Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Fifth Wave - Rick Yancey (Audio)

In my mind, the book world has an over-saturation of post-apocalyptic/dystopian YA trilogies.  I don't even read all of them because I get irritated that they all sound the same.  NOT reading them is a matter of principle at this point.  But this one came along, and it did a little seductive dance for me.  EW went nuts over it, saying that it would kick Hunger Games to the curb.  It has already been optioned for a movie.  And it involved a nasty group of aliens (versus zombies or vampires or whatever).  Then Penguin audio gave me the opportunity to upload the digital version, and I finally gave in.  I had to be in on the action.

Synopsis:  Humans never had a chance.  The first wave cut off all the lights and power.  The second wave brought a massive flood.  The third wave came in the form of a pestilence.  In the fourth wave, the survivors are picked off by Silencers.  If you have survived all that, you have every reason to be scared because the fifth wave is the worst to come.

The attack was planned long ago.  It was calculated down to the last detail, with the end goal being total annihilation of the human race.

Cassie Sullivan hasn't always been a badass.  She has transformed herself into a steely gun-toting survivalist in order to find her little brother, who was whisked off with all the other children to a "safe haven".  Who knows if he is even alive, but she has to keep her promise to him and try to locate him.  Her biggest challenge, however, is knowing who to trust.   Because The Others look just like us.

My thoughts: It seems like many people totally lost their minds over this book, based on Amazon reviews.  I would agree that it is a compelling read, but I wasn't blown away.  But I was entertained enough to continue reading the series.

The premise is strangely plausible, and therefore terrifying (Yancey DID work for the IRS at one point, so the man knows something about inspiring terror).  It isn't that hard to imagine that there is life out there that is much more advanced than us, and might view our planet as desirable to control.  Hey, if Germany can waltz into Poland because they want to, and slaughter everyone that gets in their way, why not aliens?  The world building is complex and thorough, as well as the character development.  There is action.  There is love, and the potential for a love triangle in the future books.  There is loyalty and deception and bravery and fears.  Yancey doesn't skip a beat.

So why do I not have a ticker marking down the days until the release of the second installment? It is hard to put my finger on the reason why.  It certainly isn't dumbed down for teens.  It is well-written.  Perhaps it is just that while I was entertained, nothing surprised me.  We have seen versions of this before (albeit without cold-blooded murderous aliens).  I am willing to give the series a go, though, which is a complement coming from me!

A few words about the audio production:  There were two narrators at work here...Phoebe Strole and Brandon Espinoza.  Phoebe narrated "The Time Traveler's Wife" which I loved on audio.  This narration definitely had a different feel to it - she sounded much younger.  She also appears to have some minor TV and movie experience.  This looks like Brandon's first experience with narration, but has been on TV a few times.  Both did an excellent job at portraying their characters and were enjoyable to listen to.  I hope they come back for round 2.

Listening length:  12 hours and 41 minutes (480 pages)

4 out of 5 stars



bermudaonion said...

I've seen all those people going nuts over this one but, so far, I've resisted because it sounds like the same old story to me. I can't decide if I want to give it a go or not.

Darlene said...

I wouldn't necessarily rush to get this one but I wouldn't mind listening to it. It sounds like one you can just enjoy and don't really have to concentrate heavily on.

Julie P. said...

My friend was just raving about this one too!

Heidenkind said...

"Yancey DID work for the IRS at one point, so the man knows something about inspiring terror"


Anonymous said...

I definitely loved this one more than you did - but I have really been in a sci fi mood lately.

Iliana said...

Yep, I've seen a lot of rave reviews of this one. I wouldn't mind reading it I guess but I'm not in a rush.

Anonymous said...

I did get the print version. Fast-paced entertainment, but I haven't been moved to blog about it. Heads up, The Bone Season is stellar fantasy imho, coming in August

Ti said...

YA fans will argue with me over this but I think that expectation isn't all that high when it comes to YA apocalyptic/dystopian books. As long as the essentials elements are there, the fans go ga-ga over it.

I turned this one down. It seemed a little hokie to me.