Sunday, September 29, 2013

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

"They know how we think. They know how to kill us. They've taken everything worth living for. Now they've come to take the things worth dying for."

In the 1st wave, the lights went out. In the 2nd wave, the surf was up. Pestilence came with the 3rd wave. The 4th wave was silence. The Others aren't stupid, not like the aliens of film and television. The Others are much more advanced than human beings. Once they found Earth, humanity didn't stand a chance. They wanted and needed Earth for themselves. David never had a chance against Goliath...

Cassie, short for Cassiopeia, was sixteen when The Others arrived on the planet. Her mother died during the 3rd Wave, from the Red Plague. Sometimes she believes that she is the last human on Earth, even the universe. To Cassie, to stay alive means to stay alone. No one can be trusted. The Others can look and act like humans, up until the moment when it is too late. She lost her father and little brother Sammy at the beginning of the 4th Wave. Living in a refugee camp, The Others came disguised as U.S. military. They wore gas masks saying they didn’t want to risk exposure to the Red Plague. First, they separated the children from the adults and said they were sending them to Wright-Patterson Air Force base on the yellow school buses. Cassie had to stay behind with the adults and that was the last time she saw her brother. He had left her his teddy bear to return to him when they would be reunited. The soldiers collected everyone's weapons before debriefing them. Cassie's father had given her a M16 rifle which she had hidden behind a tree and a pistol that she kept on her. When Cassie realized that the teenage boy who had hit on her was missing from the group, she volunteered to go find him but had to take an escort. She finds him at the ash pit where the dead bodies are buried and her military escort shoots him before she realizes what is happening. Cassie survives because she pulled her pistol and shot the escort. He was too surprised to see that Cassie still had a gun and his reaction was slowed. She heads back to find her father but witnesses him being shot by Colonel Vosch, the man in charge of the military group.

With the two guns her father gave her and Sammy's teddy bear, Cassie decides to fulfill her father's promise; to continue on to a possible refugee camp at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. On her trek, she smells the stench of Cincinnati as she nears the city. On the highway, she is shot in the leg by what she assumes is The Others. Bleeding under a car and awaiting certain death, Cassie realizes that it must have been a sniper when no one comes for her. While lying on her back and thinking of the refugee camp she had just fled from, it dawns on Cassie that the Others must have wanted just the children. She begins to theorize that after three waves, why they would be interested in saving the children now.

Will Cassie make it to the camp at Wright-Patterson? Is she the last human alive? Who is following Cassie and why? What do the Others want with the children? Do we ever find out just who the Others are and what do they want with Earth? What is the 5th Wave? Who can really be trusted! is Cassie truly alone in her fight? And will staying alive really mean staying alone?

Told from multiple points of view with heavy flashbacks to the first sighting of the mother ship, readers will be shocked to see how the story comes together. The story will be continued in 2014 with The Infinite Sea.

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