Narrators: Brandon Espinoza, Phoebe Strole
Title: The 5th Wave
Format: Unabridged Audio
Length: 12 hrs, 41 mins
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Source: Publisher via Audiobookjukebox
The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.
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.
Cassie believes she may be the last human on earth. She doesn't let this deter her from searching for her little brother. It all began on a normal day, she had dreams of telling the boy Ben Parrish that she liked him some day but she discovers life can change in an instant. The lights go out and everything electronic stops working, people she once knew get taken in each wave until only a few survive. Cassie has to grow up fast in this kill or be killed world where the enemy could be anyone and trust is nonexistent.
This story is told from multiple perspectives in male and female voices. Cassie is the primary view and it opens with her recollection of when it all began and how her life has changed. She's alone, having lost her family and her little brother is out there somewhere with strangers claiming to protect him. It's interesting to see a young woman become so afraid because of her uncertainty in humanity that she will essentially kill first and ask questions later. She's strong in the sense that her perseverance to push through her situation because she could've given up many times. I will say she has a smart mouth along with her snarky wit and it can weigh on your nerves some. Cassie does have a love interest other than Ben and his name is Evan Walker, the cutie with the chocolate eyes. He has a combination of strength and vulnerability that's nice to see in a male lead. My only issue is this boy falls fast and I think any romance is too soon for Cassie. What's great about this story is how Cassie and other characters struggle to hold onto their humanity and not become the monsters that are hunting them.
I liked how Espinoza and Strole set the tone of the story; it was so easy to grasp the urgency, fear and emotional feel of the story through their voices. They each did a good job of defining who the characters were and setting the scene in a way that was clear and inviting, which translates well in this audio. I literally felt so anxious listening to this book and several times didn't want to get out the car.
I think the short chapters helped keep the pace of the story moving along with action sequences. There were parts that dragged but the detail Yancey gives to this world is good. I'm curious though about what the aliens want and why are they killing so many people? Overall, this is a good story about survival that lovers of post-apocalyptic fiction will enjoy.