Set in the near future, this action-packed YA novel—already optioned by Sony—will take readers out of their world and on a quest to become one of six teens sent on a mission to Jupiter’s moon. When Leo, an Italian championship swimmer, and Naomi, a science genius from California, are two of the twenty-four teens drafted into the International Space Training Camp, their lives are forever altered. After erratic climate change has made Earth a dangerous place to live, the fate of the population rests on the shoulders of the final six who will be scouting a new planet. Intense training, global scrutiny, and cutthroat opponents are only a few of the hurdles the contestants must endure in this competition. For Leo, the prospect of traveling to Europa—Jupiter’s moon—to help resettle humankind is just the sense of purpose he’s been yearning for since losing his entire family in the flooding of Rome. Naomi, after learning of a similar space mission that mysteriously failed, suspects the ISTC isn’t being up front with them about what’s at risk. As the race to the final six advances, the tests get more challenging—even deadly. With pressure mounting, Naomi finds an unexpected friend in Leo, and the two grow closer with each mind-boggling experience they encounter. But it’s only when the finalists become fewer and their destinies grow nearer that the two can fathom the full weight of everything at stake: the world, the stars, and their lives.
Published March 6th 2018 by HarperTeen
Three and a half stars: A thrilling, dystopian book featuring teenagers competing to colonize Jupiter’s moon.
Another devastating storm has decimated another major city. Earth and all of its inhabitants are in extreme danger due to catastrophic climate changes. The only hope now rests on the shoulders of an elite group of twenty four teenagers, picked from the entire world’s population for their gifts. They will compete for six coveted spots to head into space. The destination is Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, where they hope to set up a colony and save humanity. Competition is stiff, as many have no future on Earth, and no families to return home to. Not everyone, though, is a willing participant. Naomi wants nothing more than to stay with her family and protect her brother, but her brilliant mind is needed on the mission. Who will stay and who will go?
What I Liked:
- The Final Six is an exciting dystopian novel that features teenagers competing for a chance to colonize one of Jupiter’s moons in the hopes of saving humanity. I liked the thrilling story, the danger, the suspense and the science. It was an exciting and entertaining read.
- The competition was fierce, but I was pleased that, for the most part, the teens worked together and formed alliances. There was only one instance of a mean kid. I enjoyed seeing the relationships form, and how they looked out for one another.
- I liked that the story had a sense of urgency due to the cataclysmic conditions on Earth. Global weather changes brings huge storms with flooding and devastation. It was scary stuff.
- For all of you who want a romance, there is a little romance in this one. I liked that it started out as an attraction, moved into a strong friendship built on trust and respect before blossoming into a relationship. It was sweet and lovely. Just right for this type of story.
- I enjoyed the suspense. Things are not what they seem, and Naomi is constantly digging for the truth. Not all is revealed, so there are plenty of things to follow up on in the next book, such as what really lies on Europa. Why the urgency? What were the big scientists hiding and so forth.
- I listened to the audiobook version narrated by the author, Alexandra Monir and James Fouhey. It isn’t often you get an author narrating their own book, and Ms. Monir does an excellent job. I was impressed with the audiobook version.
And The Not So Much:
- The book ends with a big, fat cliffhanger, leaving everything hanging. I hate cliffhangers.
- I found the world building a little lacking. I wished that more of Earth’s current conditions were explained. There were all these devastating storms, but I didn’t have a sense of what was remaining. How high was the water rising? Where were the main populations? How were the crops and animals faring?
- Europa is a big mystery. I wanted more information on this moon. Why had they decided to colonize there? What were the conditions like? There were so many questions surrounding Europa.
- Ugh... the whole mean kid trope rears its ugly head in this one. I didn’t like the cutthroat competition. It didn’t make sense to only take six. Each participant had a specialty, but what if one of them died? Then what?
- I thought some of the stunts Naomi pulled were a little far fetched. She couldn’t have gotten away with her exploits in that controlled environment.
The Final Six was an engaging, entertaining, thrilling and suspenseful read. I enjoyed the story, the characters and the race for space. This was an exciting book that I couldn’t put down. There were a few minor flaws, but not enough to deter my overall enjoyment of this book. I will be eagerly awaiting the next book.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.