Thursday, April 21, 2016

What we're reading: The Infinite Sea

We just finished reading The 5th Wave, by Rick Yancey, in 8+9 Book Club, to distinctly mixed reviews, which surprised me, given how much I liked it. It was a reread for me, and while I didn't have quite the same reaction the second time as the first (my first reaction was 5 stars all the way), I still liked it a lot. I think Yancey is a wonderful writer, with quite the imagination. Why are we so fascinated with aliens-take-over-the-world scenarios? This was among my favorites. I was glad that I had to reread it, because I had recently bought the second book for my Kindle, and when I opened it up a couple of weeks ago to the first page and started reading, I had no clue who these people were! There were big gaps in my memory of the timeline of The 5th Wave, as well as exactly how it ended, so the review came at just the right time to allow me to read the second book with some continuity.

The Infinite Sea opens shortly after the events at the end of The 5th Wave. Cassie, her brother, Sam, and Ben Parish, otherwise known as Zombie, along with the remnants of Zombie's crew (Ringer, Dumbo, Poundcake, and Teacup) are waiting reluctantly at the rendezvous point where Evan told Cassie he would meet her. It's not a safe place for them to be, and Ringer is growing increasingly restive about their exposure, as she should, given subsequent events.

Weirdly, although I kept wanting to hear more from Cassie's point of view in the first book, sometimes becoming impatient when another POV went on for too many pages, in this second book I was relieved when we got out of her head and into Ringer's. I liked Ringer's character the minute we met her in book one, and she was a refreshing change from the person Cassie turned into while waiting for Evan--grouchy, whiny, illogical, and not much of a team player. So I'm a fan of the Ringer story, which is probably around 60-70 percent of this book.

There is plenty of action and drama in this second book, with lots of unexpected twists and turns. It's a little more active, in some ways, than The 5th Wave. The struggles the characters go through--physical, mental, spiritual--are the meat of the story. In some ways it's a transitional book, with a few slow spots and some information dumping, but Yancey's writing is excellent and pulls you through.

I will definitely read the third one, if only to get my remaining questions resolved. Maybe I missed some of the significance within the exchanges between Vosch and Ringer, between Razor and Ringer, but I still don't quite get why the aliens didn't just pick a hundred percent solution to the problem of humans, instead of getting rid of 90 percent of them and then manipulating, brainwashing, and torturing the rest. (Of course, if they had, then there'd be no story!) Perhaps book three (coming soon!) will resolve things for me.


Note: Burbank Public Library offers both these books as e-books and audio books as well as in hardcover.

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