16-year-old Cassie Sullivan tries to survive in a world devastated by the waves of an alien invasion that has already decimated the population and knocked mankind back to the Stone Age.
The 5th Wave, written by Rick Yancy, is a dystopic novel that takes the genre to a new level. In the novel, aliens invade the earth, bringing death and destruction in five well defined waves. During the first wave, an EMP destroys all electronics on earth. In the second wave, a massive bar is dropped from space that causes total destruction on every coastline in the world. The third wave occurs when a modified Ebola virus wipes out more than seven billion people. Then, in the fourth wave it is discovered that some humans are hosts to the alien forms. The fifth wave is just beginning as teenagers Cassie and Ben make their way separately through a world they no longer understand.
Cassie is alone. She thinks she might be the last human left on Earth. Cassie is a survivor of an alien invasion that has come in four waves. Cassie’s mother died from the Ebola virus in the second wave. During the fourth wave, her father was killed by soldiers. Ironically, before the soldiers gunned down her father, she had believed that they would save her family.
Cassie now lives alone in the woods. She has a promise she must keep. Cassie promised her little brother Sammy that she would come for him at the military base where the soldiers took him after their father’s death. However, as Cassie makes her way to the military base, she is shot in the leg by an alien hosts she refers to as Silencers. Cassie becomes sick as the snows begin to fall and nearly dies. Cassie is rescued by a young farm boy, Evan. However, Cassie soon comes to suspect Evan is a Silencer, perhaps even the Silencer who shot her.
Ben Parish is living in a refugee camp when he becomes ill with the Ebola virus. Just as Ben believes he is going to die, the camp is raided by soldiers. Ben is taken to a military camp where he is given medications that cure him of the illness. However, Ben is so depressed that he failed to save his sister’s life that he is slow to recover. Vosch, the camp’s commander, comes to see Ben and gives him a reason to continue the fight. Ben joins a squad and trains to be a soldier. He wants to go out and kill the aliens who destroyed his family. As he trains, Ben meets a five year old boy who is scared of everything. The little boy is convinced that his sister is coming to save him.