The Fifth Wave

Which wave scares you the most?

The Fifth Wave

Alyssa Daniele, Editor

The 1st wave took out the power: no cars, no lights, no communication-only dark. The 2nd wave brought destruction: earthquakes washed waves over the shorelines crushing cities. The 3rd wave kicked in the plague: contagious disease spread through bird waste killed all except those immune. The 4th wave came and they were among us: silencers, aliens disguised as humans, spread over the world killing any survivors. Now is the dawn of the 5th wave and the last humans have no idea what horror will be thrown at them next in Rick Yancey’s book The 5th Wave.
“We’d stared into the face of Death, and Death blinked first. You’d think that would make us feel brave and invincible. It didn’t.” Cassie Sullivan believes she is one of the last humans on Earth. She survived the blackout, she fled the destruction, she was immune to the plague, she has avoided the silencers, but can she survive what is yet to come in the 5th wave.
Her mom was taken from her by the plague, her father taken from her by a bullet, and her brother was taken by the Others, the aliens, and she refused to break her promise to find him. “I made a promise. The kind of promise you don’t break because, if you break it you’ve broken part of yourself, maybe the most important part.” Cassie’s promise to her five year-old brother, Sammie, is all that keeps her from losing her humanity and keeps her fighting even though all seems lost.
Ben Parish, the handsome jock with the hundred watt smile, survived the first four waves, but lost his whole family and contracted the plague doomed to die. As he is about to die from the plague, soldiers rush into his camp, take him back to their base and nurse him back to health. Ben is tagged and bagged and no longer Ben. Ben’s dead, but Zombie is alive. Zombie is assigned to Squad 53 and begins to train as a soldier. When Sammie is assigned to Squad 53, Zombie takes it upon himself to watch over the young boy. Zombie believes he is apart of the last hope for the human race, training to fight the Others. “We’re here, and then we’re gone, and it’s not about the time we’re here, but what we do with the time.” Zombie is determined to take down some aliens with the time he is here, but soon he questions if the people training him really are human.
“When the moment comes to stop running from your past, to turn around and face the thing you thought you could not face–the moment when your life teeters between giving up and getting up–when that moment comes, and it always comes, if you can’t get up and you can’t give up either, here’s what you do: Crawl.” This story is one of promise, passion, and the struggle to keep surviving despite the odds. The book creates intriguing perspectives and unbelievably exciting action and mysteries that readers will be dying to know. But in the end, one common theme repeats throughout the book: give up or stand up. Many times the main characters Zombie and Cassie are faced with the decision to either give up and join their family or stand up and keep fighting.
Although the plotline of this book is both intriguing and unique, the sudden perspective changes can confuse readers at first and will keep readers on their toes to notice which character is telling the story. The book stays with Cassie and Zombie’s narrative for most of the story, but occasionally switches to other important characters’ perspective in the book. One indication that the perspective will be changing is the black partition pages that display the title of a new section in the book, with each a new section in the book the perspective will change. Yancey’s writing has a very unique style of storytelling, he uses a surplus of metaphors adding deeper meaning to the story and characters that he so perfectly develops in his book.
In this 5 out of 5 star must-read book, Cassie Sullivan is a force to be reckoned with; she refuses to die without a fight and without taking some aliens with her; she refuses to break her promise, but most importantly she refused to let go of her humanity, “In case you’re an alien and you’re reading this: BITE ME.”