Rick Yancy is the author of The Fifth Wave YA science fiction series. The first book is called The Fifth Wave, the second, The Infinite Sea, and the upcoming third book is The Last Star. I'm not a big fan of YA novels that have the teenagers saving the day while the adults cower nearby or any book where parents let their children sacrifice themselves like in The Hunger Games. I can't suspend my belief enough for that. But in Yancy's series, the adults are mostly all dead and the children have been spared for a reason. And that's the lovely thing about the books. You think you understand the purpose, but then you're not sure. An alien invasion happens in waves of destruction and the first book starts with the 5th wave. I'm not going to spoil it and tell you what it is, but it's scary and tense. At the center of the first book is Cassie, trying to stay alive and determined to rescue her little brother from Them. It's not easy because of the alien hunters who are searching out stray humans who have escaped the first few
Lesson: If the characters in a novel accept something as fact, the reader does too. Surprising the characters with a truth that completely twists their previous perceptions will rock the readers too. In a good way. If you can make the mystery deeper after two novels than it was after the first chapter, you're building some great suspense. A shocking ending to each book in a series will bring the reader back for the next one.
Here are some quotes from The Fifth Wave.
"Cruelty isn't a personality trait. Cruelty is a habit.”
"How do you rid the Earth of humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.”
"Because we will die, but at least we will die unbroken.”
"What were they thinking? 'It's an alien apocalypse! Quick, grab the beer!”
"There's an old saying about the truth setting you free. Don't buy it. Sometimes the truth slams the cell door shut and throws a thousand bolts.”
What novel have you read that totally shocked you at the end with an unexpected twist? Do you think that quote about cruelty is true? How about the one about the truth? Would you grab the beer if hostile aliens invaded?