The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey
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.
I was so excited to read this book. I LOVED The 5th Wave, but because this book wasn’t available at my library (and I am poor enough that about 90% of the books I own are gifts that I don’t get to choose) I ended up waiting for almost a year to read it. My expectations were high, but not too high, it is a sequel after all. I was pumped, and I jumped in.
And it let me down. Like YA sequels always seem to do.
The 5th Wave was FASCINATING. Watching how humanity responds and eventually loses itself in the wake of impending doom. Watching how an alien civilization would exterminate humans. The mystery surrounding what was going on. These were all things that made The 5th Wave so captivating. They were all missing from The Infinite Sea.
By the end of his first book, Yancey had pretty well established that humans have very little humanity left in them, and that what little we had hinged on the people we loved. So there was nowhere really new to go with it. The entire novel was basically a reiteration of that. Over and over and over and over and over again. We watch characters established in the previous book as stone cold killers make completely illogical decisions because a person they loved was in danger.
Also by now the aliens’ plot is, more or less, revealed to us, and there wasn’t much left to reveal. So Yancey had to really stretch his one big reveal. And boy did he stretch it.
But really to me, the weakness of The Infinite Sea was that nothing really seemed to happen. The first hundred pages are essentially the same narrative told from three different points of view. A narrative where the plot doesn’t actually move forward in any way. And for the entirety of that 100 pages everybody is seconds from death, but they never die. After a while, the suspense just can’t build any father and the reader gets burned out.
The last 100 pages were definitely better. Much more similar to the first book in substance and style. The whole thing hinges around a central question: Why didn’t they just wipe us out with a big rock? Ringer has multiple guesses, but can never seem to hit on the answer. THAT question is what is going to get me moving quickly to the final book. And hopefully I won’t have to wait a year this time!