Saturday, March 3, 2018

Blog Tour Review with Giveaway: The Final Six by Alexandra Monir

Book info:
TitleThe Final Six
Author:  Alexandra Monir
Genre:  YA Science Fiction
Release Date:  March 6th, 2018
Publisher:  Harper Teen
Source:  E-galley from Netgalley
My rating: 4 stars

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.

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My Review:
This is my first book by this author, but it won't be my last!  I am a fan of books that have two different characters that we get to go back and forth between their viewpoints.  Since I usually prefer first person point of view, it is nice to do the different people, because that means you get to know things that you wouldn't if it was just from one character's point of view in first person.  For the most part it was easy to tell which character I was reading right away.  Something I liked about the two characters we got to follow is that they both had pretty different backgrounds.  We start the story with Leo, an Italian boy who has lost all of his family in the climate change disasters happening on Earth.   When we first meet him, he is ready to be done with all of it.  He not only lost all of his family, he saw their dead bodies floating in the water below his home when he would dive to try to locate things in order to come up with money to live.  Leo is an incredible swimmer and diver, and has chosen to end his life in the depths of the new ocean, joining his family.  But as soon as he's decided to be done, there is a disturbance, it seems that there has been someone from his city of Rome that has been chosen as a finalist to go on the colonizing ship to Europa, Jupiter's moon. Since he's a main character, you can guess that he is the one chosen. And while he Leo now feels he has been given a reason to live, one of his friends tells him there may be more to him being chosen, that they have secrets they're not telling the public about this trip to space.

The second main character is Naomi, and her background is so different because she still has both her parents and her younger brother despite all of the disasters in the world.  However, her brother has a genetic disease, one that will not get the chance to be cured since all of Earth's greatest minds are now working on how to get humans off the planet and safely to another planet that has not been destroyed by humans' mistakes.    Naomi has a great scientific mind.  She has invented a few things during her years in science fair competitions.  But of course some of those things were not going to get to be used due to the catastrophes that destroyed the world.  And once her brother developed the disease, she turned all her efforts into trying to save him.  So when she finds out that she is also one of the contestants, she is not as thrilled as Leo.  In fact, she wants to decline.  Unfortunately, this is a draft, you cannot refuse the decision.

Things move so quickly, that both Leo and Naomi must be introduced on the day they are chosen.  It is a look that Leo gives Naomi at the press conference that makes a connection between them, she can see his sympathy.  Once all 24 of the semi-finalists are brought together, it is determined that they will be competing against others with their same qualifications to choose the final six.  Naomi doesn't want to get picked, wants to get back to help her brother.  And she has her own doubts about the truth behind this mission, based on past failed missions to Mars, as well as conspiracies on the Internet, that question if there might already be life on Europa.  So she goes into the competition not wanting to win, but wanting to be able to find out what secrets are being hid from the public, and hoping that by figuring those things out, she can save a lot of people.

There are all kinds of crazy things that happen during the competition, and the timeline to choose the final six that will actually be on the mission gets moved up.  We get to see some of the disasters take place while we follow the competition.  There are good competitors, and of course ones that may not be there for the right reasons.  Leo and Naomi's relationship deepens and becomes more than just friendship. To the point that Naomi changes her mind about wanting to go on the mission based on the things she discovers about what the leaders are hiding.

There is spying, sabotage, intense injuries, and the simulations are incredible!  Leo is definitely the most qualified for the position they have in mind for him, and honestly, Naomi is after the dust settles on who is left for her position. But both want to end up on the mission, and if only one of them is able to go, the other will be worried about them.  And in the end, it ends up that only one is chosen. There is sabotage and blackmail that creates this situation based on actions the two took during their time training.  But at the end there is a big surprise as the one who finds out they will have to be left behind, also finds an ally that is unexpected, one that wants to make sure that not only does the mission succeed, but that it succeeds in the ways that will help humans settle Europa.  Settle it in a way that will not be the destructive ways of humans on Earth in the past.

I had a hard time putting it down when I picked it up, and I didn't have much time to get this read, but I sped through it easily with the way the story flowed and kept me hanging on each event to know what would turn out from all the different twists and turns the story took.  I'm glad this will have to be a series, because the only way I could have seen it ending in one book with the time things were taking was if the mission didn't even leave Earth. Well, they do, and so now we have to find out what is actually waiting on Europa for our Final Six.


About the Author:

Iranian-American author and recording artist Alexandra Monir has published five novels for young adults, including her popular debut, Timeless. A Barnes and Noble bestseller and one of Amazon’s Best Books of the Month,” Timeless and its sequel, Timekeeper, have been featured in numerous media outlets and been published in different countries around the world. She followed the duology with Suspicion and The Girl in the Picture, both standalone YA thrillers. Her upcoming science fiction novel, THE FINAL SIX (March 6, 2018) was acquired by HarperCollins and Sony Pictures on the same week, in two major pre-emptive deals. 

Alexandra is also a singer/songwriter who often integrates music into her books’ pages. She wrote and recorded three original songs to accompany Timeless and Timekeeper, which were released as the album The Timeless EP and distributed by Jimmy Buffett's record label, Mailboat Records. She also recorded a song that was released with the publication of Suspicion, and is composing a stage musical geared toward Broadway. Her musical roots are deep, as she is the granddaughter of the late Monir Vakili, the foremost Iranian opera singer.

Alexandra Monir is a frequent speaker at middle schools and high schools across the country and at major events including fan conventions, women’s leadership conferences, and book festivals. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and newborn son. To learn more about Alexandra, visit her online at

Connect with Alexandra Monir:


      Prize: 2 signed copies of THE FINAL SIX by Alexandra Monir
      US Only
      Starts: 2/25
      Ends: 3/14

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