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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Thoughts About The 5th Wave

Airplane flights are a good time to read a book and I read The 5th Wave while on the plane to California and back last weekend.

The book is about Cassie Sullivan and her experiences in survival during an alien invasion, with a subplot about Ben Parish and what he experiences while being trained by soldiers at Camp Haven. The aliens engage in several "waves" to wipe out the human population, starting with a large electromagnetic pulse that shuts down all machines and technology to the so-called "fifth wave" that I shall not spoil for you if you haven't read the book.

I though the book did a great job making Cassie a sympathetic character, one who you are rooting for to come through and be reuinted with her younger brother Sammy. Cassie is the character that sells the story and makes it work.

The main issue I have with the book is that it puts Ben Parish's subplot into the first-person viewpoint, which is a bit jarring. The thing about first-person viewpoint is you get drawn so much into a person's mind, you may lose something when you pull away from that person's viewpoint for too long. Using the third-person limited viewpoint (which is used in a couple of points) might have worked better.

With that said, I liked how the storyline took a different twist on an alien invasion. It was a unique take on a typical plot device and one that stays rooted in scientific theories.

I have not seen the film adaptation, but it's too bad the film received negative reviews. The 5th Wave did have the potential to reach the heights of The Hunger Games, given how well the book is written. I would hope those who saw the film but have not read the book won't pass up on it, because the book does a great job with character development and its take on what might really happen if aliens were among us.

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