Thursday, October 27, 2022

Book Review: The Life Before, by Alexandra Monir (The Final Six #2)

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

I stand in front of the square plastic smidge of mirror above my bathroom sink, checking my reflection half an hour before the landmark Earth-to-Deep Space press conference that will broadcast us live to hundreds of millions in a special live episode of the Final Six docuseries. It’s only the second time astronauts have ever video-chatted with Earth from this great a distance – nearly halfway to Mars – and I try not to think about what happened to the last crew as I run a brush through my hair.

Dr. Takumi told us that more than half of Earth’s population is expected to tune in today. I can barely wrap my head around that staggering a number, but the thought of my family watching – and maybe, hopefully, Leo – is what gives me focus. My feelings about the mission may waver, but my desire to make them proud is a constant.

This second book finishes telling the exciting story of The Final Six and their plan to colonize one of Jupiter’s moons, which is hopefully more stable than Earth.

Official synopsis:
Book Review: The Life Before, by Alexandra Monir (The Final Six #2)
It was hard enough for Naomi to leave Leo, a fellow Final Six contestant, behind on a dying Earth. Now she doesn’t know who to trust.

The International Space Training Camp continues to dodge every question about its past failed mission, and Naomi is suspicious that not everything is as it seems on her own mission to Europa. With just one shot at Jupiter’s moon, Naomi is determined to find out if there is dangerous 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 dock with 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, and it’s up to Leo to find and warn Naomi and the crew.

With questions piling up, everything gets more dangerous the closer that the mission gets to Europa. A storm threatens to interfere with Leo’s takeoff, a deadly entity makes itself known to the Final Six, and all questions the ISTC has been avoiding about the previous mission get answered in a terrifying way.

If the dream was to establish a new world for humans on Europa…the Final Six are about to enter a nightmare.
Book 1 of this duology covered the choosing of an international team of teens being taught to start an essentially new civilization on a moon of Jupiter. Unfortunately for a few of these brilliant teens, some of the bonds they made in training were now intended to be severed—and they’d be working and trusting their lives to others who they didn’t trust as much, if at all.
While they trained for a lot of obstacles and possibilities, they’re soon faced with even bigger problems, like potential sabotage on this life or death trip. The teens will have to re-examine their beliefs about who to trust, find out more about why they were chosen for this mission, and push their gifts and intelligence to new heights if they want to survive, let alone thrive, on a new planet.
This story was well-told and action-packed. It is definitely worth 3 out of 5 stars, and once someone has read the first one, they should totally read this book for the thrilling conclusion. 
{click here to purchase}

Becki Bayley enjoys relaxing with a book and a cocktail when taking a break from the endless list of work and mom tasks. Check out snapshots of her life on Instagram, where she posts as PoshBecki.


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