The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey
A review by editor Candace Sharpe
Am I the only avid reader that feels the bittersweet dread when the announcement of a favourite book is to be re-created on screen? To know that the words on a page that pulled you out of your own world and into another will now be watched with a mild indifference on a massive screen, played out by people that you fear will not capture the relationship that you formed with their characters. The 5th Wave, written by Rick Yancey, has been adapted to film and is to be released early this year and I for one am praying that it will provide just an ounce of justice to the fictional world and loved characters created by Yancey.
The modern science-fiction novel is mostly narrated by 16 year old Cassie Sullivan and then her high-school crush Ben Parish, in which they give their first-hand account of how the alien invasion on Earth by the Others has shaped their lives.
Cassie begins the novel alone and untrusting with her back story unfolding throughout the novel, willing the reader onto the next page to uncover more of her short tragic life and also to gather information about the five waves that have decimated the world’s population, into an apocalyptic state. You cling to the hope that Cassie has of finding her five year old brother, Sammy, who has been taken to Camp Haven and feel every disappointment she endures, especially within the relationship she begins with Evan Walker, who has his own secrets that are revealed.
The narration is then left to Ben, who illustrates the reality of Camp Haven, which is portrayed as a military training camp for children to fight back against the Others. Just like every point in this gripping novel, there is a massive plot twist about the true purpose of Camp Haven. Cassie’s younger brother Sammy is brought to this camp and forms a bond with Ben, who does not know that he is related to Cassie. At the camp, Ben meets many interesting characters, in particular a girl his age named Marika, who challenges Ben in many different ways.
I did not want to watch the trailer for the adaptation but I did on the small chance that it would impress me. It did not. Hopefully, the directors are saving the best for the premiere. For those who are not enthralled by the film and still cling to the satisfaction that novels can bring, please do not judge a book by its film adaptation.