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.
Praise for The 5th Wave
“Just read it.”—Entertainment Weekly
“A modern sci-fi masterpiece.”—USA Today
“Wildly entertaining . . . I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.”—Justin Cronin, The New York Times Book Review
“Nothing short of amazing.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Gripping!”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Everyone I trust is telling me to read this book.”—The Atlantic Wire
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
THE WORLD IS a clock winding down.
I hear it in the wind’s icy fingers scratching against the window. I smell it in the mildewed carpeting and the rotting wallpaper of the old hotel. And I feel it in Teacup’s chest as she sleeps. The hammering of her heart, the rhythm of her breath, warm in the freezing air, the clock winding down.
Across the room, Cassie Sullivan keeps watch by the window. Moonlight seeps through the tiny crack in the curtains behind her, lighting up the plumes of frozen breath exploding from her mouth. Her little brother sleeps in the bed closest to her, a tiny lump beneath the mounded covers. Window, bed, back again, her head turns like a pendulum swinging. The turning of her head, the rhythm of her breath, like Nugget’s, like Teacup’s, like mine, marking the time of the clock winding down.
I ease out of bed. Teacup moans in her sleep and burrows deeper under the covers. The cold clamps down, squeezing my chest, though I’m fully dressed except for my boots and the parka, which I grab from the foot of the bed. Sullivan watches as I pull on the boots, then when I go to the closet for my rucksack and rifle. I join her by the window. I feel like I should say something before I leave. We might not see each other again.
“So this is it,” she says. Her fair skin glows in the milky light. The spray of freckles seems to float above her nose and cheeks.
I adjust the rifle on my shoulder. “This is it.”
“You know, Dumbo I get. The big ears. And Nugget, because Sam is so small. Teacup, too. Zombie I don’t get so much—Ben won’t say—and I’m guessing Poundcake has something to do with his roly-poly-ness. But why Ringer?”
I sense where this is going. Besides Zombie and her brother, she isn’t sure of anyone anymore. The name Ringer gives her paranoia a nudge. “I’m human.”
“Yeah.” She looks through the crack in the curtains to the parking lot two stories below, shimmering with ice. “Someone else told me that, too. And, like a dummy, I believed him.”
“Not so dumb, given the circumstances.”
“Don’t pretend, Ringer,” she snaps. “I know you don’t believe me about Evan.”
“I believe you. It’s his story that doesn’t make sense.”
I head for the door before she tears into me. You don’t push Cassie Sullivan on the Evan Walker question. I don’t hold it against her. Evan is the little branch growing out of the cliff that she clings to, and the fact that he’s gone makes her hang on even tighter.
Teacup doesn’t make a sound, but I feel her eyes on me; I know she’s awake. I go back to the bed.
“Take me with you,” she whispers.
I shake my head. We’ve been through this a hundred times. “I won’t be gone long. A couple days.”
No way, Teacup. Promises are the only currency left. They must be spent wisely. Her bottom lip quivers; her eyes mist. “Hey,” I say softly. “What did I tell you about that, soldier?” I resist the impulse to touch her. “What’s the first priority?”
“No bad thoughts,” she answers dutifully.
“Because bad thoughts do what?”
“Make us soft.”
“And what happens if we go soft?”
“And do we want to die?”
She shakes her head. “Not yet.”
I touch her face. Cold cheek, warm tears. Not yet. With no time left on the human clock, this little girl has probably reached middle age. Sullivan and me, we’re old. And Zombie? The ancient of days.
He’s waiting for me in the lobby, wearing a ski jacket over a bright yellow hoodie, both scavenged from the remains inside the hotel: Zombie escaped from Camp Haven wearing only a flimsy pair of scrubs. Beneath his scruffy beard, his face is the telltale scarlet of fever. The bullet wound I gave him, ripped open in his escape from Camp Haven and patched up by our twelve-year-old medic, must be infected. He leans against the counter, pressing his hand against his side and trying to look like everything’s cool.
“I was starting to think you changed your mind,” Zombie says, dark eyes sparkling as if he’s teasing, though that could be the fever.
I shake my head. “Teacup.”
“She’ll be okay.” To reassure me, he releases his killer smile from its cage. Zombie doesn’t fully appreciate the pricelessness of promises or he wouldn’t toss them out so casually.
“It’s not Teacup I’m worried about. You look like shit, Zombie.”
“It’s this weather. Wreaks havoc on my complexion.” A second smile leaps out at the punch line. He leans forward, willing me to answer with my own. “One day, Private Ringer, you’re going to smile at something I say and the world will break in half.”
“I’m not prepared to take on that responsibility.”
He laughs and maybe I hear a rattle deep in his chest. “Here.” He offers me another brochure of the caverns.
“I have one,” I tell him.
“Take this one, too, in case you lose it.”
“I won’t lose it, Zombie.”
“I’m sending Poundcake with you,” he says.
“No, you’re not.”
“I’m in charge. So I am.”
“You need Poundcake here more than I need him out there.”
