It's been a few months since the end of the last book, and now Cassie, Ben, Evan, Dumbo, Megan and Sam, plus Ringer and Constance up on the mother ship still. But what happened after, let's face it, the first book, and the first four waves happened, there's going to be a big launch to make the 5th wave finally wipe out all of humanity indefinitely; first it was no more electricity or power, then waves and tsunamis, then a deadly plague, then the aliens known as The Others were walking amongst the remainders, and The 5th Wave has been in session for a while; no one trusts anyone, and without trust in a community, a community can't come to fruition and neither can people, and thus all the humans are in battle with everyone until there's no one left. But in the next four days, The Others are set to bomb every big city in the Earth. (I was going to say world, but it's really not the same thing here. It's so much different.) This would not only destroy centuries of history, but also bring the distrust to its limit removal. Evan Walker has managed to get on the ship, and Cassie and Ben both want to get to wherever Wonderland is, where all the other surviving kids are being kept, and the mothership, to put a stop to it; but mainly to save Walker and Ringer, respectively. But to do that, the survivors will have to gear up, find a way in, face whatever calamities Colonel Vosch has invented, and make sure The Others know the last pebble of human life they're about to extinguish is not one they'll ever recover from.
After its clunky and overlong fifth wave and its soul-drainingly boring infinite sea of nothingness, Rick Yancey sent his last starship my way in hopes of finally pulling me on board, and I finally got the gravity boots and caused the air to hose down and let me in. I had the lowest expectations ever. I originally gave The 5th Wave 2 stars, but then lowered it to a 1.5 because my memories of reading it are so blank and taut, but the movie adaptation which I gave an A to renewed my interest. But The Infinite Sea was literally the worst book I read last year, not picking up on or even mentioning any mission or promise of one, filled with pointless poetry attempt and a frustrating and illogical final act. In fact, it's safe to say apart from the inclusion of one new hero, the death of one and one of our heroes getting implemented with a system, you could read the first book and jump directly to this one. But I guess Rick Yancey had to admit to himself this is the last one so there can be no more lingering. Or maybe he wrote The Infinite Sea as a joke, or an attempt to fill in some plotpoints he couldn't fit into the first book. But when Zombie, aka the great Ben Parish says he's done waiting for the world to end and not doing anything, or when he says on page 38, "I'm not wasting any more time worrying about the things I don't know", I said, You go, Private! It was pretty self-aware.
Is the start-up a little boring? Yeah, I can't lie. Ringer's perspective I wasn't the biggest fan of in the world, and sometimes the characters are too unnecessarily angry. I felt it was always best when Zombie was in the narration. But around the middle, action scenes go by that don't have any pause, and his abnormal writing style blends into it in a way that made me wonder why this is the one with the lowest score on Goodreads. For the very first time in the 5th Wave universe, I didn't want to put the book down. Some reviewers have said the feeling of distrust is gone here. They're wrong. They still distrust people, but this time a bit more reasonably.
The book is 98 chapters, and the 98th chapter's perspective reads "The Seven Billion Billion", in reference to the particles made up of the remaining bit of humanity in the universe, then perspectives change 18 more times. The 13th time is a chapter where the character's hands are shaking from freezing cold and the fear of the sureness of being about to die, and I can't remember the last time an ending to a book series has left a feeling of hope and hopelessness at the same time within me. Even before the final showdown, there are scenes where the characters are near the point of death and I had no idea if they'd survive and I cared. I guess all the series needed was the push of adventure to make these characters as investing as they were in the movie. More than once there's the blackout, a perspective changes, and I thought, "Did that just happen?" In my review of The Infinite Sea, despite attempting to be funny, every time a chapter rest comes up, it felt like an invitation to put it down.
The book still sometimes takes its time with a few things, and the outright twice said "I'm going to kill Evan Walker" was numbing, but this is a series about a handful of the luckiest humans in the history of the visible universe to ever be in an end-of-the-world apocalypse having the weight of everyone unlucky on their shoulders, and the actions they accomplish and the way Rick Yancey tells the story mirror the feeling. The Infinite Sea is still terrible, so if you give this trilogy a try, you know my opinion.