Welcome to my next audio book review of The Final Six a sci-fi competition drama book. If you like things like The Hunger Games, SF, and potential world destruction, this should be on your TBR.
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.
I gotta say, as the The Final Six developed, I liked it even more. And by the end I need the sequel. I think, for me, The Final Six started off pretty predictably, and only by the end did I become more enamored with the book. You know when you think the first book is just sort of okay, but the next book is even better? I feel like that might be the case with The Final Six.
Let me tell you all about my complex feelings. Also I subjected my partner to the second half of this book while driving in Switzerland and he – as someone who doesn’t read any YA – was like this whole premise of the book seems “done already” but I’m getting ahead of myself.
- I really like Naomi. She was more intelligent than like 99% of the other candidates. At the same time, the inclusion of her family made her character more interesting. And she’s an Iranian American and her identity shaped her experience of the program. She talked about the exclusion of diversity. And so Naomi in general was the saving grace for me.
- I love books where humans have to leave the Earth. I mean, we’ve kind of ruined it so this makes a whole lot of sense to me.
- The last third was so good, it makes me really excited for the sequel because it brought in all these elements of unrest, of manipulation, and a real sense of ominous foreboding.
- I hate when people are trying to hide their relationship, and then when they’ve done a pretty bad job at it, are like, “Wait, you all knew this whole time?” to which I yelled, aloud, OF COURSE THEY DID
- I really liked the last 1/3 of the book. Bring on all the angst. Maybe I just need more angst, sadness, and stuff in my books? But this is when I really felt the tension of the book, the conflicts of the characters, and the interest in the future.
- The premise at the beginning felt a little old to me? Like I could name a few other stories with similar set ups. And that, alone, doesn’t make me dislike the book, I just want a new element thrown in. While Monir certainly includes a new element to the mix, I wanted there to be more ominous elements before that.
- I wanted more details about the side characters. I can’t name like…anything about a lot of them.
- I get that Leo is a fantastic swimmer, but I was struggling to figure out what, besides that, he brought to the team.
So as you can see, kind of a mixed bag here this time, but I am still really looking forward to the sequel!