The Passage meets The Hunger Games in a gripping new series from Carnegie-shortlisted Rick Yancey. 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. 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, until Cassie meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan may be her only hope for rescuing her brother and even saving herself. Now she must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up. Cassie Sullivan gets up.
Firstly, I must be the last person in the world to read this book. Secondly, I’m an idiot for waiting so long. The 5th Wave had some serious hype, and it’s easy to see why. It has that addictive, can’t-put-it-down quality, a thrilling plot with echoes of The Hunger Games and the best alien-invasion books (parts of it reminded me of War of the Worlds). To put it simply: the Earth has been invaded, and the aliens aren’t friendly.
The first ¼ of the book sets up the situation through the eyes of sixteen-year-old Cassie, one of the few people lucky (or unlucky!) enough to live through the first four waves of destruction. The first took out the world’s power supply; the second caused a wave of natural disasters; the third was a deadly virus that took out 97% of the population –and the fourth turned humans against each other. Cassie has one mission: find her brother, who was taken away from their camp moments before the 4th Wave hit.
We meet a varied cast of characters, including Ben – or Zombie – and a bunch of other children who are inducted into a brutal military training camp. The pace is relentless and the gripping tension is what makes this book so difficult to put down.
The one part that didn’t grab me was the romance. I just didn’t feel it – it seemed to come out of nowhere, almost, and wasn’t quite convincing. Also, I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve read a LOT of YA books over the past few years, but I found some of the plot twists a bit predictable. But the tension and suspense, the underlying themes of the human condition and survival, make this a fantastic read – one I’d recommend to anyone looking to be totally engrossed in a book!