Rant: The Infinite Sea

In which I rant about The Infinite Sea, the second book in Rick Yancey’s 5th Wave Trilogy.


If you haven’t read The Infinite Sea, then what are you doing here? Go away, this isn’t safe. There are spoilers ahead! Go read my review of this book, and then please do come back once you’ve read the book itself. Okay?

My experience with this book was a bit up and down. Overall, I didn’t like it as much as The 5th Wave, but that isn’t to say that I didn’t like it. Not at all. In fact, I really, really enjoyed it, and I’m excited to talk about it.

Characters

I have so much ranting to do about characters, so get ready.

Ringer

So when I was reading The 5th Wave, I scribbled at some point: “You know whose POV we need? Ringer’s.” I felt like we could use someone a bit more logical. Because let’s face it: as sassy and stupidly brave and hilarious and utterly human as Cassie is, she doesn’t have the most rational of thought-processes. At all. And even though Zombie is absolutely my favourite character in the series, he doesn’t have that ability to follow a thought all the way through its logical progression.

So I was quite delighted that so much of the book was in Ringer’s POV. I haven’t really done any research to see if anyone else backs me up on this, but I’m fairly certain she is an INTJ. I cannot tell you how delighted I was to finally be reading about:

  1. A character whose decision-making process I can relate to
  2. A non-villain character whose decision-making process I can relate to
  3. A non-villain female character whose decision-making process I can relate to

I love all the chess references and the logic and problem-solving and subtle humour and just…yes. Can we have more characters like this? Because there really aren’t many. In fact, I’m going to be doing a post about INTJ characters quite soon.

Update: You can read that post here.

That said, Ringer isn’t my favourite character. And I didn’t think I’d say this, but in retrospect, a little too much of the book was in her POV. I really missed Zombie. But I’m not ready to get into that yet.

Cassie

My brother pinpointed it when we were discussing The 5th Wave today. Cassie was an amazing character right up until she meets Evan. After meeting Evan, she loses a lot of her strength. It’s depressing, and all the more so because of how it isn’t acknowledged. By the end of The 5th Wave, I didn’t exactly hate her, but I liked her a lot less than I had initially. Which was a lot! I really, really liked her in the beginning portion of the book.

In The Infinite Sea, I could hardly stand her.

First of all, her preoccupation with not having a nom de guerre. Excuse me, Cassie, but it isn’t as if they gave them to each other while roasting s’mores at summer camp. You know that time you spent cuddling in the woods with your stalker? Well, they were doing pushups until their hands bled, processing and disposing corpses, and being screamed at constantly during that time. All so that they could eventually go out and kill other humans. What were you doing? Taking baths and eating chocolate. Huh. What a hard life you have, Sullivan.

Plus, I’m sorry, but are you actually jealous of names like Poundcake and Dumbo?

And it wasn’t something she just mentions in passing, it’s pretty constant. It got so old so fast. There are infinite things to care about. Not having a nom de guerre should be pretty low on the list.

But basically all she truly cared about in this book was that and Evan Walker. Seriously, every other thought in her head seemed to be about the names or Evan. I’m sorry, maybe it’s because I’m not a very sentimental person, but I don’t understand that. She barely knew him, and during the short time they were together, he lied to her constantly. And yet, she puts everyone else in danger because she can’t let go of him? Maybe she doesn’t care about the squad, but what about Nugget? I thought he was super important to her? He isn’t safe as long as they stay at the hotel. Am I the only one bothered by the fact that Nugget seriously sunk in importance once Evan came along? I talked about that in my rant on the previous book, when Cassie was so relieved to see Evan, but barely mentioned the fact that her brother, whom she spent so much time trying to save, only to almost watch him die before her very eyes, was still alive. I can’t deal with that. And I can’t deal with paragraphs like this:

I’d never let him go. Not really. I told myself a thousand times a day he couldn’t have survived. Lectured myself that our holing up in this fleabag motel was useless, dangerous, crazy, suicidal. But I clung to his promise because letting go of the promise meant I was letting go of him. 

I mean, not that hard to let go of someone you just met, who lied to you through his teeth throughout your acquaintance, is it?

But Cassie isn’t the only one to blame here: why does her say even matter so much? Cassie, who isn’t even part of the squad, says they stay, so they do? Even though it’s not safe and she’s the only one who cares about waiting for Evan Walker? Why? That makes absolutely zero sense.

But whatever, she loves him or something. Who am I to judge? But can she just stick with that? Because once he finally shows up, she waffles over and over between “I’m going to kill him!” and “No one is allowed to badmouth him he’s perfect.”

