It´s The 5th Wave written by Rick Yancey. It belongs in the dystopian YA genre.
Cassie (for Cassiopeia) is 17 years old and all alone in the world. It has been weeks since Cassie has seen another person and she may be the only remaining human survivor of a brutal mass extermination.
A few months ago, the Arrival of the Others was a worldwide sensation. Bringing chaos, hope, but also fear to all humans. Ten days after the Others arrived, the 1st wave struck: A global EMP destroyed all electronics from one second to the next, killing half a million people. The 2nd wave was even more mortal: The Others unleashed a massive earthquake and tidal wave which killed everyone living within a 60 miles radius of an ocean coast. Three billion people died.
"Bye-bye, New York. Bye, Sydney. Good-Bye, California, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, British Columbia. So long, Eastern Seaboard. Japan, Hong Kong, London, Rome, Rio. Nice to know you. Hope you enjoyed your stay!"
But that was not all. As the 3rd wave struck with an avian-carried super flu with a 97% mortality rate, the Red Death, everybody who was lucky enough to survive the first two waves, about four billion humans, met bloody and painful deaths within 12 weeks. Cassie´s mother died in the 3rd wave, but her father and six year old brother Sammy survived. They left their home and searched for other survivors, With the ones they found, they hid in a wood side refugee camp.
Then the 4th wave came, which nobody could have anticipated. The Others came down to earth, disguised as humans and nobody could tell whether the poeple around them were really human anymore, even if they said they were and looked like one. You couldn´t trust anybody. This wave leaves Cassie alone, she was the only survivor of the massacre of the refugee camp. Cassie had to watch how her father and every other person in the camp was killed by the same soldier that took Sammy away to supposed safety.
Cassie has nothing but her journal, her M-16 and Sammy´s stuffed bear in her backpack. Determined and desperate to keep her promise. Alone, she leaves the safety of the woods to find and rescue her brother, no matter what. But as she gets followed by The Silencer, she fears that she can´t keep her promise.
“But if I'm it, the last of my kind, the last page of human history, like hell I'm going to let the story end this way. I may be the last one, but I am the one still standing. I am the one turning to face the faceless hunter in the woods on an abandoned highway. I am the one not running but facing. Because if I am the last one, then I am humanity. And if this is humanity's last war, then I am the battlefield.”
I really loved the idea of this book. It's great to once see a book in the dystopian genre that doesn't consist of a teenage girl trying to overthrow a corrupted government. The alien aspect made me love it even more! The plot was fantastic, but I have to say, the beginning was a bit confusing and I wasn't completely sure of how the earth came to be rid of nearly 7 billion people, but as I started understanding the events that had happened previously it wasn´t confusing at all.
I really liked Rick Yancey's style of writing. Like the characters, I was in a constant state of distrust and confusion, as we tried to distinguish lies from reality. It takes quite a skilled writer to make a reader feel that way.
Overall, The 5th Wave was an amazing read. It was full of action, unexpectedness, sass, and humour. It will bring up thoughts that will bring you wondering about the world and life, to explore thoughts that will make you wonder about what makes us human and how easily our humanity can be taken from us. It will show how easily it is to turn humans into distrustful, inhumane people. The 5th Wave was utterly amazing and I am looking forward to reading the sequel, which already has a place in my bookshelf since it was published in September 2014.....