"The Fifth Wave" by Rick Yancey is a science fiction novel for young adults. In it, the main character Cassie is struggling to survive the fourth and fifth waves while recounting the first three waves. With each wave something dangerous happens to Earth and the humans who occupy it. This is a story about trust, a story about family, and most importantly, a story about survival.
Along with Cassie, the reader is meant to question what it means to be alive and what defines humanity. Questions like, "Will the sun rise tomorrow?" allow the reader to have a moment of introspection and evaluation of life. While this sci-fi novel is not necessarily comparable to other sci-fi greats, it does provide a good starting point for those looking into the sci-fi genre for the first time.
Post-apocalyptic novels usually veer to the incredibly serious side, but most pleasing about this novel were the comedic breaks. Whether that comedy stemmed from Cassie recounting funny YouTube videos or having awkward moments with the mysterious Evan Walker, it felt genuine and human.
Cassie’s story is also contrasted by her brother’s story, one that will have the reader playing detective. Trying to figure out the meaning of certain government operations in "The Fifth Wave" will have the reader entertained in a game of cat and mouse with the story-line.
Once this joyride of a novel ends the reader will be left to consider his or her part in something infinite: The Universe. Who are human beings in the infinity of the universe? Do humans play any significant role at all or are humans more like a peculiar, uncontrollable fungus?
These questions, along with the others that will undoubtedly come to mind while reading, are what define a good sci-fi novel. Questioning the existence of known beings and unknown beings makes the simple human mind go into an existential frenzy. There is one last question that will have the reader lost in reverie, “Could I survive the fifth wave?” Read "The Fifth Wave" by Rick Yancey to find out.