Middle High on the “Text Complexity: Qualitative Measures Rubric for Literary Text”. The main reason for this analysis is the shifts in point of view. The book is told from both Cassie and Ben’s point of view. The point of view changes with chapters and parts but it can sometimes take a few pages to figure out who is taking. In addition, the whole book relies on the concept of trust so although the reader may be suspicious of different characters it is hard to know who and what to believe. There are also flashbacks and other shifts in the timeline of events.
Cassie, her dad, and her brother Sam have survived the 1st Wave when “the visitors” arrived and knocked out all the power. They survived the 2nd Wave when major earthquakes triggered tsunamis and destroyed coastal populations. They survived the 3rd Wave where a plague was spread by the birds. In the 4th Wave “Silencers” are picking off the survivors. But what is the 5th Wave? Can Cassie survive? Can she save her brother?
Ben was a high school football star with a great smile. He too survived the first 4 waves. Now he is being trained to detect and destroy the aliens. Or is he?
Cassie, Ben, and the other survivors must decide who to trust and how to survive this alien invasion where the enemy looks like us, knows how we thinks, and maybe IS us.
Author’s website: http://www.rickyancey.com/ (has book trailers as well)
This was a great book. I enjoyed it very much. I appreciated the differing points of view and the way the book messed with my head. Although, I felt like I knew what was going on relatively early in the book it did not lesson my enjoyment of the book. Yancey even had a few more surprises to throw in. I felt the book ended in a satisfying manner but wasn’t too surprised to see that it is the first in a trilogy. I look forward to reading the other two books.
Subjects/Themes: Losing Hope, Overcoming, Will to Survive
Series Information: This is the first book in a trilogy.
Cassie – Cassie has survived the 1st – 4th Wave but has just witnessed the death of her father by the same people who took away her brother. Not knowing who to trust, she only knows she must find her brother and somehow survive the 5th Wave.
Ben – A high school football star with a great smile he has also survived the 1st – 4th Waves and is now being trained to hunt and kill aliens. Now he has become “Zombie” an unfeeling soldier. But what if everything he believes is a lie?
Evan – The mysterious stranger who saves Cassie’s life may not be what he appears. Where does he go at night and how does he know so much about her? Can Cassie trust him or is he a one of them?
Sammy – Cassie’s younger brother who was taken away to safety. Or was he? Now he is being trained with “Zombie” to hunt and kill the aliens.
High Interest Annotation: They survived the 1st-4th Waves but can they survive the 5th when the enemy might just be ourselves?