Summary: (3/5 stars) The Final Six is probably a better book than my star rating indicates. I just didn’t love it because it felt like a lot of build-up with little pay-off.  But I think that’s because I’m far less interested in the interpersonal relationships of young people than I am in space travel and the associated mysteries.  It’s a YA book, mind you. So, it feels a little wrong to evaluate it by standards that aren’t quite right for YA, but whatevs.

The basic premise of the book is that earth has been devastated by climate change and is becoming uninhabitable.  So, the various countries and space agencies around the world have teamed up to send a team of teenagers to Europa where they will begin terraforming the moon for human habitation.  The reason they pick teenagers is because they’re old enough to learn complicated things, but young enough to remain adaptable to all the things that the mission requires.  But there’s more to the mission that the teens are being told. DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUUNNNNN!

An interesting, if far-fetched premise, with characters that I liked pretty well.  The conflicts don’t build up high enough for my tastes and don’t pay off in the way I wanted.  But it’s good enough that I will probably pick up the next book at some point in hopes of getting more of that space travel goodness.

SPOILER WARNING: From this point forward, I’m going to discuss this book without any concern about spoilers. So, if you don’t like spoilers you should stop reading now.

I really don’t want to trash this book, because as I said in my GoodReads review, it’s pretty OK.  It’s not terrible.  And I don’t think it has any MAJOR flaws.  It just has a bunch of things that I don’t particularly enjoy.

First of all, the whole love-at-first-sight thing between the two main characters.  Blah.

Second, the predictability of the book.  You know almost as soon as you see the pieces on the board, that one of the two main characters is going to get cut and it has to be the one who really wants to go.  But you know he’ll, yes, it’s Leo, still find a way into space.  And you also know that their nemesis is going to get picked to go and he’ll probably be put in charge so that the two young lovers are kept in conflict.  You know who is behind the conspiracy theory website.  And you can probably figure out what the space agency is doing to these kids.

Third, the science is just terrible. Young folks may not realize it and maybe even most readers won’t notice it.  But this book is chock full of preposterous details from computer science to biology.  Even the way space agencies work to plan a launch is ridiculous.

Those are the big things in the book that I didn’t like and even though it sounds bad written like that, I promise that these are not insurmountable problems.  I think most readers will not mind or notice most of this.

What did I like about it?

I like the basic premise of colonizing Europa.  I think the idea of building the colony between the ice and the ocean of water is very clever and interesting.  I like the main characters because they’re smart and driven and interesting. They’re also really good at what they do without coming off as Mary/Marty Sues.  I like the mystery of the aliens and the biological engineering.  I can’t wait to learn more about that.

Overall, I think this is probably a pretty interesting book for YA readers who enjoy sci-fi. Will it change the world? No.  Will they enjoy it? Yes, I think so.