The Infinite Sea Review

The Infinite Sea

The only thing harder than not trusting anyone around you is losing the ability to trust yourself. How are you supposed to know whose side you’re fighting for when love and promises blind everything?

It is the exact problem the survivors of the 5th Wave must now face. The Infinite Sea is the second in the trilogy by Rick Yancey. While the book is half the length of the first, the story is just as gripping.

Having survived the destruction of Camp Haven, Cassie must come to terms with the fact Evan’s promise might this time be one that he can’t keep. Ben tries to keep his team together despite being badly injured and they both knew that staying where they are isn’t a safe option. After Ringer scouts ahead to find safety, those remaining must come to terms with just how unsafe it is. Danger comes in unexpected forms and it takes everything the group possesses in order to stay alive.

Meanwhile, Ringer enters a new type of fight, not to stay alive but to stay human. What she thought she knew about the `Others` might not be as straight forward as it seems and when her body and senses turn against her and she can no longer trust what she thinks she knows, she must find a way to fight that doesn’t involve having a gun in her hand.

Yancey opens up the narration in the second book, following not only Ben and Cassie, but Ringer as well. Even Poundcake has a few chapters dedicated to him. There is enough of a shift, a deliberate attempt to widen the narration that it doesn’t feel like a plot device in order to give information away. Yancey writes his characters as believable and likeable and getting into the heads of two more of them makes it even more so. During the first book, there was a `there and here` feel with Cassie and Ben’s stories taking place in different places and the same is true now having Ringer introduced as a narration.

The book isn’t as strong as the first one, but it is still gripping and keeps you hooked. Some chapters become a little bit too much of a mind game, leaving the reader to figure out what is true and what is not but in a confusing manner rather than part of the plot; parts lack clarity. That being said, the confusion works as a grip to keep you reading and the plot twists along the way make this series the first for a while that I haven’t been able to put down.

Despite any flaws the book might have, Yancey knows how to write Young Adult Fiction. There is no condescending tone, no patronising manner. Instead, you get exactly what a teenager would do and say given the circumstances and it makes a refreshing change from the young adult novels that are actually aimed at a younger reader.

All in all, I’m looking forward to the release of the third part of the trilogy.


The 5th Wave Review

5th Wave 1

What do you do when there is no one left to trust? At least, no one human.

That is exactly what Cassie, a 16 year old girl and potentially the last human on Earth, must come to deal with in Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave.

The Earth has been destroyed by aliens. Not funny green men with three legs and who float. Something far more sinister. These aliens have sent waves of destruction upon humanity, wiping out their technology, their immunity and their will to survive. But not everyone is going down without a fight and Cassie keeps putting one foot in front of the other in order to find her little brother, Sam. He was taken by soldiers… but Cassie knows they are not soldiers. They are Others. Aliens infested within the humans. Nothing more than puppets.

So she can’t trust anyone.

An idea that is easy while she is on her own. But when she meets Evan Walker, Cassie knows all is not fair in love and war, and she has to learn whether to listen to her heart or her head. Meanwhile, Sam is alive…and being trained to become a ruthless soldier at the tender age of five. He is not alone; hundreds of children are in the same situation. Including Cassie’s lifelong school crush, Ben.

Do they have what it takes to survive the invasion when they can no longer be sure of anything, including who they are anymore?

The 5th Wave is a fantastic young adult fantasy book. Written in the first person narrative like many of that genre, Yancey does what other authors can’t seem to do. His narration is that of a sixteen year old, with the swearing and the angst and the anger. It sets it above other young adult novels due to the way it doesn’t patronise its audience, but instead tells the story in a more realistic way. Who wouldn’t swear when everything they have known has been blasted to pieces?

The plot is intriguing, the reader being left in as much doubt as the characters in regards to what is happening, despite having the fortune to follow both Cassie and Ben and so understand the wider picture a little more. The uncertainty keeps you reading, wanting to know which theory about the aliens is right and whether knowing the truth is going to be enough for them to come out of this alive. The notion that humanity might not quite be what it seems any longer instantly makes for a good story. The realistic nature of the narration creates likeable and relatable characters and you simply have to find out whether they are going to make it or not.

An engaging and thoroughly enjoyable book, a real page turner. There is something quite refreshing about reading a young adult’s book about aliens; it just works. A definite recommendation from here and I’m looking forward to seeing if the second book continues to the same high quality as this one.