Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
So, I kind of have a love/hate relationship with this book. For starters, it took me way too long to read. Granted I have become a Netflix fiend this past week (I’m on the last season of Fringe and it’s like a YA dystopia right now. Seriously, what a cool show). Any way, on the one hand this book has all the super great dystopian elements that I love (fast pace, high action, bleak world, kick-butt girl main character, tons of twists and turns, etc), but on the other hand, the point of view switches were so awful, I kept getting pulled out of the story.
If you are someone who likes a colossal plot twist that you most likely will not see coming, you must read this book. I literally put the book down at one moment, and went, “What???” Seriously, that was good. Also, this world is so miserably bleak, I found myself missing happiness. And I only a couple of dystopias, besides this one, really have had that effect on me. The world does not pity children. Anyone can die at any moment. And this level of dark suspense is what kept me going.
Some of my plot concerns with book 1 were addressed. Like why didn’t Cassie ever ask Evan the important questions? And why not just destroy the world all at once? Why go so slowly and even bother with a fifth wave at all? We still don’t know all the answers (there is another book coming), but at least this was addressed somewhat.
The characters were also pretty awesome. I still loved Cassie. I still loved her strange and twisted love triangle. And I loved that all the characters, for the most part, started off together. Watching them try to make survival plans as a team was very Walking Dead. Also like with Walking Dead, there was never a lot of time to just plan. There were constant alien attacks, bombing, or gunshot interruptions.
I’m going to be honest though in saying there were several characters I did not remember at all from the first book. Ringer is a main character in this one. And while I found Ringer to be such an interesting (and rather sad) human being, I still have no idea who she was in book 1…Also, to add to the confusion, Cassie was constantly being called by her last name, which I also didn’t remember. It took me a little too long to realize Sullivan was Cassie.
So, add this initial name confusion to some of the worst ever character point of view shifts, and this became a bit of a challenge for me to read. I kind of got why the author didn’t list the character names at the top of each chapter in the first book (kind of…). But, here, there just didn’t appear to be a point to it. There were too many chapters making me go, “who’s saying this?” and each time this happened, I’d be pulled out of the story. Each time I was pulled out of the story, the suspense wasn’t able to hook me. I really think the book would have been a million times better if it was harder for me to put down and the suspense was constant. And all this would take is character ownership/titles of each chapter.
The sad thing is that I truly believe that Yancey is a skilled writer. Some of his metaphors and flashbacks were written so beautifully, they were practically poetic. But, considering how much of his poetic YA language was already rater stream of consciousness oriented, the point of view switching was even more terribly confusing.
I loved the idea of this book. I loved the storyline, the suspense, and the characters. I particularly loved the twist. I loved getting to know other side characters. But, I truly believe I would have loved all these things more (maybe twice as much) if the chapters/points of view switches weren’t so confusing. I give it a 7/10.

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