The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey Book Review

“How do you rid the Earth of humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.” 

Cassiopia Sullivan, known as Cassie, is like a lot of teenage girls. She has a crush on the football star, Ben Parish, who doesn’t know she even exists,  and is trying to figure out how she fits in this world. Then comes the aliens. A mother ship shows up in the sky and her problems become a lot more serious.

The alien attacks come in waves. The first wave: an EMP blast, knocking the world into darkness. The second wave: earthquakes and tsunamis, killing the coastal regions. The third wave: a disease that killed almost everyone else.

Within a short span of time, the others, as Cassie calls them, killed seven billion people. Yep. Leaving less than 53 million people roaming the earth.

The story begins with Cassie in the wilderness, writing about her situation in a journal. We learn pretty quickly her parents have died and the only family she has left is her five-year-old brother, Sam. Unfortunately, Sam has been kidnapped by the others. But don’t worry, Cassie made a promise to see him again, and she will do whatever it takes to get him back.

However, Cassie now must face the fourth wave, alien assassins she calls silencers. Their goal: kill humans. As she makes her way to Fort Patterson, the military base they took Sam to, she’ll have to fight to survive.

Meanwhile, we meet Ben Parrish, Cassie’s crush. It turns out he is one of the few who survived the first three waves and is now part of a boot camp at Camp Haven, a military base. He gets this cute little nickname, Zombie, and his own little squad to lead. Oh, and a member of his group? A five-year-old they call Nugget who we soon learn is Cassie’s Sammy.

This book is gross, heart wrenching, terrifying, and thrilling. I could not put it down. I’ve read this book three times already, and I still love it as much the first. This story is an emotional roller coaster that repeatedly sucker punches you in the gut.

But hey, that’s what I call fun!

One of my least favorite things is when you are reading and there is a description or a character says/acts in a way that takes you out of the story. This never happened in The 5th Wave. Each character was so well-developed, with a deep layer of complexity, that I couldn’t wait to unpack. Every action and event was believable, as least, as science fiction goes.

The air of this book leaves you unsettled, fearful, but not without hope. Throughout it all, you don’t know what is real, who to trust, who is safe to love. Well after I was done, I still find my mind lingering in the world of The 5th Wave. the feeling of loneliness, sadness, and distrust haunts me.

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