He nods. He knew I would say no, but he couldn’t resist one last try. “Maybe we should abort,” he says. “I mean, it isn’t that bad here. About a thousand bedbugs, a few hundred rats, and a couple dozen dead bodies, but the view is fantastic. . .” Still joking, still trying to make me smile. He’s looking at the brochure in his hand. Seventy-four degrees year ’round!
“Until we get snowed in or the temperature drops again. The situation is unsustainable, Zombie. We’ve stayed too long already.”
I don’t get it. We’ve talked this to death and now he wants to keep beating the corpse. I wonder about Zombie sometimes.
“We have to chance it, and you know we can’t go in blind,” I go on. “The odds are there’re other survivors hiding in those caves and they may not be ready to throw out the welcome mat, especially if they’ve met any of Sullivan’s Silencers.”
“Or recruits like us,” he adds.
“So I’ll scope it out and be back in a couple of days.”
“I’m holding you to that promise.”
“It wasn’t a promise.”
There’s nothing left to say. There’re a million things left to say. This might be the last time we see each other, and he’s thinking it, too, because he says, “Thank you for saving my life.”
“I put a bullet in your side and now you might die.”
He shakes his head. His eyes sparkle with fever. His lips are gray. Why did they have to name him Zombie? It’s like an omen. The first time I saw him, he was doing knuckle push-ups in the exercise yard, face contorted with anger and pain, blood pooling on the asphalt beneath his fists. Who is that guy? I asked. His name is Zombie. He fought the plague and won, they told me, and I didn’t believe them. Nobody beats the plague. The plague is a death sentence. And Reznik the drill sergeant bending over him, screaming at the top of his lungs, and Zombie in the baggy blue jumpsuit, pushing himself past the point where one more push is impossible. I don’t know why I was surprised when he ordered me to shoot him so he could keep his unkeepable promise to Nugget. When you look death in the eye and death blinks first, nothing seems impossible.
Even mind reading. “I know what you’re thinking,” he says.
“No. You don’t.”
“You’re wondering if you should kiss me good-bye.”
“Why do you do that?” I ask. “Flirt with me.”
He shrugs. His grin is crooked, like his body leaning against the counter.
“It’s normal. Don’t you miss normal?” he asks. Eyes digging deep into mine, always looking for something, I’m never sure what. “You know, drive-thrus and movies on a Saturday night and ice cream sandwiches and checking your Twitter feed?”
I shake my head. “I didn’t Twitter.”
I’m getting a little pissed. Sometimes it’s hard for me to imagine how Zombie made it this far. Pining for things we lost is the same as hoping for things that can never be. Both roads dead-end in despair. “It’s not important,” I say. “None of that matters.”
Zombie’s laugh comes from deep in his gut. It bubbles to the surface like the superheated air of a hot spring, and I’m not pissed anymore. I know he’s putting on the charm, and somehow knowing what he’s doing does nothing to blunt the effect. Another reason Zombie’s a little unnerving.
“It’s funny,” he says. “How much we thought all of it did. You know what really matters?” He waits for my answer. I feel as if I’m being set up for a joke, so I don’t say anything. “The tardy bell.”
Now he’s forced me into a corner. I know there’s manipulation going on here, but I feel helpless to stop it. “Tardy bell?”
“Most ordinary sound in the world. And when all of this is done, there’ll be tardy bells again.” He presses the point. Maybe he’s worried I don’t get it. “Think about it! When a tardy bell rings again, normal is back. Kids rushing to class, sitting around bored, waiting for the final bell, and thinking about what they’ll do that night, that weekend, that next fifty years. They’ll be learning like we did about natural disasters and disease and world wars. You know: ‘When the aliens came, seven billion people died,’ and then the bell will ring and everybody will go to lunch and complain about the soggy Tater Tots. Like, ‘Whoa, seven billion people, that’s a lot. That’s sad. Are you going to eat all those Tots?’ That’s normal. That’s what matters.”
So it wasn’t a joke. “Soggy Tater Tots?”
“Okay, fine. None of that makes sense. I’m a moron.”
He smiles. His teeth seem very white surrounded by the scruffy beard, and now, because he suggested it, I think about kissing him and if the stubble on his upper lip would tickle.
I push the thought away. Promises are priceless, and a kiss is a kind of promise, too.
What People are Saying About This
Praise for The Infinite Sea
“Heart-pounding pacing, lyrical prose and mind-bending twists . . .”—The New York Times Book Review
“Impressively improves on the excellent beginning of the trilogy.”—USA Today
“An epic sci-fi novel with all the romance, action, and suspense you could ever want.”—Seventeen.com
*“This gut-wrenching sequel to The 5th Wave careens on a violent course of nonstop action.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
*“A breathless, grueling survival story . . . . Yancey's prose remains unimpeachable—every paragraph is laden with setting, theme, and emotion."—Booklist, starred review
“A roller-coaster ride of a sequel.”—Kirkus Reviews
“It doesn’t just move the story forward, but even opens up new possibilities in the previous book.” —Geekdad.com
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This was a very good sequel to the fifth wave. It is a rarity for sequels to outdo the first book in a series and I think this was the case. This book had a little less action than the first but I liked it because it foccused more on deatails and the thought process of the charactors. I have a comment for the review on the violence and language. Compared to other young adult fiction the language was not that bad. If somebody killed the whole world your not going to say, "I really did not appreciate that you just slaughtered my entire family." Even myself, having never uttered a single swear word would have cussed. Additionally, the violence isn't so bad. In comparison to Divergent and the Hunger games it isn't any more gory. I am not going to live the rest of my life scarred. I reccomend this book.
