First off a big thank you to the American Book Centre for this advanced reading copy. Normally I’m not the biggest fan of YA novels, mainly because I’m not part of the main demographic. And I am not as big a reader as I used to be. But the premise for The Final Six sounded interesting and the cover intrigued me. Usually, I like to read horror, autobiographies and mostly comics. So this was a good challenge for me to pick up ‘regular’ reading again.
Who are The Final Six?
After multiple natural disasters, mankind is forced to look for alternatives amongst the stars for a new place to live. 24 teens are drafted into the International Space Training Camp by all nations of the world. The goal of this camp is to select the final six, who will travel to Europa, Jupiter’s moon, to help build a new home for humankind. The story follows two of the teens; Leonardo Danieli, an Italian swimming champion and Naomi Ardalan, a science genius from California.
Leo has lost his parents and sister in Rome during a flood. Naomi still has her family, although they had to move a couple of times because of the changes in nature. For Leo this is the chance to leave behind his grief and focus on the future, while Noami reluctantly joins. She suspects that there is more than meets the eye, because a similar mission of the ISTC just failed with no explanation why. Her goal is to uncover the truth. As soon as they enter the Centre, the 24 teens are divided in four teams of six before the first cut. And Noami and Leo find themselves on the same team.
Monir chose a setting that is very believable and maybe even likely in the real future. Nowadays natural disasters are more common than before and the climate change is a real threat. With space exploration back in the limelight thanks to Elon Musk, the stars may be our future as well if things don’t change. Most of the book takes place within the fortified walls of the Training Centre. The teens aren’t allowed to leave during their training, so through focusing the story on the centre, you feel the same constraint as them.
POV style writing
Every chapter alternates between the two main characters, written from their point of view. The first five or so chapters function as building blocks for the characters and from there we follow the storyline.
The rest of the characters aren’t as fleshed out, which is understandable if you have such a big cast. But most of the teens are reduced to their nationality and their specialisation. The only ones who are being fleshed out more are Leo and Naomi’s other team members: Beckett Wolfe, Asher Levin, Suki Chuan and Katerina Fedorin. Rivalries flare up, friendships blossom and there is romance in the air for certain characters.
It took me a while to get into this book. I couldn’t really identify with the main characters, which is logical if you consider I am not the core demographic. But while reading more and more and when the mystery of the Centre came into play, I got sucked into it. I wanted to know more and I wanted to know who would be the final six.
When I started reading, I thought it would be a stand-alone book, but upon finishing it, I discovered it’s part of a series. I don’t think I will be reading the rest, although I am curious what happens next. So Alexandra Monir did a great job in getting me interested in her book and the world she created.
The world is interesting, although the limited setting only serves as a backdrop for the main characters, just as certain characters do. It’s the Leo and Naomi show! I would suggest reading this, if you are interested in science fiction with a whiff of mystery and conspiracy.
The author already has some success with the novel Timeless and it’s follow-up. And Sony Pictures even got an option on this book.
The Final Six will be in stores the 6th of March!
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