The Infinite Sea


Author: Rick Yancey

Publication: 2014, G.P. Putnam

Pages: 320

Overall Rating:

Rating for Action:

Quantity of Action:

Age Category: 13+

Brief Summary: The first four waves almost wiped out humanity.  With only a handful of people left, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer must fight to survive as the 5th and final wave is unleashed.  But this wave is the most insidious of them all, making trust impossible and breaking down our most fundamental sense of what it means to human.

Age of Main Character: 16

What I Liked the Most: Yancey does a fantastic job of creating three separate, but intertwined story lines here, each giving us a different perspective on the invasion.  We have Cassie, Ben and company holed up in a crumbling hotel, battling to survive one threat after another only to see their numbers slowly but inevitably decline.  We have Evan and his fellow silencer Grace – who is determined to carry out her mission at all costs.  And we have Ringer, captured by the Others but allowed to live as part of some bizarre experiment that will ultimately lead her to a deeper understanding of the Others and the twisted nature of their invasion.  It’s complicated, but Yancey weaves the various threads together with ease, giving us a story that constantly varies in tone from the frenetically violent to the terrifying to the cerebral.

What I Liked the Least: The book starts off following Ringer.  It had been about a year since I read The 5th Wave and while I remembered Cassie, Evan, and Ben quite clearly I had to struggle a bit more to recall who Ringer was.  I got it eventually, but starting with Ringer made the opening chapters a little rocky for me.  And what recapping of book one there was happened too late to be of much help.

Overall, I found this book harder to get into than The 5th Wave.  There’s definitely action and excitement, but there’s also a lot of waiting around and a lot of cerebral conversation and internal dialogue as Cassie and Ringer try to figure why the Others are drawing out the conflict – why they didn’t just hit Earth with an asteroid.  Interesting stuff to be sure, but it did make the book more difficult to engage with.

How Good was the Action? My assessment here is pretty similar to book one.  The action scenes are awesome – fast paced and intense.  But unlike book one they remain fairly few and far between – a handful of intense, scattered scenes without that long, violent climax.

How Engaging was the Story?  This is still an intense book.  The characters will draw you in, and their struggles – both emotional and physical – are intensely real.  Their situation remains seemingly hopeless, but with just enough spark of possibility to keep you going.  Was it as fully engaging as book one?  Perhaps not, but it was still an awesome read.

Profanity: Yes.  It’s not on every page, but the kids are pretty free with the language.

Sex: Some, particularly with a silencer named Grace.  Nothing too graphic, but there is a bit of nudity and some making out and quite a few passionate kisses and oblique references to sex.

Violence: Absolutely, and the injuries can be fairly graphic.  That said, the violence is just right for the story and there’s nothing remotely gratuitous.  Blood flows and people die – sometimes violently – but it’s always for the sake of advancing the story rather than for simple shock value, and it’s generally accompanied by the kind of emotional weight that helps the reality of that violence hit home.

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