The Fifth Wave, by Rick Yancey, is a story that is broken down by two different narrators: Cassie and Ben. Both teens go down different paths during an alien invasion. The Others have come to take over Earth, and the two struggle to keep their faith that humanity will prevail.
Ever since The Others arrived, they have attacked the planet in waves, bringing the total human population down exponentially.
The first wave was a massive EMP that took out all power and disabled all modes of powered transportation. The second wave was a plague, the third wave a round of tsunamis, and the fourth a group of trained killers, referred to as silencers.
Cassie loses her mom early on in the story and describes the journey that she goes on with who remains. Eventually they reach what they think is their safe haven, but the peace is disturbed when armed soldiers come to take away Cassie’s younger brother, Sammy, along with all of the other children at camp.
When Sammy reaches his new destination, he is trained to be a soldier, and that is when he meets Ben; Cassie’s old classmate. The pair instantly bond, unknowing of Cassie’s connection to the both of them.
The story switches perspectives periodically, instead of chapter to chapter, which was an interesting writing choice for Yancey. This aspect of the book was enticing because only certain points of their journey is highlighted for each.
Cassie meets another character, Evan, who helps her back to health and eventually reunited Cassie with her brother. Yancey develops all of his characters extremely well, involving each ones backstory to explain how they have become the people that they are during the fifth wave.
Overall, Yancey’s story was very interesting to read. At no point in the book is there a dull moment, and each character has an enticing backstory that they carry with them. This backstory becomes their drive to get through in an effort to defeat The Others. The book ends with a twist that isn’t predictable to the reader, and pushes you to want to know what happens next.