The 5th Wave
By Rick Yancey
Putnam, 2013. 480 pages. Young Adult.
At the dawn of the fifth wave, Cassie Sullivan is running from the Others—alien beings who have brought four waves of destruction and terror down on humanity. Wave one's electromagnetic pulse rendered all technology useless. Wave two's tsunamis obliterated the coastal cities. Wave three was the Red Death, a plague carried by birds that decimated 97% of the world's population. And wave four brought the Silencers, humans who were implanted with alien intelligence as fetuses.
Now, the Others' cunning manipulations are turning humanity against itself. Cassie's bestie is her M-16 rifle, and she believes staying alone is staying alive—until she meets Evan Walker, who may be her only hope for saving her little brother . . . and for saving herself.
Rick Yancey has long been a favorite author of mine, so I started The 5th Wave with high expectations—all of which Yancey exceeded. He is a masterful storyteller, and he hones the tension in The 5th Wave to a fine point by placing strong (yet vulnerable) teens into impossible situations. As always, Yancey's diction and style are deft, and many lines will haunt readers long after the last page is devoured: " . . . If I am the last one, then I am humanity. And if this is humanity's last war, then I am the battlefield." Not to be missed.