The 5th Wave – Rick Yancey
When the alien invasion comes it does so with one catastrophe after another. We enter the story four months after the space ship arrived and in those months the vast majority of humanity has been killed.
There are four main characters Cassie, who´s lost her family and while lying in her tent in the middle of the woods late at night she wonders if she may be the last human on Earth. The only thing that keeps her going is her promise to her little brother that they would reunite. He and other children were driven away in an old school buss by the military. Together with Evan, who may or may not be trustworthy, she sets off to rescue her brother. The fourth character is Ben. He was recruited by the military and is, together with other very young children, part of the army set to fight the aliens.
I found it a bit problematic with four characters telling the story. Especially in the beginning when being introduced to a new person. Also, there was nothing in the beginning of each new chapter to indicate a change in perspective (at least in the Swedish version). I won´t go into how all the characters are connected but they are and their arcs do intertwine eventually and after a while the jumps between characters wasn´t as annoying, it get´s easier. And I´m fully aware that the book would not have the depth it does without these multiple povs.
The publisher, Penguin, has wanted to push this as the next Hunger Games and I while there are some distinct differences I can see why they would do that (other than the obvious “we want to ride on a former success-train”). Similarities have always been drawn to Enders Game and I got that too but really only because of the child soldiers. This book is at time quite horrifying, in this terrible new world the rules are trust no one, stay alert, and your gun is your new best friend.
The ending works as a standalone but at the same time there are plenty of threads left for a second book and I´m sure Mr Yancey will be using them 🙂