The 5th Wave


Part 1 (The Last Historian), Chapters 1-12

Summary: Part 1 (The Last Historian), Chapters 1-12

          Cassie, short for Cassiopeia, is a sixteen-year-old girl living alone in a tent in the Ohio woods. She is a survivor of the alien apocalypse that has swept Earth, killing most humans and turning those who are still alive against one another. Cassie calls them the Others, and tells us that this malevolent alien race has the power to look and sound exactly like a human, and therefore can trick you into believing they are human. Cassie’s father died because he trusted some of the Others since they appeared to be human. Currently, Cassie says that humanity is in the 4th Wave of the alien invasion, which “forces us into solitude, where there’s no strength in numbers, where we slowly go crazy from the isolation and fear and terrible anticipation of the inevitable.” Rule Number One, according to Cassie, is: Trust no one. Rule Number Two is: “the only way to stay alive is to stay alone.”

One day, Cassie encounters a young man, a soldier, in an abandoned gas station. He is bleeding to death and clutching his stomach. He orders her to drop her weapon, an M16 she keeps with her constantly, but she refuses. She suspects that he’s really human and not one of the Others, but she knows that it means death to trust anyone. The soldier drops his own gun, and Cassie orders him to show her what’s in his other hand, the hand clutching his wounded stomach. When he pulls his hand away from the wound, Cassie sees something metallic. She shoots and kills him before realizing that the object in his hand is only a crucifix. Cassie tells us that this is the last person she has seen.

A little while later, Cassie realizes that she has to pack up and leave her familiar patch of land because winter is coming. As the leaves fall off the trees, Cassie’s campsite is no longer concealed from the Others’ drones that regularly sweep the sky looking for humans to kill. She also has an unspecified...

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Essays About The 5th Wave