This is s difficult book to review – I need to express how much I loved it, but I don’t want to give too much of the story away.
When the aliens arrived, nothing was as they expected, no little green men, no flying saucers, in fact there was no contact at all. Instead, the attacks came in waves – the first was simply to cut the power, the 2nd was a tsunami along every single coastline, killing three billion. The 3rd wave was a deadly virus, killing a further four billion. During the 4th wave, the remaining survivors began to kill each other, trusting no-one. The final few are now alone, anticipating the 5th and final wave.
The story mainly centres on Cassie and Ben, two survivors who paths take very different turns. Cassie is 14, and her story does brings in the YA aspects such as first kiss, and falling in love, but it’s all part of the story, and is done well. Her position as a teenager does give us an interesting view of how people react when the spaceship first arrives, and then when the power goes out, and her character grows as her world changes around her.
Ben is rescued by the military, and then taught how to fight, and from here the story begins to darken. We are shown an army of small children and teenagers, and the influence of Ender’s Game (which I also loved) is apparent.
Both of these young people have to learn that no-one can be trusted, whilst also learning it’s impossible to do be alone. Despite their new lives, and the on-going mistrust, they both find people to love and fight for.
What I can’t describe fully is the full impact of this book – it grab holds of you and won’t let go. It’ll tear you apart at times, but it won’t let go. It’s impossible to put down, and leaves a big gap when you’re done. It comes to a conclusion, but it’s not the end, and I’m going to be very impatiently waiting for the next instalment.
This book really doesn’t fit neatly in a genre – yes, there is YA, dystopia and sci-fi, but they are all parts of the total. It has some very dark moments, but also some moments which make you smile. I felt as if I was taking the journey with the characters, and you can feel and understand their mistrust and fear.
My advice would be to ignore the genres, ignore the detailed reviews which spell out the story, and ignore the hype. If it interests you just a little bit, read it – I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!