Recommendation Tuesday: The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey
Recommendation Tuesday started as a joke and is now an official thing. Basically, this is my way of making Tuesday a little more awesome. If you've got a book to recommend on this or any Tuesday, tweet me at @FullShelves and I'll help spread the word.
I feel kind of ridiculous recommending a big book with a big publicity push behind it, but it's a rare sequel that enthralls me as much as the original.
The Fifth Wave was one of my favorite books last year, thanks to its editor literally shoving it in my hands and I clicked preorder on the follow up, The Infinite Sea, before it even had a title. The sophisticated plot, overwhelmingly ominous tone and captivatingly complex characters stood out in the sea of lookalike post-apocalyptic novels.
The Infinite Sea picks up shortly after the events of the first book, with one hell of a literal bang of a prologue. That foreboding permeates the entire novel, as it's even more impossible to trust anyone. Cassie Sullivan's band of not really friends, but the closest allies one can have in the wake of an alien invasion in which anyone can be the enemy.
In the sequel, Yancey introduces an additional narrator in Ringer, the enigmatic girl with an expert shot. I can't express how much her point-of-view adds to the story. This series has a lot of perspectives, most in first person (Cassie and Ringer, in particular) but also a third-person narrative. I know some readers haven't enjoyed the shifting perspectives and layered narratives, as it does slow the pace of the story, but I love it.
The Infinite Sea took me almost a week of evenings to read--a long time for me--and unlike my normal full speed ahead reading style, found myself lingering over sentences and flipping back pages when it dawned on me what I read before really meant. It's a surprisingly contemplative book, even more so than the first.
I love that even though this is a high-stakes, action-packed series with conspiracies and betrayals and--holy wow--big consequences for every decision, there are loads of moments that left me thinking about humanity and cruelty and survival and just what it all means. I hate making comparisons to other series, but so many series just don't push hard enough with moral ambiguity.
In the world of The Fifth Wave, answers are both easy and hard. Snap decisions have to be made in order to survive, but sometimes the answers will tear the last shred of humanity from these characters and that's all they have to hold onto in this brutal world.
If you haven't read The Fifth Wave, you should fix that right away, but if you have and the sequel fell off your radar because it's been such a long time since the first book, don't hesitate about diving into the sequel as soon as possible. I keep hesitating to say that it's better than the first, but the addition of Ringer is such a compliment to the entire narrative that I keep thinking that this story is even bigger and more ambitious.
Now when's the final book hitting the shelves?