Guys, the coolest sci-fi novel since The Hunger Games is finally out. It's The 5th Wave, and to say that it is crazy epic and crazy awesome would be selling it short.
The 5th Wave tells the story of a post-apocalyptic world brought on by alien invasion. Think The Fallout series if everything got messed up by aliens instead of big frickin' bombs. A high school girl named Cassie has to try to save her brother and somehow survive in a world where aliens patrol the skies with big killer robot things and less than 1% of the world's population is actually left. In another storyline, a guy that is now known as Zombie is going through intense training in a secret military that may or may not actually be the aliens in disguise. It's seriously crazy stuff.
For those of you who like your aliens mostly friendly and benevolent, The 5th Wave might not tickle your fancy. This is definitely not Star Trek, and there are no lovably big eared tavern keepers or ridge-headed warrior dudes with hearts of gold. The aliens in this story mean serious business, and it seems like they want to wipe out the human race just for the fun of it. That said, if you actually like your sci-fi with some grit, and you don't mind explosions and a bit of gore, The 5th Wave is pretty much just pure awesome. The writing is great and fast paced, with just enough back story so that you're not super bored waiting for the action to get underway.
The best part of all is that Cassie, one of the narrators and the main character, is a completely realistic and likable person. She seems to be reacting to her bad situation just like any real teenager would in her situation, and that kind of realism in character development is what separates the run of the mill young adult stuff from the kind of book that becomes a classic.
The only weakness is the forced romantic aspect. It seems like every YA novel has a romance jammed into an otherwise perfectly non-mushy story, and it's kind of a bummer. That being said, if you look forward to a little romance sprinkled in with your alien violence, then it will probably add something to the novel, not take away.
The 5th Wave is an absolute must read! There are some INSANE twists with good characters and a genuinely unsettling post-apocalyptic vibe to the whole thing. Not for the faint of heart, but definitely recommended for anyone who loves good YA sci-fi.
Final Grade: A-
Are you going to read The 5th Wave?