Title: The Life Below (The Final Six #2)
Author: Alexandra Monir
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Release Date: February 18th 2020 from HarperTeen
Synopsis: As Naomi lifts off into space and away from a rapidly deteriorating Earth, she watches the world fade away, and along with it Leo, a Final Six contestant she grew close to during training. Leaving Earth behind is hard, but what’s ahead, on Europa, could be worse. The International Space Training Camp continues to hide the truth about what happened to the last group of astronauts who attempted a similar colonization but failed mysteriously. With one shot—at this mission and to Europa—Naomi is determined to find out if there is alien life on Europa before she and her crew get there.
Leo, back on Earth, has been working with renegade scientist Dr. Greta Wagner, who promises to fly him to space where he can essentially latch on to Naomi’s ship. And if Wagner’s hypothesis is right, it isn’t a possibility of coming in contact with extraterrestrial life on Europa—it’s a definite. With Naomi unaware of what awaits, it’s up to Leo to find and warn her and the others.
With all the pieces of their journey finally clicking into place, everything else starts to fall apart. A storm threatens to interfere with Leo’s takeoff, a deadly entity makes itself known to the Final Six, and the questions the ISTC has been avoiding about the previous failed mission get answered in the worst way possible. If the dream was to establish a habitable domain on Europa… the Final Six are about to enter a nightmare.
About the Author
Alexandra Monir, Iranian-American author and recording artist, has published five novels for young adults, including her popular debut, Timeless. A Barnes & Noble best-seller and one of Amazon’s “Best Books ofthe Month,” Timeless and its sequel, Timekeeper, have been featured in numerous media outlets and been published indifferent 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 during 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 is a member of Iranian American Women Foundation an organization near to her heart. Alexandra currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and newborn son.
Full Blog Tour Schedule
I was excited for this sequel, since the first book left on quite the interesting cliffhanger. I enjoyed the cinematic nature of The Final Six and it was the first sci-fi book I read where people were training to go to space, when most of the sci-fi books I’ve read are already in space or deal with science and not space at all. The first book was fun and new for me and I really took to Leo’s story and I had to see what ended up happening to him in the sequel. Naomi and the others of the Final Six on the ship heading towards Europa, but she’s still wondering what exactly they are in store for. Then, Leo is trying to get into space and get to the Final Six after he learns some vital information. He knows what is on Europa and has to warn them before they get there and he has a limited time window to meet up with them.
I really enjoyed how quickly the sequel just picks up where the first book left off. For most of the book, there’s a breakneck pace with all of the revelations, character changes and of course, all the space stuff. This book reminds me of Gravity, where the story shows how scary space can be. There are points where the story really got intense and I couldn’t see the outcome of the story. I like when things suddenly happen and you don’t really know how things will turn out. The author has really done a great job at showing both the fascinating parts of technology to go to space and also the scary possibilities of what could happen in space.
And of course, I have to talk about Naomi and Leo’s romance. They’re romance is really sweet and honest and they’re a very good fit for each other. Leo has no living family left after a huge tidal disaster devastated Italy. So Leo was left in Italy with no living family and simply deep diving and not sure if he wanted to live. But when he meets Naomi and trains to be in the Final Six, he finds life again and that’s truly meaningful. Both of them find a person to confide in, trust and show more of themselves. I really appreciate books this like this series with genuine teens that find romance and it’s honest and sweet and this was a highlight for me.
While the actual scenes on the planet Europa were very short, I did like seeing what was on the planet that was teased about for so long. I liked that the team felt completely out of their element and did struggle to figure out exactly what to do. I want to see more YA books like this that explore more moons and planets in our galaxy or even beyond our galaxy and dive deep into what that exploration could be like.
I’m not sure if this is the final book in the series because I would like at leas one more book, but if it’s the end, this is a fun and entertaining series that I definitely recommend. If you like books that talk about space and get to explore space, do check this series out! I hope that the author writes more sci-fi books since this was a fun series to read.
There’s a giveaway happening for a copy of The Life Below! The giveaway is running from February 18th-March 3rd, but sadly it is US only. But the rafflecopter link is below and good luck if you enter 🙂
Have you read The Final Six and are you excited for this sequel? What are similar YA sci-fi books do you recommend? Thank you to the wonderful FFBC for having me on the tour!