But even that wasn’t the worst. No, my main problem with Cassie Sullivan is how incredibly self-centred she is. It’s almost fascinating. The world actually ended, right? The Others took out 7 billion people? So all of the survivors have witnessed unspeakable horror, have lost everyone that mattered to them, and have been forced by circumstance to do terrible things. And yet, Cassie just continues to act like she’s the only one. It bugs me immensely. Immensely.

Evan

I don’t have that much to say about Evan. I find him profoundly uninteresting. I appreciate what he represents, just not him. I hate how every time Cassie asks him a direct question, he gets all lovey. It’s manipulative, and it’s creepy. You see, call me crazy, but I kind of believe that, if someone actually loves someone, they should trust them with the truth. All the soppy words in the world don’t mean as much as just answering a simple question with an honest answer.

Poundcake

Poundcake! Oh, I was so glad to get his POV (even though he didn’t narrate), but my happiness quickly turned to extreme-sadness-overload. What that kid went through is just even worse when you remember he’s eight years old. It makes sense that he doesn’t talk anymore. It was a great decision to give him a chapter. Just another glimpse of what the Others have done to people, to families, to eight-year-olds. It was just the right length, too. Any longer would have been too much of a digression.

Zombie

I’ve said it before and I will say it again: Zombie is my favourite character in this trilogy. I really missed his POV in this book, but then again, he wasn’t in much of a state to narrate for most of it.

I was really, really worried about him, to be honest. I mean, there was his physical weakness from the bullet wound Ringer gave him in the previous book, but I was mostly worried about him emotionally. He just seemed to be spiralling into a dark place.

It’s really interesting to see Zombie trying to work through problems on his own, when Ringer isn’t around. It makes a lot of sense for him to be the leader. He’s got good ideas, and he’s quite insightful in many ways. He doesn’t always pursue these ideas as far as Ringer does, but he’s definitely not dumb. Plus, he has something else very important: how much he cares about his squad. It’s really, really touching.

I have an immeasurable love his absolute faith in Ringer. Partially because I ship them like mad, but you have to agree that it’s really touching how he refuses to entertain the possibility that she’s not coming back, or that she could have betrayed them, on purpose or not.

All of that being said, out of this entire book, my favourite Zombie scene is when he comes out of the room and Cassie thinks he’s smothered Megan. It might seem weird, but hear me out.

He laughed again. His head broke the surface and he took a deep, life-giving breath.

“I couldn’t.”

That’s when I stopped being  worried about him. I knew he was going to be okay. Not because he didn’t smother a little girl, but because he couldn’t. The fact that he lacked the ability to do so means everything.

Ships!

Cassie and Evan

umm_no_sherlock

Sorry. I can totally understand why people ship the ship, because some of their dialogue is actually really, really cute, but looking at the big picture, I just cannot ship it.

Razor and Ringer

So I’m reading and it’s really stressful and suspenseful, and then suddenly I’m distracted by this:

He turns to the squad leader standing beside him, a slender, fair-skinned recruit with blond hair and soulful dark eyes.

Soulful dark eyes.

Soulful dark eyes.

Soulful dark eyes.

Soulful dark eyes.

Soulful dark eyes.

SOULFUL DARK EYES.

NO2

When you are in a very stressful situation and you refer to someone’s eyes as soulful—if you even notice their soulfulness in the stress of the situation—then you are basically married. It’s over.

And I was not happy with this because it seriously conflicts with my beloved ship.

And the worst part is, they were kind of cute. And I started shipping it. Until Razor betrayed her because he was “Just following orders.” You know who else used that excuse, Razor? Nazis. Nazis used that excuse.

And she didn’t really care???? Awesome, rational, INTJ Ringer pulled a Cassie on me and just let him get away with that. Just… No! None of that was okay! The whole ending of the book was not okay.

tumblr_m4p9ivSMrU1rq8svt

Zombie and Ringer

My ship. I love this ship more than I can explain to you. So instead of showing you an embarrassing display of fangirling, I’m just going to give you a few lovely quotes.

Taken from Ringer’s POV:

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.”


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.”

(I’m laughing though because taken out of the context of this book and these two characters, that quote would not seem at all shippy).


“I know what you’re thinking.”

“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.


I push the thought away. Promises are priceless, and a kiss is a kind of a promise, too.


From Cassie’s POV:

He laughed softly. “Ringer.” I wondered if he was aware of how he said her name. Quietly, like a prayer.


This ship just speaks for itself okay?

tumblr_ml1nohdwYS1s5686eo1_400

But Poundcake!

