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September 17, 2013 / Leslie

Review – Audiobook: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave by Rick YanceyThe 5th Wave
by Rick Yancey
Narrated by Brandon Espinoza and Phoebe Strole

Genre: Science Fiction / YA
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Publish Date: May 7, 2013
Format: Audio, 12 hours | 41 minutes
Audio Listening Level: Easy – Intermediate
Rating: 3 of 5

Publisher’s Synopsis:

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.

My Thoughts:

Comparisons to The Hunger Games, The Passage and Ender’s Game made me eager to read this, the first book in a new YA Science Fiction series. It started out good. Engrossing world building, and I’m a big fan of world building, had me glued to the headphones for the first two hours as Cassie described the state of the planet as it now existed. Earth was on the brink of the 5th Wave of attack in an alien invasion. And then the viewpoint shifted. And the plot changed. And then things got a little too whiney for me.

Before I read a book I only skim reviews to avoid spoilers so I wasn’t aware that the viewpoint would change between several characters. I was expecting a story about Cassie and hoping for a strong female character. Instead I got a recycled alien invasion story that devolved into a corny romance with too many metaphors and sappy similes, and an all child military complete with a stereotypical drill instructor that made me want to hit the fast forward button.

There was enough action and adventure to keep me listening and lots of questions about the aliens that I was hoping to find answers for. The overall arc of the story has a lot of possibilities and perhaps they will pan out in the upcoming books. Just not this one. It wasn’t horribly bad, just not as good as I expected, and I blame all the marketing hype for my disappointment.

There were two narrators in the audio production, Brandon Espinoza and Phoebe Strole, who alternated between male and female point of views. I find that technique effective and it helps me remember who’s speaking when the point of view shifts. Both are new narrators for me and both did a nice job with the voices especially Strole’s voice for Cassie adding personality and emotion.

I know this book is getting a lot of great reviews but for me it was just ok. Fans of dystopian YA that like adventure mixed with romance and a hint of a love triangle will want to give this one a try. If that’s not your type of book I don’t recommend it.

RIP VIII——————————–
Linked to the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril, VIII event.
Source: Review copy provided by Penguin Audio.
© 2013 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.



Leave a Comment
  1. BermudaOnion / Sep 17 2013 6:58 am

    That’s not my type of book, so I think I’ll skip it.


  2. Suko / Sep 17 2013 5:08 pm

    Leslie, thanks for your honest review. Not every book lives up to our expectations, unfortunately.


    • Leslie / Sep 17 2013 5:16 pm

      Very true. Some YA works for me but I wasn’t the target audience for this one – too much teen angst.


  3. lynnsbooks / Sep 19 2013 7:36 pm

    I have a copy of this and was really looking forward to reading it but one of my closest book friends didn’t enjoy it and as we’re fairly similar in terms of books it sort of put me off reading. I have absolutely no doubt that this will now be left sitting on the shelf and your review seems to make me think that maybe that’s a good decision.
    Lynn 😀


  4. stacybuckeye / Sep 26 2013 9:21 pm

    Since I just read a glowing review of this one it’s nice to see one to lower my expectations 🙂



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