The 5th Wave is a science fiction novel by Rick Yancey. Told from multiple viewpoints, the story is centered around five waves of destruction created by unseen aliens, meant to wipe out human existence so that they can have earth for themselves. The movie based off the book is set to release on Jan. 16th, starring Chloë Grace Moretz as sixteen year old Cassie Sullivan, Nick Robinson as Ben Parish, Alex Roe as Evan Walker and Zackary Arthur as Sammy Sullivan.
The 5th Wave mainly follows the first person narratives of sixteen year old Cassiopeia (Cassie) Sullivan as well as seventeen year old Ben (Zombie) Parish with the occasional third person narratives of eighteen year old Evan Walker and Cassie’s five year old brother Sammy Sullivan. The book starts off with Cassie describing flashbacks of waves of destruction caused by the aliens. The 1st wave consisted of an electromagnetic pulse that rendered everything electronic useless. The 2nd wave was an earthquake that caused massive flooding and destruction worldwide. The third wave was a genetically altered plague known as The Pestilence. The fourth and most recent wave was a barrage of sharp shooters killing every human on sight. As Cassie tries to find her brother after he is taken from her, she finds herself always looking over her shoulder, afraid of what the next wave might be.
The 5th Wave is understandably popular at the moment, due to Yancey’s buildup of strong characters with multiple dimensions. In the novel, lines are blurred and there is no clear cut sense of right or wrong, giving the story an interesting perspective on dire situations and the choices that need to be made. One surprising factor is how well the switching of perspectives work. Many people aren’t fond of changing perspectives and usually avoid them, but it is clear that the different perspectives are essential to the plot. One interesting part of the book is the main character Cassie. She is strong and tough, yet scared and vulnerable, creating a very likable and relatable character. Cassie, being very witty and sarcastic, has a very entertaining and enjoyable inner monologue.
Overall there are very few things that aren’t so great. One of the things that is a slight drawback is the character Ben Parish. While many readers feel bad for him because of all the trauma he endures, he is a little too into himself and cocky at times. But other than that, there are only minor annoyances.
The 5th Wave is an interesting and thought provoking book with strong characters and dialogue. The next book is the series is called The Infinite Sea and the last book in the trilogy, The Last Star, is set to release on May 24th.