The final book in The 5th Wave trilogy by Rick Yancey, The Last Star is a must read. This book is so poetically written and thought provoking that you almost forget you’re reading a YA novel heavy with storyline.
Yancey’s ability to turn his post-alien invasion story into a real work of art is astounding and it’s one of the best reads I’ve gotten to experience in a long time. The book follows Cassie and her group of survivors as they continue to plot revenge on the destroyers of the world. After Ringer (Marika) disappears and becomes enhanced by the 12th system, she returns bringing with her a killer who plans to take Evan back to the base so Vosch and his minions can discover the anomaly that made him rebel and when he surrenders, the rest of them have lost all hope. Ringer had her own plan, though, to do what it takes to save herself, and the other members of her squad. Her false companion is then killed and they put into action their suicide mission back to the base and to save Evan.
But it isn’t enough for them to save themselves anymore. They need to take revenge against Vosch and the rest of the others for destroying their planet and everyone they love so Ringer (Marika) and Cassie make their way back to the base to do just that, while Zombie (Ben) watches over Nugget (Sams) and Megan.
Upon arrival they discover that it’s not going to be easy, but with Cassie’s heart and Ringer’s enhancement they can’t fail. The two get to Wonderland where Cassie is hooked up and engulfed in the memories of every soldier that was ever a part of the wave. When Evan comes for Ringer, it’s clear that Vosch has stripped him of everything human and since Cassie now holds all his memories, she knows too. After that her mission becomes clear. It can’t stop at killing Vosch. She has to end it, for all the memories she now has, because they’re not just her memories anymore. They’re her. She is humanity.
The book comes full circle as the very end of the book plays back to the very beginning of the first book and although I’m not a huge fan of Cassie dying (that’s why it only has 4 hearts) I can’t help but feel that it had to happen that way.
The way Yancey pummels you with feeling, it’s almost as if you, too, are part of this humanity he created. It isn’t just a story anymore but an homage to what makes us (humans) really human. Love, compassion and a selflessness for one another, as we are all one as humanity, is heavy in this last book. It may seem as though we are being destroyed in the book because we as humans lack the tools to really survive, but the proof at the end lies with Cassie’s death not being in vain.
Ben, Sams, Megan, Ringer and Evan all make it and have begun living their life out, fighting the rest of the wave on the ground in between buying Christmas trees. Their lives, the life of Sam who Cassie swore to protect no matter what, is a true statement to the lengths humans will go for the ones they love and the sacrifices they’re willing to make to ensure that even if they don’t make it, a part of them will through the lives of the rest of humanity.
Personally, this book and these characters will continue to live on in my mind as I wonder where they’ll go next and what they did to save us all from the fictional end of the world.
Lots of love,