If you like: cunning * deduction * moving forward
This post contains spoilers for The 5th Wave.
The Infinite Sea is the second book in the 5th Wave series. As Cassie and her band of survivors seek to evade Commander Vosch and the rest who seek them, their world becomes increasingly unstable. Now that they have a further understanding just how much they can be manipulated by the invaders, they have even less trust of others. As with the previous waves, each new attack on the human race brings a new twisted corruption of natural instincts. Each wave erodes even more trust, and targets those the invaders never could. At the same time, the significant effort and planning makes some question just what the end goal is, and what will happen to anyone who continues to survive.
Trust continues to be the central issue of the 5th Wave series. At first, you learn not to trust figures of authority, or strangers you meet on the road. Then, once you know just what the enemy is capable of, you learn that you may not even be able to trust yourself, your vision, your body. You cannot even trust your knowledge of the events that came before, because after so much devastation it is impossible to know the whole story. As each character comes to grips with this realization, they learn to fight in new ways. Though they cannot always follow their own instincts, they are survivors, and will find a way to survive. Though they know that they cannot trust a stranger, they know they can at least predict that someone is coming for them, and that those by their side will continue to fight until they cannot any longer. No longer concerned with the question of if there will be an attack, they can focus on preparing for when. There is no time to rest or relax, just time to hone skills and anticipate the unimaginable. In a world where every person must focus on themselves, a group such as this existing seems nearly impossible. The repeated waves of terror have pushed them into clarity of thought, and they are willing to embrace ideas that would otherwise seem insane because they know that normal reactions are no longer enough.
The method of invasion is cold, calculated, and extremely difficult to defeat. When you cannot trust those you love, an innocent child or yourself, it is extremely hard to fight back. Instinctually, humans take care of those in need, and the invaders use that against them. People also seek a trustworthy leader. Having invaders exist in the shells of humans allows them to lead those who are not skeptical enough into becoming the tools of the invasion. This adds to the horror when you must fight those whom every aspect of your being pushes you to protect. The enhancements are not just used as weapons. Some are changed and upgrade to become fighters. This has twofold consequences: those the survivors are fighting against are all the more dangerous, and becoming something new makes it hard to fight. Those who can learn to use the technology while retaining their own free will are the ones with the most potential to meet the enemy on equal footing. They may not ever be the same, but if they can stand up and fight after being manipulated, controlled, and altered, they will become the strongest fighters humankind will have in this war. Giving up who they were may be the most difficult part of fighting for the future.
If you won’t run away until the ones you love are with you, read The Infinite Sea.
Yancey, Rick. The Infinite Sea: The Second Book of the 5th Wave. Penguin Young Readers Group, 2014. Kindle Edition.