Thursday, June 09, 2022

Teen/YA Review: The Final Six

I was looking for a quick audiobook for the week before the #BigBookSummer Challenge began, something I could listen to and enjoy in the short time before I switched to Big Books for the summer. The Final Six by Alexandra Monir, a YA science fiction novel, was the perfect fit!

This novel takes place in a near future, where the climate crisis on Earth has passed the point of no return. Sea levels have risen--and continue to rise--so that entire regions have disappeared, and it is too late for humans to stop the disaster from continuing. International leaders have agreed to a plan: to send six teenagers to Europa, one of Jupiter's moons that experts think can sustain human life, to set up a colony. To accomplish this, they choose 24 of the best and the brightest teens from around the world, each with different skills and talents. The 24 teens will go through a two-week space camp to train and be evaluated, and then the final six will be chosen. Two teens in particular are the focus of this novel. Leo lives in Rome, Italy, and has lost his entire family in the climate disaster. As the novel opens, he has decided he has nothing left to live for. Getting chosen as one of the 24 literally saves his life, and Leo wants to be a part of this project. Leo's extraordinary talents are swimming, diving, and holding his breath underwater, all of which will be essential for the Europa mission. Naomi is one of two teens chosen from the United States. She is brilliant in science and computers, but has no interest in leaving Earth, probably forever. Unlike Leo, Naomi does have a family, including a little brother with a heart defect. Her mission in life is to find a cure for her brother's condition, and even as a teen, she has already made inroads into genetic therapy. The other teen candidate from the U.S. is an excellent swimmer, like Leo, and happens to be the nephew of the President. Leo and Naomi and the other candidates train and compete for the six positions, while things begin to go wrong, even as they are safely ensconced at NASA.

This was an intriguing premise: sort of like a competitive reality show with real-life stakes, with the state of the Earth a chilling, all-too-real situation. Leo and Naomi were the central characters here, though the author also introduces readers to many of the other teens as well. This story was loaded with tension and suspense, with multiple ways that this mission--and the training camp--can go wrong. I enjoyed it on audio, narrated by both the author and James Fouhey (as Naomi and Leo, respectively) and was engrossed from beginning to end. The novel ends with the final six being chosen, and there is a sequel, The Life Below, about what happens once the teens leave on the mission.

320 pages, HarperTeen


This book fits in the following 2022 Reading Challenges:

Alphabet Soup Challenge - F

Diversity Challenge

Literary Escapes Challenge - Texas

Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. My review is my own opinion and is not influenced by my relationship with the publisher or author.


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Listen to a sample of the audiobook here and/or download it from Audible.


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Or you can order The Final Six from Book Depository, with free shipping worldwide.



  1. I haven't heard of this one, but it's such an intriguing premise! What do we do once we've reached the point of no return....

    1. Yes, I agree - that was intriguing to me, too.