To hear some people put it, The 5th Wave
should have been called the The 2nd Coming
. The hype surrounding this novel was crazy. Absolutely crazy. So much so, that it was hard for me to separate the book from the hype even while I was reading the thing.
But now, having let it stew in my mind for a good long while, I can see why people were excited when it came out. It’s got the right mix of action, fantasy, dystopia and romance in it to appeal to a wide spectrum of readers. This is mostly down to the multiple narrators: we’ve got a mix of genders and ages (oh, and species) telling the story, and I can see how that makes the book more appealing to publishers and booksellers alike.
“Lovely, Kay. Nice insight into marketing. But was it a good read?,” you ask.
Sorry people, but the truth is I had to force myself to finish The 5th Wave. While I could appreciate what Rick Yancey was shooting for, I found the jump between narrators extremely frustrating. Just as I was starting to become emotionally invested in a character, we would switch over to someone new. Then, by the time we’d get back to the original subject, I had lost the emotional tie I had previously had.
You play two great symphonies at once, and they’ll just become noise. The 5th Wave was a very noisy book.
So despite the body-snatching aliens, the child soldiers, the Walking Dead style of survival, my main takeaway from The 5th Wave was a lesson in how not to structure a novel. Intellectually, I am interested in knowing how the series ends, but if everyone dies in the end, I wouldn’t really mind. Never a good sign.
Bottom line? The 5th Wave lacked any and all emotional pull, and I can’t say I’m rushing to recommend it. But if you adore multiple narrator books, perhaps you’ll love this book.
Reviewed at Dead Book Darling