Novel Cinema: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

In 2013, Rick Yancey promoted his new book The 5th Wave at the AJC/Decatur Book Festival. I bought two signed copies. One for my son and the other for my son-in-law. My husband ended up reading the book too. They all loved it. Not being a sci-fi fan, I didn’t read the book until recently. My reason for finally reading it was because we all went to see the movie and came away feeling quite differently about it.


The 5th Wave the movie: Enjoyable enough if you haven’t read the book and have no idea how badly it’s been massacred. Typical teen dystopian flick that pales in comparison to The Hunger Games, but not bad. The best my son and husband could say about it was that it was so-so. They were obviously disappointed. After reading the book myself, I can easily see why. Some of the key plot points were changed entirely; the complexities of the characters in the books were reduced to stock characters in the movie, and other really good stuff was plain left out.

The 5th Wave novel rates 5 out of 5 stars.

Featuring a spunky heroine with a snarky sense of humor, the premise of the book (an alien invasion) is captivating, well-executed and believable to the point of terrifying. The book also poses a fascinating existential question: “What makes us human?” Engrossing, exciting, and suspenseful, I immediately wanted to read book two after turning the last page on book one.


“You can only call someone crazy if there’s someone else who’s normal” (p. 4).

“How do you rid the Earth of humans? Rid the humans of their humanity” (p. 12).

“It’s hard to plan for what comes next when what comes next is not something you planned for” (p. 28).

“Too many people say something when they really have nothing to say” (p. 271).

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey
My rating 5 out of 5 stars

This second book in the trilogy gives the reader a generous helping of mystery, suspense, thrills and complex characters faced with impossible choices trying desperately to survive while holding on to their humanity. The teen attitudes felt authentic, and the characters evolve with the story. The action is packed and riveting. Surprisingly philosophical as well. Explores love and sacrifice in a deep and meaningful way with many twists and turns. An unpredictable and fascinating read. Bring on book 3!


“When you look death in the eye and death blinks first, nothing seems impossible” (p. 5).

“If there was any hope left, it lay in love’s hopeless promises” (p. 90).

“You make your whole existence dependent on another human being and you’re asking for a world of trouble” (p. 158).

“I am drowning in an infinite sea” (p. 207).

“It isn’t that the lies are too beautiful to resist. It’s that the truth is too hideous to face” (p. 220).

The Last Star by Rick Yancey
My review: 4 of 5 stars

The mood of The Last Star is set with a final communion. Somber and philosophical, this final book in the 5th Wave trilogy features shocking actions, complex and secretive characters, and lots of action and suspense. Some action sequences echoed action from the first book, but the author seems to have done this on purpose. He repeatedly writes that the journey is a circle. That truth held out in the book. Although it was appropriate, the repeats made this final book slightly less exciting than the first. Still I highly recommend this series to fans of dystopian teen books.


“Even the longest journey is a circle, and history will always cycle back to the place where it began” (p. 4).

“More than the sum of our experiences, our memories are the ultimate proof of reality” (p. 51).

“Empty the vessel of hope and faith and trust and you can fill it with anything you like” (p. 161).

Favorite phrase:

“Urban vomit” (p. 68)

Author: Allie

I was a Children's Librarian for 8 years and worked in Administration for several more. I love blogging about books, information, and other library related topics. Most of my blogs are book reviews.