after reading Mitch's review, I had to take it down two stars. Okay, yes, this book was extremely unoriginal and the main characters are both dumb and
whiny, but it wasn't that bad... Or was it? It's true that the first 100 pages are mostly flashbacks and do show Cassie's vast immaturity, but at the very least it was more or less funny. Then again, Ben was all stereotypical male quarterback. Mitch is right though, this was one of the worst alien invasions ever. I mean, you don't really need to destroy the entire planet to use it... or whatever they were doing with it. And yes, a huge plague will indeed kill you if you're an alien in a human body because then you will have no body! Ha ha ha
. On the last point— I've never read the Passage, but I can say that Ben is dumb and most of the elements in Camp Haven that were borrowed from Ender's Game were pretty bad. Ah! The children! We must brainwash them into killing each other! Lucky for us, we don't have to kill everyone
over age fourteen because this quarterback here is dumb! Oh yeah, let's take Jane, aka the Fantasy Game, and turn it into a random program called Wonderland that is not explored in this book but has a lot of potential. And it's not really Ender's Game if it's the Hunger Games. I mean, Ender is awesome, Hunger is less, the 5th Wave makes no sense. Also, I kind of felt like I was reading I am Number Four all over again.
Let me just say this— I'm not usually that into sci-fi/dystopian since I'm more of a fantasy person and dystopians all tend to be more or less the same, but this was pretty entertaining.
Although the beginning was confusing since I didn't catch the character switch until two pages until Part II. And I was like, wait, is this the fifth book? It doesn't seem like it from the jacket cover, but at the beginning it says the first book is Lights Out, the second is Surf's Up, etc...
This book was pretty well written, with lots of humor and some sad places etcetcetc. I just have to say, most of the characters are well thought-out except for Evan. Evan remains mostly unexplained as to his motivations and his weird reluctance to kill Cassie even though he had no trouble killing off everyone else on the highway. Or in the woods. Also, it makes me angry that he has to be freaking gorgeous in Cassie's eyes... I mean, seriously? Not everyone has to be goodlooking. Also, since there were pictures all around the house depicting Evan and his family, it's pretty obvious that he was a farm boy, so why does he have soft hands? I realize that it's one of Cassie's clues on the way to finding out that OMG he's an alien, but it doesn't really fit.
Another thing that doesn't fit is the big motivation of Vosch and the Others to come to Earth. Oh hey, our planet's dying, so let's all download ourselves onto the Motherboard. Ehh, this is boring, let's get some bodies! Hey, I know, let's download ourselves into the humans. Hmm, there are too many of them. Let's have them kill each other off until we have the place to ourselves. In their bodies, of course. Woot! We have conquered Earth!
I don't know... it makes for a great plot, with awesome twists, but it kind of doesn't make sense at the same time.
Anyway, I have to say, Cassie was a really good main character. She wasn't perfect, and definitely had her faults, but she seemed very real.
And back to the plot— Reznik kind of suicided there. Why? Who knows. But since he spent so long training their squad, you think he could've figured out that they would find the other shooter and go after him so they could go after the Teds. I mean, I'm sure his not-so-suppressed hatred for them came out, but still. Also, Reznik's not the only dumb one. Ben is kind of slow not to pick up on the fact that Vosch was one of them. He freaking killed everyone above age fourteen....
By the way, it took me a while to figure out why they called infesteds Teds. Like, by page 302. Then I had a lightbulb moment.
I also didn't understand the whole part where Evan the alien goes from Evan the human into Cassie Sullivan. What happens to Evan in that time? Is he just an empty body while the alien hops to-and-fro? I mean, since the awakening you kind of get the impression that the alien him took over four years ago or something... I don't know.
One last thing. There's an error here, one that I caught really easily that I can't believe the editor missed. I mean, I know reading the same story for years can get to you, but...? On page 105, the start of chapter 25 and part II, Ben says he used to worry about passing AP Chemistry. And then on page 429 when Cassie and Ben meet each other at Camp Haven she says she sat in front of him in Honors Chemistry. Okay, Cassie is 16 right now. So she's either a sophomore or junior, same with Ben. Technically he could be taking either class, but I doubt he's be taking both at the same time. Most schools knock out CP/Honors level Bio and Chem freshman/sophomore years, and then you take AP Chem/AP Bio or whatever junior/senior year. The difference between Honors Chem and AP Chem, btw, is in AP Chemistry (one of the hardest AP classes offered at my school) you have to take an AP exam at the end of the year. Obviously, they haven't been in school since the first wave. So... I'm guessing that they're supposed to both be in one Chemistry class and not both, because honestly, why would you take AP Chem as an elective the same year you're taking Chemistry? That makes no sense.
I do have to give some props to Allied Intergrated Marketing, though. It's a pretty good cover considering you can't put people killing each other on the front of the book.
About the Goodreads summary— this was less like Ender's Game in the fact that it was more Lord of the Flies. Although I guess the part about child soldiers is kind of Ender's Game, and Wonderland being Jane and the whole aliens AHH and manipulation of children, but Cassie wasn't too involved in any of those parts. It was all Ben and Sammy. Btw, the jacket cover and the Goodreads summary don't mention Ben at all. I'd consider him to be one of the main characters even if the first 100 pages was all Cassie, if only because so much of the story is his story. Oh, and nobody here was a genius. They were all kind of less-than-average on the intelligence scale except for Ringer, which is why I don't think it's that much like Ender's Game. And Ender's Game is awesome. So.
Summary? It was good, characters were mostly well-developed (except for Evan) but could have been better. Plot twists were nice but I didn't understand the underlying dilemma. It was funny but there was no Ender's Game. Dink is not a wimp, and Bean is awesome.