“Because if I am the last one, then I am humanity. And if this is humanity’s last war, then I am the battlefield.” – Cassie Sullivan
Remember watching all of those movies about alien invasions, and somehow the humans find a way to pull together and kick their sorry asses back to where they came from? Yeah, that’s a load of crap. If aliens really did come down to Earth and invade us, we would lose. Terribly. Most of us would die before the aliens finally won. And we would have no way to fight against them. The aliens would destroy us before we ever found a way to take back our planet, and by that time it would be too late.
The world would be theirs.
It started back in 1995, or even earlier. We don’t know it for sure. All we know is that in 1995, the first phase of their invasion happened. It was “the intrusion”, where they inserted themselves into the minds of fetuses, unbeknownst to the mother carrying them. This step, this one step that seemed so strange, so minuscule, only to be mentioned in the prologue and never again, was what turned the tide for the Others. This tiny step in their plan was what made them different all the other aliens we read about or watched about. The ones that inhabited our fantasies never thought to insert themselves into our world years earlier, to have sleepers in some very important positions in the government. They even had sleepers in normal people, those who would be least expected to turn on their families when the time came. Apparently, that’s all it took to destroy humanity as we know it.
We are taken into a post-apocalyptic world where over 97% of the world’s population has been killed. The alien invasion took place in “waves”, as we are told from Cassie Sullivan. Each wave was deadlier than the last, and now what’s left of humanity is waiting for the 5th wave to happen. They know this can’t be it. They know that the Others aren’t done with them yet. They just don’t know what’s coming. We follow the lives of Cassie Sullivan, Ben Parrish, and Evan Walker: three very different people all trying to survive in this world. They all have that one thing that was keeping them alive, and they have to hold on to it with all of their strength and will.
This book was breathtaking. I usually don’t enjoy a book when the narrators switch back and forth, but this time I really appreciated it. It actually makes it better to understand, especially since our characters aren’t omniscient. It feels like mostly everything gets explained in this book, although there are two more books before the story is completely over. I really rooted for Cassie to find her little brother, especially after finding out how they got separated in the first place. She mentioned how much this attack on the world made her lose her trust in everyone, feeling like the only way to survive is to be alone. It seemed to be working for her until she’s almost killed by an Other, and then she had to learn how to trust the guy who saved her life.
I wrote about Cassie a lot because she is my favorite character. I feel like she has so much more to go through before she can really trust again, but she’s getting there as much as she can. She finally found her brother, and although he has been through so much more heartbreak and struggle than any normal five year old should, he still looks up to his big sister the way he always will. This book is so much more than a girl trying to save her brother from the Others, and it’s so much more than your typical alien invasion book. This is a story about family, survival, finding yourself, and maintaining your humanity no matter what.
Rated: 5/5 Stars
After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother–or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.