Set in what could be interpreted as present day, The 5th Wave primarily follows 16-year old Cassie Sullivan who may or may not be the last living human being on Earth. Cassie has survived thus far in a world where the population has been decimated by four brutal waves of alien attacks, the most recent of which has unveiled that these aliens look no different than you or I… they are us.
So, this is the scariest scenario of fire-and-brimstone that I can imagine. This is basically The Walking Dead with no clues as to who’s a walker and who’s an ally. What I like about our protagonist, Cassie, is that she’s not so badass that it’s not believable. She is a realistically scared 16 year old, living on her own, in a world where she can’t trust anyone. That being said, she holds her own.
As with all good YA Fiction, we do get a love interest, but it’s not the focal point of the novel. Yancey switches perspective in chunks of the novel which I personally really like. It’s hard when your characters are so spread out to really get a feel for the world. Yancey built up this narrative to the point that you start feeling that an alien invasion really wouldn’t be that far-fetched (not that I’ll start researching Area 51 anytime soon). I read this right after I finished another alien-centric novel, The Taking by Kimberly Derting. Whereas Derting’s novel felt a little juvenile Yancey’s felt like it was a transcription of real events.
If you’re looking for an action-packed read that will keep you guessing what will happen next, I definitely recommend this. The sequel, The Infinite Sea, is due out September 16, 2014.
**Also! The 5th Wave is currently being cast for a motion picture from Sony. Cassie will be played by Chloe Moretz**