Book Club Pick

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Book Club Pick: September 2016


Book Details:

Title: The 5th Wave

Author: Rick Yancey

Series: The 5th Wave series, followed by The Infinite Sea (2014) and The Last Star (2016)

Country: United States

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group

First Published: 2013

Pages: 457

Publisher’s Description:

After the 1st Wave, on the darkness remains.

After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th Wave, just 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 the Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan 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.


This post-apocalyptic novel takes places in Dayton, Ohio following a wave of alien invasions that has devastated the Earth’s population (more than 99% of the population was wiped out before the story begins – dramatic backstory!).

Our central protagonist is sixteen-year-old Cassie Sullivan (short for Cassiopeia). She lost her mother during the 3rd wave, her father during the 4th wave, and her five-year-old brother Sammy went missing during the 5th wave. The story begins with Cassie searching for her brother.

The novel has multi points of view. The first and main narrator is Cassie. After being shot by an unknown sniper Cassie is being nursed back to health on a remote farmhouse by a mysterious young man, Evan Walker, whose girlfriend and family were killed during the 3rd wave. Cassie and Evan develop a relationship, but Cassie’s priority is to find her brother. Evan wants to help but she questions whether she can trust him.

The second first-person-perspective is from Ben Parrish, Cassie’s former high school crush, the star football player that didn’t even know she existed. Ben is at Camp Haven, a military base where a group of children and teenagers are training for the war against the aliens. He is part of Squad 53, they all have names like Zombie (Ben’s name), Ringer, Dumbo, Teacup, Tank, Flintstone, Oompa and Nugget.

It is inevitable that the two groups will cross paths. But will they be able to work together to survive?

In January this year a film adaptation directed by J Blakeson was released starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson, Ron Livingston, Maggie Siff, and Liev Schreiber.




Rick Yancey Official Website

Rick Yancey on Facebook

Rick Yancey on Twitter

The 5th Wave on Tumblr


Source: I borrowed a copy of this book from my public library.

By Graeme Cash

Film, television, theatre, popular media culture, ya fiction, travel...pretty much my life. Based in Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

One reply on “The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey”

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