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.
Editors Select, September 2014 - To say "we’re excited about this one" would be an understatement. The sequel to Rick Yancey’s best-selling, YA alien invasion epic, The Fifth Wave, has everyone on our team – from editors to VPs – buzzing (in fact two of us decided to get behind this one jointly!). In a literary landscape soaked with teen dystopian thrillers, the world Yancey created is a cut above. His multiple perspectives round out the unique world he has created, and his portrayal of Cassie – the teen heroine – is beyond believable (and unbelievable when you note she was written by a male author!) If you haven’t gotten on the Rick Yancey bandwagon, we recommend you do so now – you don’t want to miss out. Audible Editors, Chris and Emily
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Wubba. Let me quote X-files for a moment and say, “Trust no one.”
I only finished the book a little over a week ago and I still don’t fully grasp that last quarter of the book or so. I’m getting ahead of myself here. I hope if you’re reading this that you’ve read or have considered reading The 5th Wave, book #1 in the series. I will, as always, do my absolute best to avoid spoilers… but with this book there are minor spoilers really built-in as this is very much a continuation of the overall story arc.
At the heart of this story is an alien race trying to wipe us off the face of the Earth. They are quite efficient at creating this outcome.
The human race, what’s left of it anyway, has survived 4 ‘waves’ of destruction. The 5th wave has been discovered, but it is far more insidious than originally expected. Cassie, Ben, and Ringer leads us further down the rabbit hole and into the dark underbelly of the beast (well, alien rather) to face and fully realize the ultimate endgame of the Others: the extinction of the human infection upon the planet.
Just when it seems there may be some glimmer of hope – after all, Cassie survived to fight another day – it’s revealed that everything she thought she knew is only the very tip of the iceberg.
That’s about the best summary I can give without releasing a pack of spoilers. It was not as easy as it might seem. I still want the license plate off the bus that apparently ran me over in the final 20 (or so)% of this book.
Perhaps this book suffers from second book syndrome? I can’t even fault the writing itself as somehow lacking from the first book, it really is just – wow. Rick Yancey has that ‘wow’ factor. Why am I complaining and not fangirling, you might ask? I still don’t fully grasp the ‘end’ (it’s obviously a set-up to to the next book, no surprise there) and I even listened to that last bit twice. It’s like a movie-goer saying they fully understood Inception after one viewing. I feel like one of those memes belongs here, “One does not just walk into Mordor…” only with this it’s, “One does not just read The Infinite Sea and fully understand it.” Feel welcome to prove me wrong and come back and tell me what I obviously didn’t get.
I did really love the dual narrators, and how nifty that the new male narrator is named Ben. I know it’s a total coincidence, but it’s a fun one. I held back a perfect score for the narrators on the off chance that maybe they added to my ‘ending’ confusion. It’s a long-shot, as they really made this book pop. There was an additional challenge of more characters to narrate, more points-of-view, more action… just more. They really stepped up to the plate. I fell in love with Phoebe Strole’s narration in book one and The Infinite Sea was just as lovely – and she even had the addition of Ringer’s POV this time around. Both Phoebe and Ben Yannette sold me on the characters. Their age, the angst, the sometimes juvenile thoughts, granted they didn’t write the words but they made the words real for the listener. This is the stuff that makes or breaks an audiobook and they nailed it.
The production crew also did a fantastic job on this. For me, it’s the mistakes or blips that always seem to glare in a performance and they simply were not there. Another simple thing, the music lead-in to the book. Little touches that made the overall experience just fantastic. Bravo production crew!
Ultimately, after everything is said and done, it just didn’t quite live up to the first book. It may have been the odd pacing of the book, the extra POVs, maybe even action, the twists… it just ended up a little too cryptic. Despite all this, I am still committed to this series and will happily hand over my money for book #3 once it’s out. If you are a sci-fi and/or dystopian fan that doesn’t mind juvenile characters, this series is NOT to be missed!
Audiobook purchased for review by ABR.
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Love, Love, Love it
I honestly don’t understand all the bad reviews for this book. The 5th Wave was an amazing listen but this was just as good if not better. There was plenty of action and I felt the story advanced in a way that was completely and totally unexpected. I loved the multiple POVs and getting inside Ringer’s head. It was worth every chapter not spent on Cassie or Ben. The wait for book three is going to kill me….