Book: The Infinite Sea: The Second Book of the 5th Wave
Author: Rick Yancey
Age Range: 12 and up
The Infinite Sea is the second book in Rick Yancey's Fifth Wave series. The Infinite Sea begins a few days after the events of The Fifth Wave (STOP here if you have not read The Fifth Wave), as Cassie, Ben, and the remaining survivors from Ben's unit wait in a crumbling hotel to see if Evan Walker (human/alien hybrid) has survived the destruction of Camp Haven. Tough girl Ringer sets out on her own to assess some caves, where the team hopes to be able to hide and stay warm for winter. Given the bleak world of the Fifth Wave, it should come as no surprise to readers when danger and destruction find both parties.
The Infinite Sea is fast-paced and action-packed, set against a cold midwestern winter. A shocking prologue gives new insight into the depths to which the enemy will go to destroy the remaining humans. Answers to some of the questions left dangling at the end of the first book are gradually revealed, while others surface. A dangerous new enemy appears, as well as a potential love interest for Ringer. There are deaths, and there is one sexual interlude (though the details are decidedly vague, in a good way). The deaths are not as painful for readers as they might be, because Yancey's characterization is the tiniest bit thin, particularly for non-viewpoint characters.
The Infinite Sea does suffer a little bit from middle book syndrome (is that a formal thing?). The premise isn't as exciting as it was in the first book, yet things also are not fully wrapped up. This is, to some extent, inevitable. I think that Yancey managed the pitfalls pretty well, including dropping one significant bombshell near the end of the book. and leaving readers with one happy surprise.
I don't tend to flag as many passages when I read on Kindle as when I read in print, but here are a couple of highlights:
"It was simple. It was complex. It was savage; it was elegant. It was a dance; it was a war. It was finite and eternal. It was life." (Chapter 8, Ringer musing on chess)
"It's all connected. The Others understood that, understood it better than most of us. No hope without faith, no faith without hope, no love without trust, no trust without love. Remove one and the entire human house of cards collapses." (Chapter 12, Cassie)
"He abandoned any attempt at stealth and hit the highway, loping down the center of the road, a solitary figure under the immensity of a leaden sky. A murder of crows a thousand strong whipped an wheeled over him, heading north." (Chapter 27)
As these passages show, The Infinite Sea isn't all action. It's also a book that asks (though it doesn't always answer) profound questions. The questions are why I have been eager for Book 2 ever since finishing Book 1. I was not disappointed.
The Infinite Sea is a book that you shouldn't start unless you have a clear chunk of time in which to utterly immerse yourself. And you certainly shouldn't start it unless you have read The Fifth Wave first. In fact, I listened to The Fifth Wave immediately prior to reading The Infinite Sea, so that all of the details would be fresh for me. I have no doubt that this contributed to my enjoyment of The Infinite Sea. I look forward to the final book.
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (@PenguinTeen)
Publication Date: September 16, 2014
Source of Book: Bought it on Kindle
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