Author: Rick Yancey
Publisher: Penguin Books, 2013
Cassie was the girl no one really noticed, and if the alien invaders never made their attempt to knock out the human race, she’d most likely have gone on to lead a very ordinary life. And then there wouldn’t have been much of a story. This is not that book.
When the first wave hit, all the lights went out, but humanity was not to concerned because the powers that be would look out for them. Yet the alien mothership continued to loom ominously. Subsequent waves of attack saw the destruction of coastal cities and the release of a virulent disease that came close to wiping out nearly all the survivors.
Yet humanity endured. Those who survived were the strongest, the most wily.
Now Cassie is alone, and she has no idea who she can trust, because humanity has been infiltrated – and it’s almost impossible to tell friend from foe. All she has left to live for is her little brother Sam – but he’s been taken to a secure military base.
During the course of the story, we also encounter Ben’s ordeal, as he and a whole bunch of youngsters are put through basic military training with the aim of eradicating the alien threat.
Author Rick Yancey paints a frightening world that hints at the horrors of the World Wars and the complexities of warcraft. Throughout everything, he asks the age-old question: “What makes us human?”
If there is one YA post-apocalyptic read that you want to give a shot, make it this one. Everything is spot on, from the pacing through to the world building. Though there is a hint of the almost-ubiquitous love triangle experienced YA readers expect from the genre, Yancey handles this in a way that doesn’t result in too much eye-rolling. And another thing, Yancey spins out this epic with an authentic voice. Not once did I feel the adult author’s perspective creeping through.
Though Cassie begins as your average, slightly boy-obsessed teen, her heroic qualities, as she struggles against unbelievable odds, quickly shine through as she and her companions face challenge after challenge.