Author: Rick Yancey
Genre: YA/Speculative Fiction
Publication Date: September 16th 2014 (by Penguin)
Reminds me of: The Host by Stephenie Meyer
I was hunting through the bookshops the day The Infinite Sea came out. Eventually I found a copy at Dycmocks and even squealed aloud (much to my boyfriend’s horror). But I had every reason to be that excited, because as far as sequels go Yancey did a really impressive job.
Synopsis: How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.
Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.
Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate. Source
The Infinite Sea is the second book in the trilogy. While it’s definitely quieter than the first novel I wouldn’t say it suffers from middle book syndrome (I don’t have the last instalment to compare it to, but I think it’s a fair assumption). Although not a criticism, I found myself backtracking frequently as I got too swept up in the plot to stay focused on the way things were worded (focus is a necessity). Yancey’s managed to construct a linguistically stunning piece of work in a YA novel, and keep us mesmerised simultaneously in the fast paced plot. He explores what exactly it means to be human and what makes up humanity – a central theme of the novel. I’ll give you a hint: pay extra close attention to the mention of Vincit Qui Patitur and you’ll appreciate the novel for its full worth.
In the first book we experience a greater sense of connectedness. Humanity is fragile and the numbers are continually dwindling. It’s almost a fight to preserve the last of their kind but that ambition is seemingly lost in this novel. When Ringer shoots Teacup early on in the novel she shows serious hesitation in opting to save Teacup’s life due to its riskiness. They’ve made it this far and right now they’re mainly concerned about keeping their small group alive.
I love Yancey’s use of split narration – it works so well! Each perspective has reason to be there. Everything overlaps and intertwines – even the prologue. Sometimes you find you put parts of the plot at the back of your brain, but when it comes round in the next characters instalment you have this fantastic OH MY GOD YES!!!! feeling.
Cassie only tells us a really small portion of this book – Ringer actually has a lot more to say than our initial main character. We learn so much more about the minor characters till they’re not so minor anymore. I appreciated Ringer’s lack of naiveté best. She says it like it is and doesn’t beat around the bush. She’s fierce and independent in an almost surreal type of way. Yancey, however, breaks down Ringer’s barriers and we get to experience what makes her intrinsically human.
Although his portion was even slimmer, I fell in love with the mysterious Poundcake. I’ve never wanted to hug a character so tight before! Yancey has a really disturbing way to tug at your heart strings. While his story is dark and brooding the whole thing is captivating just the same.
With a new book comes new characters and I really liked them all! They’re weaved into the book in a way that’s not overwhelming because their presence is a necessity for both character development and plot. Razor was absolutely required because the novel is just so dark, but his sense of humour shines a little light on all the depression. Grace, Evan’s blast from the past, is intriguing. While I’m disappointed we didn’t get to learn more about the vicious beauty I hope we can experience more of her in the final book.
At the same time we learn not so great things about our favourites too – almost a backwind of character development. Darling Cassie has a mean, overprotective, jealous girlfriend streak in this novel. I never noticed it before, but she really hates any other female she comes in contact with! No, she didn’t get along with Ringer in the first novel, however I thought that was due to scepticism. Apparently every female is a threat. When she first meets Grace the slut shaming comes out. Yes Grace is a dangerous character, but her past relationship with Evan really had nothing to wanting to kill Cassie.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
So with all this ranting and raving why didn’t I give it five stars? It was 50 pages or so into the book that I actually got so into it. At first it seemed like a big existential crisis and a lot of pacing around WAITING for something to happen. It’s the build up and the set up of the novel yes, but it just took too long for me to get committed to.
Who do I recommend this beautiful book to? All of you. Go pick up The 5th Wave now and read it. And when you’re done get The Infinite Sea and read that too. Additionally, I found myself comparing it to The Maze Runner and thinking THIS IS HOW IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE. If you were frustrated with The Maze Runner and thought it could be executed better give this series a read. I promise you won’t be disappointed.