The Infinite Sea [Book #2 in The 5th Wave Series] by Rick Yancey (2014)
Suggested age range: 14 and up (Putnam, 480 pages)
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
The Book: The sequel to The 5th Wave, this second book in Rick Yancey’s gripping series continues the story of Cassie as she attempts to survive on the earth in the midst of an alien enemy. But who and where is the enemy? The first book raised this question, and it’s asked again in the second. The stories of Ringer, Razor, and Teacup also continue, giving readers chapters in different perspectives. Ringer and Cassie are both given large chunks of the narrative to tell their story, and even if readers are jarred by the shifting perspectives, they should be familiar with the novel’s twists and turns. Who will triumph: aliens or humans? There are strong odds stacked up against the humans, but the aliens didn’t count on Evan Walker, whom we meet in Book 1.
Spirituality in The Infinite Sea: Hope, Despair, Love, Hate—these emotions are threaded throughout the experiences of the characters in the novel, and the story grapples with that age old tension between giving up and persevering/hoping that something good will come out of what seems to be a very bleak situation.
Can a world overrun with aliens get better? Can it be saved?
There are points in the story where you might think it can’t (as there are times in our own lives where we think, how can I get through this or how can anything good come out of this situation?!) but I think Yancey successfully shows how hope is powerful and the tiniest bit of light makes a difference. There isn’t any doubt that love is going to win—at least that’s my take, but we’ll have to see what happens in Book 3.
Who Should Read This Book: If you read Book 1 of The 5th Wave, you’re going to want to read the sequel. If you haven’t read Book 1, and you like post-apocalyptic reads with aliens and a strong female lead, I would recommend Book 1 for sure. Obviously you’re then going to want to pick up Book 2. Book 2 draws the readers inside the mind of another strong female, and I think Yancey gives really interesting portrayals of these two girls caught up in a very cruel and dangerous world. If you like unpredictable turns in a book, this is one for you. I did not see that coming at the end of Book 2 (no spoilers here).
Warning: There is some strong language in the book! (remember this is the end of the world with aliens–but if strong language is an issue for young readers you might be giving this book to, etc., take a look at the story first)
The Final Word: I didn’t like Book 2 as much as Book 1, and one reason for that was the shifting perspectives. I can understand why Yancey chose to give us Cassie’s perspective as well as Ringer’s. He even gives us a glimpse into the minds of several minor characters, which I actually liked. I think I’m just more interested in Cassie’s story, and that may be why I didn’t like it when the narrative switched to Ringer. Though, at the end of the book, I think I understood more why a good chunk of the narrative belonged to Ringer. At the same time, I also felt like a lot of questions and issues were raised, but weren’t really answered. I didn’t expect Yancey to wrap things up neatly, but I felt more satisfied at the end of Book 1 than I did at the end of Book 2. I’m looking forward to Book 3, to see how it all goes down. Now, how long will we have to wait?