The 5th wave was my favorite book. Now this is! Its full of twists and turns.......is Evan dead? What happens to Ringer? Who dies.......well quite a few people! A must read!!!!!
Great book! I think the first was a little more intense. Loved getting to know Ringer and her POV better. Sadly, now i have to wait and wonder...When is book three coming out???
I absolutely loved The Fifth Wave so I was eagerly anticipating the release of The Infinite Sea. For me, the second book in this series didn't measure up to the first book. What I loved was the character development that continued in Book 2 and the relationships that evolved. In addition, Yancey is a master at creating tension in a book. The action-packed storyline kept me reading. What I didn't like was the lack of plot line. As the story unfolded I was filled with a sense of despair. All the characters face challenges that seem almost impossible to overcome. Perhaps this is the point of the book, though, as they seem to be facing an impossible situation. But what I really didn't like in this book was the ending. Without giving anything away, I will just say that the conclusion was abrupt and seemed to be placed in an odd section of the book. I hope there is a third installment in this series (and soon) because as a reader I was left with no sense of closure. Despite the negatives, I am looking forward to more in this series. That in itself suggests that The Infinite Sea is a success!
While the first book, (The Fifth Wave) could have rested comfortably as a stand-alone read, 'The Infinite Sea' is by no means any lesser for it. Yancey does an excellent job of drawing the reader further in by delving into each character's full being, including those characters (possibly erroneously) thought to be minor. Plot holes from the initial storyline are also equally well-addressed, and Yancey doesn't disappoint with an ending that leaves readers impatient for more!
So Good!! Rick Yancey has created an amazing world with characters that stay with you long after you have finished reading the book, and leaves you wishing for more!
Literally couldn't put the book down. The first person speak is a little frustrating but plot is very well formed. Gave the book purpose as well as meaning. Cryptic enough for ya? Bought the series because I saw the movie, 5th Wave. The movie was predictable but the Infinite Sea is unexpected and full of suspense. And what is this thing about Dubuque? Someone please explain. I'm only full Asian, therefore cannot fully assimilate.
This book had a lot of content that didn't really forward the plot. I suffered through 250 pages before I became interested in the story. I wonder if this wasn't a decent single novel stretched into a trilogy. I guess we'll never know. I don't know if I'll bother with the third installment.
Fast paced; good characters; a must read. If you missed the first-get going. Moves quickly and totally interesting. Can't wait for the next in the series.
That heading pretty much sums up my feelings as I finish this book at 1 am. This series swings back and forth between obvious teen-geared dialog and deep philosophical questions, but it never slows down. Never do you reach that typical "just let me finish this chapter" point because the author invariably ends one chapter just to barrel headlong into the next. This is set to be a movie franchise starting in 2016 and I hope they do justice to it. Meanwhile when does the sequel come out?
I loved this book more than the first in the series. Some of the important questions are answered, alliances are made stronger and new questions are presented. This second installment is more sophisticated and intriguing than the first. A very smart take on the alien invasion end of the world type of story. If I had four thumbs, I would give it four thumbs up!
When I read the first book in the series, The 5th wave, I said to myself, "How is he going to top this book? It is fantastic!" Now, I have just finished the second book, and my mind has been blown! This book is not only a fast read, it will have you scrabbling for him to finish the third! I am not sure if this is totally a young adult novel or not, but EVERYONE, I repeat, EVERYONE should read this book. Not only does he delve into the human psyche, he rips it apart and then puts it back together, only to rip it apart again, leaving you wondering just how he is going to top THIS book, with the third. I am eagerly, eagerly awaiting the third and unfortunately, the final chapter to this magnificent trilogy. I only aspire, to become the wonderful writer that is Rick Yancey. Kudos, Mr. Yancey. You are a true genius!
One of the best books out there. Keeps you on edge and is a perfect sequel to the first
Must read. Ohmigod.
Why does my book say speak on the spine
BAD DO NOT READ IT
The fifth wave was great but this was just okay
I absolutely loved the first book. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, and could not wait to open the pages for The Infinite Sea, and I mean really open the pages of my paperback copy that I bought. I rarely buy books any more, because I get so many great ones free, and borrow from my sister or the library, but this was a set I wanted to have for my shelf. I began this in the morning and I read it cover to cover in one sitting. Picked up right where the first book, The 5th Wave, left off. The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey started out with a BANG…and kept on going. Rick Yancey is a master storyteller in this epic series filled with complex characters, some good, some bad, and some down right evil. The Infinite Sea is a thought provoking novel that may keep you up at night…wondering. I read all three books, 1095 pages, in two days. That’s how good this epic series is!