The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2) 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.

Source Format Pages Publisher Genre Publication Date
Amazon ebook 306 Penguin SciFi / YA September 16th, 2014

The 5th Wave (Book #1): Goodreads ¦ Amazon UK ¦ My review

You know… I am in search of those sequels that readers sometimes get grumpy over, the ‘sequel syndrome’ or something? I rated The 5th Wave with 5 ***** and now I am in a bit of a conundrum because The Infinite Sea was just so much better.. well, now… both books are good and I remember how much I enjoyed book #1, but this here? Holy wow! Anyway, the reason I like book #2 more is simple- it’s a lot deeper in its meaning, deeper in how it displays the state of human condition. The 5th Wave had a lot more action, which was great, but The Infinite Sea turned up the tragical to a whole new level… to a level off the charts, really.

Promises are the only currency left. They must be spent wisely.

I think the most impressive thing about this trilogy (this far) is how there is this small, tiny detail that remains throughout- the weight and importance of promises. Kept promises are such a rare commodity in modern day life, I think, that reading about the promises which without fault or a slip kept the characters grounded as they were facing the most difficult decisions of their lives- it was darned well written and balanced with the suspense, with the despair, with every little relationship dynamic. Just fantastic!

Ah… I have so many praises to sing for the book. I really do, so buckle up and take it!

At harvesttime, there was no farmer to pluck a head from the stalk, rub the head between his callused hands, and blow the chaff from the grain.

The atmosphere.. so, if you’ve read book #1, you’ll know that aliens have come, billions of humans have died and the 5th wave of elimination of population is in process. And that’s not a spoiler, by the way… it’s like the laziest sentence to sum up book #1. It goes without saying that the setting of this book is grim, it’s a non-stop survival course that promises nothing but death in the end. When you are but a human, you will have to be quite the confident exemplar to believe you can win over the extraterrestrials. And yet, to be human, to keep humanity, there is no other chance than to just suck it and try! And be bloody stubborn about it…

The Infinite Sea, without the enormous amount of detail at trying to paint the bleak picture, still somehow manages to deliver the air of post-apocalyptic setting. A picture where nature is still unchanged in its stillness and presence even though humanity has gone through a mass-extinction and now everything that’s manmade is just… useless, crumbling rubble… The streets and highways are empty of life and full of carcasses of bodies (man and vehicle) and dangerous, where there is nothing left for the few who have survived to sustain themselves any longer…

Concrete is the omnipresent human signature, our principal artistic medium on the world’s blank canvas. Wherever we went, the Earth slowly disappeared beneath it.

Take this setting of incredible, apocalyptic doom, drop some teenagers in it and you’ve either got a recipe for flat disaster or a story of incredible courage and youthful spirit. I really like that this series has not been from the viewpoint of one. The multiple POVs have enabled a true exploration of personalities and motives. What keeps someone ticking over and refusing to give up? How do they make the decisions in the most critical moments? It has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Yes, it’s YA and there is the element of love interest, but not once did it make me cringe. It fit and it made this particular part of story 100% complete.

Pining for things we lost is the same as hoping for things that can never be. Both roads dead-end in despair.

The Infinite Sea played out in front of my eyes like an action movie and yet… it felt incredibly tragic in parts, incredibly heartbreaking. In between all the flying bullets and feverish, infected flesh. My soul felt heavy as I found myself being betrayed by someone I trusted, the feeling of being stuck in between a rock and a hard place, the ‘yes, there’s still hope‘ to the ‘I can’t believe that bullet just took that life‘. What a bloody emotional ride!

Before I draw this review of my jumbled thoughts to a close… I need to mention two big elements from the story I enjoyed the most… This is NOT a spoiler alert. I am going to vaguely touch upon them…

If you are a human, there is no hope.

First- there was this eloquent and intelligent communications strategy in between a couple of characters for a little while at a certain point in the story. A simple game turned into a comms strategy that, ah, as a plot device, truly just captured me entirely. I kept trying to be one step ahead of the game, before the game was even played… I found it kept me on my toes, tested me to understand what was going on… Anyway, my point here is- a brilliant plot device!

Second- the motherload of all truths.. the answer… That answer we have been chasing for a long time and pondering over since book #1… it knocked me for six and I think it knocked me for six even more so because I should have figured it out on my own. This is an intelligent book, full of aids to help the light bulb over the reader’s head go off and mine didn’t… I am a bit disappointed in myself… but it all makes perfect bloody sense. And it’s shattering…

The second book in the trilogy works like the perfect bridge in between. The plot has been so perfectly developed, I feel a quote from the book itself is one that describes the sequel itself:

Something ends. Something new begins. This was the in between time. The pause.

And yet, there is no pause in this story. By the end, I felt completely and utterly schooled! I knew the mantra for trust and yet, like a human, I failed to follow that mantra. I failed and when the time came I did not expect that I could have my heart broken. And yes, I was sad and a bit weepy for not having seen certain events coming. All because I didn’t want to believe that the trust mantra was there for a reason. I went and got myself tangled all up in hope and nicer, normal things. How wrong was I?! I wouldn’t have survived in this world for a day… OK, I’ll give myself a bit of credit, I am, after all, quite the survival connoisseur, but yeah… mentally, I would have broken quite quick and for that reason, the main characters in this book are worthy of my admiration.

The Infinite Sea on Goodreads ¦ Amazon UK ¦ USA

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