The Fifth Wave series starts out strong with the first book. In fact, The Fifth Wave, is one of my all-time favorite YA Apocalypse novels. In the first book the non-stop action, the intense character interactions and the unique perspective, paired with Yancy’s dedication to not hold back makes for a winner as far as books. Unfortunately, Yancy loses that fervor in the next books. It’s as if he had a plan when flushing out the trilogy – and then changed it in the midst of writing it. For a series that had so much potential, I’m sad to report that the first book was all that this series has to offer.

In the first book the apocalypse happens. In mostly Cassiopeia’s POV she recounts how the mothership came to Earth and decided to wipe out humanity.

On the run and faced with the notion she might be the last human on Earth, Cassie has only one option – to move forward and try to uphold a promise she made to her little brother. To never stop looking for him.

The story follows Cassie’s journey and her eventual hook-up with the mysterious Evan Walker, who you suspect immediately to be an alien (it’s hinted at in the blurb) and then starts jumping POVs into the world of the children and the training camp that is the home of Cassie’s brother, her convenient surviving crush, Ben Parrish and a slew of other kids all with nicknames.

The entire story was well written and so full of action and good dialogue that you ignore a lot of the plot holes – that become glaringly obvious later in the series, but in the excitement of a new series I blew them off and declare this a momentous achievement in Young Adult fiction.

But, looking back, a lot of points didn’t make sense. Like if Ben Parrish was old enough to go to the camp – why wasn’t Cassie? And then you realize well because if Cassie went to the camp, the story wouldn’t progress.

“How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.”

I’m going to keep it short for the next two books and try to keep the spoilers low, but the reason the books are not my favorite can be a spoiler. The first line of The Infinite Sea’s blurb sums it up.

Cassie is reunited with her brother and now we’re in perpetual POV shift as we start within Ringer’s head and then jump back and forth between survivors. I could look past those shifts, because the characters are generally really good characters, but Ringer was a hard one to latch on to. Unlike Cassie, Ringer is rather emotionless – and the romance Yancy introduces us to fell flat. I didn’t feel it.

What did happen in this book was Yancy’s introduction of the alien’s intentions – to rid humans of their humanity. Which had me perplexed. Why would they do this? Why would they find they had to do this? It kept me going to read the next on. My entire goal focused not on the characters but on figuring out the intention of the aliens.

“The enemy is Other. The enemy is us. They’re down here, they’re up there, they’re nowhere. They want the Earth, they want us to have it. They came to wipe us out, they came to save us.”

The blurb is intriguing. How does this make sense? I expected enlightenment going in The Last Star. I wanted to solve the riddle. I thought that maybe there would be some great reveal. It would blow my mind. I had all kinds of scenarios going through my head, could the aliens be future us? Could the aliens want to take over the bodies? Could the aliens be sociopath species that just like doing experiments on unsuspecting emerging spacefaring races?

It was a riddle. And yes, Yancy got me hooked until the end. And I have to say when he revealed the intention (SPOILER ALERT)…

****

Read the blurb, that’s about all you’re going to get.
****

I could have put the book down and walked away. I couldn’t tell you what happens in the last couple of pages. It didn’t matter that something tragic happened. At that point I was done. Because the secret of this book – is that there really isn’t any secret. Rick Yancy doesn’t even know the riddle. They came to save us, they hate us, their idea of saving us was to make us not trust each other. For what ends? Because they have to. Why? Oh because of course. There was really no point. No flushed out idea. It would make some kind of sense if the aliens were here to take over the world. Technically.

They went through all this trouble, all the waves, the war…the hatred from some of them, which were basically alien serial killers…for no reason that made sense. If there was some kind of message, it was lost on me. Humans supposedly caused their own downfall and in order for us to not lose it all again – we couldn’t love or trust one another. It was a complete hot mess that made no sense what-so-ever. There was no explanation. It left me with a feeling I was cheated and scratching my head wondering if I missed something.

I didn’t. I didn’t miss a thing. The idea of why the aliens would come to the Earth and do all this crazy wave stuff had no concrete reasoning. I asked myself this through the entire series. Why? Why would they do this? Hoping in the end that I would get some explanation…but got none.

And that breaks down this entire series. Three books that delivered a riddle and in the end the answer to the riddle was not valid.

About the Book
The Fifth Wave Series Review – Audiobooks

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Series: The 5th Wave, #1
Narrator: Phoebe Strole, Ben Yannette
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on May 7th 2013
ISBN: 0399162410
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 457
Source: Audilble.com
Also in this series: The Infinite Sea
Also by this author: The Infinite Sea
5 Stars

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.




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.

 

The Fifth Wave Series Review – Audiobooks

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

Series: The 5th Wave,
Narrator: Phoebe Strole, Ben Yannette
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on September 16th 2014
Pages: 300
Also in this series: The Infinite Sea
Also by this author: The Infinite Sea
4 Stars



How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

The Fifth Wave Series Review – Audiobooks

The Last Star by Rick Yancey

Series: The 5th Wave,
Narrator: Phoebe Strole, Ben Yannette
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on May 24th 2016
Pages: 338
Also in this series: The Infinite Sea
Also by this author: The Infinite Sea
1 Stars



The enemy is Other. The enemy is us. They’re down here, they’re up there, they’re nowhere. They want the Earth, they want us to have it. They came to wipe us out, they came to save us.

But beneath these riddles lies one truth: Cassie has been betrayed. So has Ringer. Zombie. Nugget. And all 7.5 billion people who used to live on our planet. Betrayed first by the Others, and now by ourselves.

In these last days, Earth’s remaining survivors will need to decide what’s more important: saving themselves . . . or saving what makes us human.

4 Comments

  1. Christine A Pogon

    I agree with everything you said here! I LOVED The Fifth Wave, but I couldn’t even finish The Infinite Sea. I tried, I really did. But, I couldn’t get past the first couple of chapters.

    Great review!

  2. Christine A Pogon

    I agree with everything you said here! I LOVED The Fifth Wave, but I couldn’t even finish The Infinite Sea. I tried, I really did. But, I couldn’t get past the first couple of chapters.

    Great review!

  3. Kimberly

    *spoiler* I just finished this series yesterday and while I did like The Infinite Sea I thought The Last Star was stupid. Everything about the aliens seemed pointless and I honestly thought it would have turned out better if there were no aliens if it was just people trying to pretend like it was aliens so they could justify their crazy plan. That makes more sense to me than these aliens. I also hated Ringer’s “situation.” Truthfully I was just pain annoyed by The Last Star.

    • Parajunkee

      Same here. And if I put two and two together – technically he could write more and change everything up again, because we only know everything because of what Vosch told Ringer – and it could have been a total lie. Cassie knows basically everything – but we know how that went, but who’s to say that plot line isn’t caput either. The story ends with an open-ended could be – I mean he could write more. I really dislike these series that never seem to end – and don’t give you a concrete well this is that plot wrap-up. I didn’t feel wrapped up at all.