Title: The Infinite Sea (The Fifth Wave #2)
Author: Rick Yancey
Published: September, 2014 by Penguin Books
Purchase: The Book Depository
How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.
Cassie Sullivan and her companions lived through the Other’s four waves of destruction. Now, with the human race nearly exterminated and the 5th Wave rolling across the landscape, they face a choice: brace for winter and hope for Evan Walker’s return, or set out in search of other survivors before the enemy closes in. Because the next attack is more than possible – it’s inevitable.
No one can anticipate the depths to which the Others will sink – nor the heights to which humanity will rise . . .
It’s safe for me to say this was one of the best, most intense books I read last year. I feel bad for not writing this review sooner, but I read it while on holiday and by the time I got back to my laptop I was halfway through The Bell Jar, and writing the review just disappeared completely from my silly brain’s agenda. Brett has told me that all YA trilogies have the essential “Empire Strikes Back” midpoint with tonnes of plot-twists to keep the reader enthralled and get them geared up for the finale. The Infinite Sea is such a fantastic sequel to The 5th Wave because it takes this E.S.B. formula and kicks you in the bloody balls with it. Bullseye!
The first thing I adored was our first chance to get into the heads of other characters such as Ringer, Evan Walker, and even Poundcake (but most excitedly: Ringer). So much of the alien invasion plot in the first book had to do with how it affected our heroes mentally, and I’m glad Rick realised how incomplete these other characters would’ve remained if we didn’t get this chance in the sequel. Not to insinuate that Cassie’s narrative stalled or anything, but it was definitely a welcome change of scenery. Learning about their past – Ringer’s dad, Poundcake’s sister, and Evan Walker’s ‘awakening’ – as well as their taking the lead in plot progression was amazing and immensely satisfying.
Ringer unquestionably plays the most important role in The Infinite Sea as she is forced behind enemy lines and must basically go all Seven Seals and play chess with the devil in order to survive. Her chapters were the most unnerving and shocking of the entire book, if not the series. I love how strong and smart and calculated she is, and while sometimes it seems too cynical and clichéd, you forgive it regardless because she is, purely and simply, the best. Plus she ultimately brings about the story’s stunning and brain-numbing cliff-hanger as she slowly but surely works out the enemy’s true plans. I don’t know why there isn’t some huge fandom by now just for her – I’d join for sure.
The ending is so ruthless and gasp-worthy you have to read it to believe (perhaps even read it twice, like I had to). In November, at the Brisbane Supanova, I caught Felicity from PTA at the Penguin Books stall, and we could no more talk about it than just pull shocked faces. Plus, Brett was there and he hasn’t read it, so the conversation was basically “WHAT DID YOU THINK WHEN THAT THING HAPPENED WHEN SO-AND-SO DID THE THING?!” “OH MY GOODNESS! THE THING! I COULD NOT BELIEVE THE THING THAT WAS DONE!” I have never read a YA book before that brought forth such speech from my lips. If I had to nit-pick, I think Rick Yancey may’ve went a bit over board with how many times the characters refer to something as “an infinite sea” – of emotion, snow etc. you’ll start rolling your eyes after the first ten instances. But regardless, if you haven’t started this series, then it’s about time you got started.
Recommended to: Fans of action thrillers, ensemble casts and kick-ass female characters.