Can we talk about what happened to Poundcake?! Cassie what the heck?! He would have made that shot if you hadn’t pushed him out of the way! He’s the best shooter next to Ringer. And why did you push him again? Oh yeah. Because you were afraid he might miss and shoot Evan. You got Poundcake shot on a might. That is the actual stupidest thing ever, and why does everything have to be about Evan?!

But Poundcake’s last stand though. It actually gave me chills. And I keep forgetting this kid was eight years old! That’s just amazing. I feel like the events of these books brought out a lot of the worst in humanity, but they also brought out the best. I could not believe he fought as long and hard as he did. It was beautiful.

Teacup.

I don’t know what to say about this except that I want to strangle Razor. I know the whole point was that Ringer never would have left Teacup, and the Others would always have leverage over her as long as they had Teacup. I get it. But what ever happened to never deciding that one person doesn’t matter?

I’m sorry, but frankly I don’t care about his motives. He shot a little girl in cold blood, and that’s disgusting. I feel like it definitely was not the only option, and why didn’t he just shoot Vosch? Really, why didn’t he? Wouldn’t that have been easier? No. I’m never ever ever going to agree with that. The whole ending of this book was a disaster, all of it Razor’s fault and also Ringer’s. I’m immensely disappointed in Ringer.


That rant was a lot longer than I meant it to be. And I still didn’t talk about everything I wanted to talk about. Oh well, we can maybe talk about additional stuff in the comments! I’d like to hear your thoughts, especially if you disagree with me on something. Differing opinions make for interesting discussions.

Have a lovely day!
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13 thoughts on “Rant: The Infinite Sea

  1. First of all, I thoroughly enjoyed your rant about the Infinite Sea! 🙂

    I really like the character Ringer, and yes I completely thought that too much of the book was in her perspective as well.

    These are a few of my own personal thoughts and feelings I had in response to the points that you brought up or did not understand as to why certain things were important to Cassie.
    Yes, I completely understand your fist point about it not having being summer camp. The thing is that it’s not so much about “not having a nom de guerre,” as it was what it represents. For Cassie, it means all that time that she wasn’t able to be there for her baby brother; letting him, her dad, and herself down. As you did point out “What were you doing? Taking baths and eating chocolate. Huh. What a hard life you have, Sullivan.” I believe that she is incredible wracked with guilt and self-loathing over that fact. These nicknames also represent the (atrocious as they were) shared experiences that they all have and she is left on the outside looking in. They are a family. Her own brother is a stranger to her and has adopted Zombie as the head of his familial compass. She has essentially lost the last of her family. Though not physically – she lost him emotionally and mentally. Experiencing a loss like this wrecks you. Fighting or being jealous of the nicknames is the most concise way that she can articulate this pain. After all he is why she has fought to stay alive so hard to this point.

    Regarding the thoughts and actions Cassie has toward Evan. Yes, he totally lied his butt of as to who/what he is/was, but the key thing here is the tense and motivations behind it. Can you seriously not understand why he would do it? Or better yet, can you say that if YOU were in Evan Walkers shoes, you would not at least be tempted to do the same?
    In regards to the time span in which she became very close to him; trauma and close quarters will quite often result in a tight bond (as was the similar case of the squad). Yes he was a threat to her life, but when push came to shove, he saved it every time, even to the point that he betrayed (and killed) his own kind. He has risked his life, to not only save her, but also her little brother, as well as the squad and other humans.

    “I thought he was super important to her? He isn’t safe as long as they stay at the hotel. Am I the only one bothered by the fact that Nugget seriously sunk in importance once Evan came along?” It is true that none of them are safe at the hotel, but it is a place from which they have a good vantage point as well as the meet up spot. The other places they could hide are just as bad (if for different reasons). On some level I think that Cassie knows that Evan could be the tipping point of the war with the Others. He has an intimate expertise as he has been one of the very beings they are fighting. He also has logical reasoning behind his choices and passion to see them carried out. As we have gone over above Cassie has essentially lost EVERYONE that she cares about and loves. She is holding onto a thread. I believe that for her to give up hope on the possibility of Evan being alive, well she might as well sit in the middle of the street and wait for the enemy to shoot her.

    As to why the squad lets her have so much of a say is a two part answer. 1.) The squad is a hierarchy, and Zombie their leader and so (even when they do not like it or agree) they all look to him to what they’re going to do. 2.) Zombie saw what Even did for them. He is not going to easily forget or brush that aside. In addition to that his history and life experience play a big role in his decision as well. We saw it when he went back for Nugget. Personally, I do not think he wants to be party to the (possibly) last family unit being torn apart. He sees that to separate Cassie and Nugget, in a sense would destroy them all because they would lose a huge part of what they are fighting for.

