by Erin K. | | 4 Comments | Tags:

Welcome to Week 2 of the Online Book Club discussion of The Fifth Wave.

How did the reading go for you this week? Did you fly through the first 30 chapters like I predicted? Didn’t you feel like the book sucked you into the action right away?

In the first two sections, we meet two major characters: Cassie and Zombie. They have had very different experiences during the waves, so they provide unique perspectives to the situation. The biggest similarity is that both have lost family members and are haunted by that loss. Cassie is by herself when we first meet her, but she wasn’t always that way. What did you think of the flashback where she explains her experience at the campground outside of Wright Patterson? Where do you think the bus was taking all of the kids. Why do you think they just wanted kids? Why did the soldiers kill everybody left at the campground?

Were you surprised how quickly Cassie changed from a typical teenage girl to a person who could survive all of these horrible conditions? I couldn’t believe that she was able to carry and use a weapon, and I was so surprised that she was able to continue at the end of the first section with a serious gunshot wound to her leg. What do you think of Cassie? Do you think she’ll be able to rescue her brother? Do you think she will need to find a group of people that she can rely on to help her survive?

Zombie, who we find out at the end of the section is Ben Parish, the boy that Cassie had a crush on, has a totally different experience. He’s saved from his refugee camp, and then, he’s recruited to kill the “Others” who have invaded Earth. How do you think that is going to go? Do you trust the people who recruited him?

What are your thoughts about the waves? And how do you feel about the fact that so much of the action in this book takes place in our area? I read one fan theory that states that they believe that Rick Yancey based the book at Wright-Patterson because there have been rumors that connect Wright-Patterson with alien activity. Check out this article about Raymond Szymanski, a former WPAFB engineer, who has written a book about extraterrestrials and the base, if you’ve never heard these rumors before.

I can’t wait to hear what you thought of the first part of the book. Make sure to read chapters 31-55 before next week. Talk to you then!

4 Responses to “The Fifth Wave, Week 2”

  1. J.S.C

    The shorter chapters reallly do make the book easier to read. It makes it seem like you can always read 1 more and that creates a great perpetual motion to motivate people to keep reading.

    While I did enjoy the flashbacks, it did seem a little strange that we would get a full flashback; with the other characters (who are now dead), instead of it being set during real time.

    I was sure that the soldier that Cassie shot was Ben Parrish and that his story was some kind of prequel esque buildup to them meeting (possible Time Travel sub plot?)

    As for Wright Patterson Air Force Base: I’ve heard rumors about this and if the author wants to continue this theme then maybe the main Alien Base is in Area 51, Roswell New Mexico, or Next to Stone Hedge?

  2. Greg L.

    That’s an interesting theory about incorporating other rumored alien landing sites into the narrative. It’s kind of interesting that the author chose Wright-Patt as the setting to begin with—according to his website (, he’s never lived in the Dayton area, so I’m not sure what made that connection for him.

  3. Carrol

    You were right. I was hooked right from the beginning. I was amazed that I was really getting through the chapters so quickly. This is a book I want to keep reading, so I really forced myself to stop at chapt. 30.

    Cassie is so brave. It was definitely hard to read some of sections when she is talking about her family. Thinking about rescuing her brother is definitely motivating her to keep going. I am amazed at how well she can think about what she needs to do. Obviously, she can’t trust anyone.

    The description of the waves is unbelievable. They just go from bad to worse. I did think it was interesting when Cassie is wondering if others have survived.

    Thanks for the interesting article about Wright Patterson. Having that as a setting for this book is really interesting to me.

    I cannot wait to read the next section.

    • Greg L.

      Carrol, It would be horrifying to live in a world where all of these things happen—not knowing what the aliens’ plans are or what they can do, and not knowing who is one of them and who’s a human. But eventually she’s going to have to trust someone—she can’t just go off and live completely on her own and never see anyone again! How do you think she’ll decide she can team up with someone? Or I guess the broader question is, how can you trust someone in a world where you can’t trust anyone?

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