The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What do you do when the Others come? You can’t trust your senses, you can’t trust anyone. Your only goal is to survive and maybe keep some of your humanity intact. When you can’t trust anything or anyone – do you shoot first or take the chance when that hesitation will probably mean your life?
When the first wave comes, all technology is gone in a moment. An EMP takes everything out. The second wave caused massive tsunamis and destroyed the coasts of the world. The third wave infected and killed 97% of the remaining population in brutal fashion. The fourth wave destroyed all trust in humanity and introduced the constant threat of drones. The wave that makes you question every action… and the fifth wave… is us.
Cassie must survive in this strange world with no mother, father or brother to care for anymore – fighting and living because if she is the last human on Earth she refuses to go out with a whimper. She will fight until she can fight no longer. But she is not the only body left, even if she may be the only one with her own mind left. It is possible that one in every three people left is an Other. A Silencer. An Imposter. Has your mind and body been hacked? Do they look like us or can they make themselves look like us? Or maybe they’ve been here all along. Waiting. That’s when you can’t trust your eyes. You may be looking at an Other and not even realize it.
We next meet Ben, who must rediscover his fighting spirit if he wants to survive and survive he must. After not succumbing to the virus that infected him, he cannot give up. Taught to fight and given a new name, he must battle for his place.
Part III shows us a new perspective, an Other awakened in a human body and given a mission. To kill. To finish the human race, one by one. He has been tracking Cassie for a while and takes aim. Shoots. Traps her, but for some reason cannot bring himself to finish her.
Hunted. Shot. Then saved? Cassie wakes up being tended to by Evan on the family farm. He is the only one left of his family. Evan helps to nurse her back to health, bakes bread, carves walking sticks and wants to help her rescue her brother Sammy. What can’t this farm boy do? And why does this make us so suspicious? Even Cassie can’t quite bring herself to trust him. There are just little things that seem off, like a life-long farm boy with smooth hands and perfect cuticles. No callouses to be found. There’s a small nagging feeling in her mind that asks- what if he’s an Other?
The characters are well written and believable. You feel for them. Root for their successes and hurt when they fail. You wish for their survival despite the current chaos and destruction of the world. The world is familiar and yet fundamentally altered by the Others.
The book draws you in from the start and you puzzle over people and motives. Who will survive and if the human race survives this destruction, how will this ordeal fundamentally change the survivors? I am constantly questioning my conclusions and re-evaluating what I believe i happening. A great book is able to reveal just enough that the entire plot is not given away by page ten. This post-apocalyptic, alien-invasion novel is highly recommended, especially if you plan to watch the movie. I cannot wait to read the next book, Infinite Sea!
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