There is this quote from “The Art of War” that says:
“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”
In most cases I would agree with Sun Tzu (who, if you were curious strikes an unfathomable resemblance to Shang Tsung from Mortal Kombat…in my head) it wasn’t until I read Rick Yancey’s “The 5th Wave” that I noticed a flaw in his theory…
What happens when your enemy never shows its face?
Or better yet…
What if your enemy is from another planet?
Until last month I had never even heard about this book. (Yes, that is indeed a little odd for me.) I was sitting around one Wednesday afternoon (guzzling coffee like it was the second coming) when I got a picture message from a friend.
“Have you read this yet? Is it good? Should I pre-order it?”
Once I got over the fact that my star pupil had Yoda’d me (I share books! Not the other way around! WTF…is it snowing in Hell?) I took a quick glance at the synopsis, and then immediately had a baby. Ok…not literally, but there was quite a bit of screaming going on.
Though it didn’t actually say it,
I could tell this book was about an alien invasion…and boy was I pumped.
Because aliens are the be all end all of creative freedom. There are no boundaries, therefore they make for some incredibly interesting/engaging/creepy/super-d-duper-awesome stories.
Luckily for me, the following day, the book showed up on my Vine list and I was off to the races. (And by races I mean the untimely demise of the human race. Sorry Kardashians…your 15 minutes are up!)
But enough about me…what about the book?
First, it’s long. Tapping out (in a very irritating way just FYI) at 457 pages this book is not light reading. While it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to follow its suspense riddled plot, it does take time. And believe me when I say you will want to plan accordingly before starting (once you pick it up you won’t be able to put it down.)
Second, it’s FANTASTIC!!! (Sorry, I tried to find a more unique way to state the obvious, but, well…I suck.) From page one Yancey catapulted me into one of the most interesting post apocalyptic stories I have read in quite some time. We get to experience the anxiety and determination of a girl trying to make it on her own. We stand back, helplessly, and watch the effects a life of war can have on a 5 and 7-year-old. We witness the moment shame turns into strength, and guilt into love.
But ducking and weaving (narratively speaking) between what can only be considered a very diverse cast of characters is only half of what makes “The 5th Wave” so interesting.
The other half? Trying to figure out what is actually going on.
I absolutely love when a book can make me question my own good sense, and it happened several times while reading The 5th Wave.
What do I mean exactly?
Well, let’s just say that Yancey has a pretty wicked way of defining who is good and evil, and on more than one occasion I was certain I was right, only to be proven wrong, to be proven right again. (And so on…and so on.) Being able to strike doubt in a reader (who gets to read the story from several different angles) isn’t just impressive. It’s downright noteworthy. Imagine a book where all the words are written in a circle, and in order to understand it you must constantly flip it. That is the plot of this book. Constantly moving. Yet always standing still.
But that’s not all.
Nestled between the brilliant cast of characters, and spectacularly potted individual journeys, lies a bigger story. And it’s not until all of the individual stories converge that you realize the magnitude of what is actually going on, and THAT is the 5th wave.
This is a must for any TBR. Move over “ET” there is a new sheriff in town.
Happy Reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: It’s not what you can see…it’s what you CAN”T.