Book Reviews

Review: “The Infinite Sea,” Rick Yancey

June 10, 2016
Review: “The Infinite Sea,” Rick YanceyThe Infinite Seaby Rick Yancey
Series: The 5th Wave #2
Published by Penguin on September, 2014
Genres: Aliens, Sci-Fi, Survival
Pages: 320
Book Depository | Bookworld | Booktopia

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.

The Infinite Sea sadly felt like mostly filler. Being a bit over half of its predecessor, I expected the second book in The 5th Wave series to be a little more focused and critical to the storyline. While we did learn some new things about the aliens, and delved a bit deeper into the secondary character, I still feel that The Infinite Sea could’ve brought a lot more to the table.

 “When you look death in the eye and death blinks first, nothing seems impossible.”

Less focused on Cassie this time around (thankfully, actually, because she’s so hung up on Evan in this one…) The Infinite Sea instead swapped her POV chapters with Ringer. Having liked Ringer in The 5th Wave, I wasn’t disappointed. I was eager to learn more about her character and her past, and see just how different she was to Cassie and Ben, our previous protagonists. In The Infinite Sea, we get to see how Ringer (and others like her) play into the alien’s ‘grand plan’ and the journey, while not unexciting, felt a little left field. There was no urgency or obvious direction, just more questions upon questions. When we finally made a vital discovery alongside her, we were at the end of the book.

I can find no fault with Rick Yancey’s actual style of writing. It’s a great balance of description and action, and although I had some problems with his representation of what a girl’s mind works like in The 5th Wave, I was able to let it go this book. Sadly, though, I whenever I found the phrase ‘the infinite sea’ within the book, I found it odd rather than clever. It stood out like a sore thumb and often detracted from whatever was being written.

“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.”
– Ringer

There was also some ‘slut-shaming’ which most call upon when reviewing this book. Rather than go on about how women are represented in books, let me just say that it made me re-think my like for Cassie purely because she is so juvenile when it comes to Evan. Just because a new girl (Grace) is gorgeous and has some past with Evan, Cassie calls her a ‘slut’. Um? And this is just upon meeting her. Don’t you have bigger problems, Cassie Sullivan? Like the human race almost being annihilated?

I liked the mini-romance between Ringer and a new character called Razor. It was unexpected, and short, but it remains a highlight. I was excited to learn more about the squad (Teacake, Poundcake, Dumbo, etc.) so imagine my delight when we got some POV chapter’s from Poundcake. I’m a little confused at how his epic scene unfolded. I had to re-read it a few times and it didn’t make sense. Those who have read it might know what I mean.

“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.”

The Infinite Sea was a quick-read, so I’m not disappointed I read it. There were a few good things here and there, but sadly it was just more of the same. We were given few answers and I felt the plot hardly progressed. I’m still waiting for that OH, WOW moment where everything makes sense and there’s a real sense of urgency for a final fight for Earth.

Even though I’m two books into this series, with one to go, I don’t feel as if the story has grown or matured into anything resembling a conclusion. We’ll see, however, when I move onto The Last Star.

About Rick Yancey

Rick Yancey is a native Floridian and a graduate of Roosevelt University in Chicago. He earned a B.A. in English which he put to use as a field officer for the Internal Revenue Service. Inspired and encouraged by his wife, he decided his degree might also be useful in writing books and in 2004 he began writing full-time.


  • Reply Joan October 28, 2016 at 5:34 am

    I read that scene many times too! And I thought that english not being my first language was the reason…

  • Reply Kelly June 19, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    I had to reread that scene too, several times. I didn’t fully understand what happened as it was so, brushed over. And even then it was still really murky. I loved Ringer’s storyline and Cassie was super annoying wasn’t she. Her priorities were completely all over the place and she spent most of the time pining after Evan. Sorry you couldn’t have enjoyed this more Britt but wonder review! <3
    Kelly recently posted…The LeavingMy Profile

    • Reply Brittany @ Nice Girls Read Books June 19, 2016 at 7:45 pm

      I know, right? Considering it was one of the biggest ‘action’ scenes in the book, it was shoddily done! Cassie = ugh. She was so fantastic in the first book unti she was swept away by ‘all the Evan-ness!’
      <3 Thanks, Kelly!

  • Reply Zoe @ Stories on Stage June 12, 2016 at 9:20 am

    YES, YES, YES. I completely agree 100%. This didn’t really add anything to the story. Like you said, it all felt like filter. Hopefully The Last Star ties everything together. I did like how fierce Ringer was though. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! <3
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    • Reply Brittany @ Nice Girls Read Books June 15, 2016 at 4:34 am

      Ack, so glad you agree. I just don’t understand what this one brought to the table in terms of a sequel. I just finished reading THE LAST STAR, so I won’t spoil anything if you haven’t read it, but sadly I enjoyed it even less than this one :(
      Brittany @ Nice Girls Read Books recently posted…Review: “The Last Star,” Rick YanceyMy Profile

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