    I completely agree that Evan’s verbal lovey doveyness was creepy.

    I LOVED Pound cake’s point of view and his back-story. It absolutely made perfect sense that this eight year olds PTSD manifested in non-verbal communication. He was a warrior.

    When Zombie couldn’t kill Megan, even though it could have very well meant that they were all going to die as a result of it, was when he emerged from drowning. That was one of my favorite parts as well.

    Teacup… *Sigh* Her death, and it being at Ringer’s hands, sad to say, but that one I saw coming from a mile away.

    Again, awesome post, great observations from your point of view! 😀

    Like

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a detailed comment! I really enjoyed your perspective here.

      I hadn’t really thought about how Cassie might have felt guilty. Good thoughts there; it appears you’ve put a lot of deep thought into her character, and I enjoyed your insights. I did understand that the names make her feel left out (and the fact that her brother has latched onto Zombie and the two of them have a better relationship than she ever will have with him would definitely be upsetting) however, I felt like that wasn’t the most important consideration at the time. My thought is that she should put that aside because of the situation they’re in. It’s not a feeling-sorry-for-oneself time, you know.

      And yes, I know he had to lie about who he was at first (otherwise she most certainly would have shot him) but even beyond that initial necessary lie, he rarely just gives her a direct answer to her questions. He skirts around it and distracts her with talk about how much he loves her. And to me, that’s no kind of communication for a successful relationship.

      I agree that there are no really good places to hide, but my strategy would be to keep on the move as much as possible. However, it did just occur to me that since Zombie was injured, that wouldn’t have been practical anyway. Therefore, I suppose it makes sense for them to hole up somewhere for a while. I understand what you’re saying about Cassie latching onto Evan because she lost everyone else. She even lost Sam, in a way. He’s not Sam anymore, he’s Nugget, and he’s got a family that she isn’t part of now. So even if it’s not logical and I don’t 100% get it, I suppose it does make a lot of sense that she would latch onto the only person she has left. (And a person who did help her and care for her in many ways.)

      I know Zombie is the leader (and a darn good one at that), but he makes really good decisions, and waiting around for Evan isn’t the best decision. Plus, as the series progresses, it mentions the development of a little voice in his head that sounds an awful lot like Ringer, and that voice usually tells him to make the tough but for-the-best decisions. And most importantly, Zombie cares deeply for his squad. He wants to make decisions that are best for all of them. Moving on would be the best decision. On the other hand, Zombie is not in a good place mentally throughout this book, and we see that his decision making capacity is a little frazzled. Since he is the undisputed leader and no one else from the squad would step up to make a decision, but Cassie—not being part of the squad—has no problem insisting on what they do, I suppose I can see how they would end up doing what she wants. Okay, yes. I can kind of see this now.

      Thank you so much for sharing your insights—it’s not every day I get such a lengthy and thought-provoking comment. I’m also delighted that someone else obviously spends as much time thinking about this series as I do. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahah, thank you for your lengthy and thoughtful response, to my response.
        I normally am not able to write down what is going thorough my head when reading something and it was quite enjoyable having this conversation with you.
        Perhaps, we can do it again when I am able to read the last book. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I completely agree on how difficult it is to get what’s inside one’s head out in a coherent way. I would very much enjoy that; definitely stop by for a chat once you’ve read The Last Star. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This was fun to read! Don’t get me wrong, I loved your analysis of the book, but my favorite part of this post was all the Sherlock gifs lol. I did love switching to Ringer’s perspective in this book. Her thought process is the most interesting to me out of all the characters. The Razor and Ringer ship was kind of cute. But then…yeah…

    I think Cassie clings to Evan just because she was alone for so long. To the point of thinking you’re the last human on Earth. That’s pretty depressing, then this guy comes along who makes you feel less alone and takes care of you and provides some of the comforts of your previous life. Yeah they’re kind of annoying, but I can see where the attachment comes from.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I still love that you don’t have any qualms about sharing your opinions, which are probably different from many others, when it comes to a “popular” book or series. Good for you! And chances are, once it’s out there, you’ll find out a lot of people agree with you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! My opinions are often unpopular. I don’t even think about it very much. I’m used to people disagreeing and enjoy the discussions that result. And those rare times when someone agrees with me are pretty awesome too. 🙂

      Like

      1. You have to know what you like and why you like it. Too many people just decide that they’re going to be into something that’s “hot” right now. Not me – I’m very vocally excited about stuff that fits my interests, my standards, and my passions. 🙂 Those of us who choose to “go against the grain” just need to find each other. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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