The 5th Wave

If you haven’t yet read Rick Yancey’s YA sci-fi thriller The 5th Wave, can I ask what you’re waiting for? Because it’s really that good. (Read Sara Vilkomerson’s review here.) I’m fairly confident I wouldn’t have even survived the first wave, let alone the fifth one. And equally so—due to my impatience—I’m not sure I am capable of surviving the wait for the much-anticipated sequel. (And yes, I realize that’s dramatic. But again, it’s that good, you guys.) The follow-up to Yancy’s Wave isn’t due until May 6, 2014, but I can at least whet your appetite with the title. Drumroll please…

Book 2 in the series will be titled: THE INFINITE SEA. Here, Yancey tells us why he chose that name and teases what he can about the book.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why did you chose The Infinite Sea? Was that always what you wanted to title the book? Or did you go through a process?

RICK YANCEY: When I first began working on it, I called it 5W2. You gotta have a title before you write the first word, even if that title is something like My Next Book. 5W2 worked as well as anything else, since I didn’t really have anything else. I knew I didn’t want to call it The 6th Wave or The 5th Wave—Riptide! or similar plays on the first title. We considered different “Ocean-” or “Current-” or “Tide-” Something titles. As I worked through the plot of the second book, I kept coming back to the imagery Cassie uses when she’s in the safe room looking for her brother, when the crowd of children makes her think of humanity as “an infinite sea of upturned faces.” This image came back for spoilerish reasons, so I can’t go into all the details into how The Infinite Sea became the title for the sequel.

What can you tease about The Infinite Sea?

More aliens! More mistrust! More betrayal! More explosions and mayhem! Twists, reversals, surprises! Also, we get to see this new, Other-created world through the eyes of different characters. Ringer, for one, whose narrative is the most urgent and haunting of any of the voices I’ve channeled thus far. We will discover the answer that everyone asks, nearly every day: “Did Evan survive?” The sequel, like the first book, explores the boundaries between hope and despair, damnation and deliverance, and what ultimately makes us us and not them. Oh, and expect a huge shocker of an ending!

Where does The Infinite Sea pick up from the end of The 5th Wave?

We begin days after Cassie and Ben escape from the enemy camp. Deep winter has settled in and the final stage of the attack begins.

When we last talked, The 5th Wave was really exploding. How have things changed now that a little more time has passed?

A lot of it still hasn’t sunk in. The book has been on the best-seller list since its first week of publication in May. Earlier this summer, my son and I traveled to L.A. to have dinner with Tobey Maguire, whose Material Pictures is co-producing the film adaptation. And I’m like, “Hey, wait a minute. That’s Tobey Maguire sitting right next to me!”