The world Alexandra Monir creates in “The Final Six” is one that is all too believable. Climate change has caused the sea levels to rise, and tsunamis have devastated coastal cities. Rome is underwater and people live on the top floors of tall buildings. Whole populations in large cities have drowned when tsunamis rushed in to engulf everything.
It seems apparent that Earth is doomed, so scientists turn their sights on habitable planets or their moons. It turns out that Europa, Jupiter’s moon, might just be habitable. So scientists are determined to find six teenagers whose bodies can withstand the trip and whose physical or intellectual abilities make them likely to succeed.
24 teenagers are picked to compete for the final six spots. They are brought together at the last site where space travel is possible in Houston. Monir concentrates on two of the 24 teenagers. Leo lost his family when Rome was inundated with water. He was delivering room service to a room on the upper floors of his family’s pensione, hotel. He is bitter about being the lone survivor in his family and spends his time diving for valuables, which he sells to survive. Naomi lives with her family in what is left of Los Angeles. Her brother Sam was born with a genetic disorder, and now that resources are very limited on Earth, no one can help him. Naomi is a scientific genius and is determined to help Sam, and she is equally determined not to travel to Europa and leave her family.
The story is told from alternating first person viewpoints. While the reader will occasionally find it necessary to check who is narrating a particular section, for the most part it’s easy to keep track of whose point of view is being presented. The writing includes plenty of action and dialogue to really help the readers get to know the characters and how the friendships form.
This is a great choice for scifi fans, and there’s quite a bit of romance as well. Some twists toward the end may offer the reader an “aha” moment. It’s the first book of a series, and readers will look forward to reading the sequel because the first book ends on a cliffhanger.
Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover book provided by HarperTeen, the publisher, for review purposes.