Our central protagonist is sixteen-year-old Cassie Sullivan (short for Cassiopeia). She lost her mother during the 3rd wave, her father during the 4th wave, and her five-year-old brother Sammy went missing during the 5th wave. The story begins with Cassie searching for her brother.
The novel has multi points of view. The first and main narrator is Cassie. After being shot by an unknown sniper Cassie is being nursed back to health on a remote farmhouse by a mysterious young man, Evan Walker, whose girlfriend and family were killed during the 3rd wave. Cassie and Evan develop a relationship, but Cassie’s priority is to find her brother. Evan wants to help but she questions whether she can trust him.
The second first-person-perspective is from Ben Parrish, Cassie’s former high school crush, the star football player that didn’t even know she existed. Ben is at Camp Haven, a military base where a group of children and teenagers are training for the war against the aliens. He is part of Squad 53, they all have names like Zombie (Ben’s name), Ringer, Dumbo, Teacup, Tank, Flintstone, Oompa and Nugget.
It is inevitable that the two groups will cross paths. But will they be able to work together to survive?
In January this year a film adaptation directed by J Blakeson was released starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson, Ron Livingston, Maggie Siff, and Liev Schreiber.