Series: The Six #2
Also in this series: The Six
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on 7/5/16
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing)
Adam gave up everything for a new chance at life. Now with a cutting-edge digital mind, he is smarter, faster, better than a normal teen. Except Adam is anything but invincible. He's indebted to the government program that gave him this ability-and freedom comes at a price.
Adam and his teammates, the six Pioneers, swore to defend humanity against Sigma, the most ruthless artificial intelligence program ever designed. The Pioneers are all that stand between the AI and world domination. But Sigma has an advantage. It has learned about human weakness, and its new weapon? Betrayal.
In this war between good and evil, the battle lines have been drawn...but someone is about to switch sides.
***NOTE: This review is for the second book in a series, but doesn’t really contain spoilers for the first book The Six. Click on the link to see my review of that book.***
If you’re looking for true YA sci-fi (not sci-fi light), then this series is for you!
What Fed My Addiction:
- The sci fi. Fans of technology and sci-fi will love the different robots and gadgets in this series. I loved all of the descriptions of the different robots and how each person chose their “main” robot body and face. The physical manifestations of each of the characters were not only entertaining, they gave us insight into the characters’ personalities. It was obvious that Alpert put a lot of thought into what each character’s robot should look like and how it would represent them. All of the outrageous machines and technologies seemed a little crazy, but just like in the last book, if you read Alpert’s notes at the end (which you definitely should!), you’ll see that he’s based them all on true scientific possibilities – ideas that are actually being implemented now in one form or another. I love that Alpert has the science to back up his fiction!
- Moral questions. Just like in the first book, my favorite thing about this series is all of the questions it presents about what makes us human. Are we merely a gathering of thoughts, feelings and memories, or is there something more? Is Adam truly Adam or just a copy?What happens if we create and AI that doesn’t have human feelings or morals? Is there some point at which the melding of humans and technology can go awry? All great questions that are pondered (but not necessarily definitively answered – which I actually appreciate in a lot of ways!).
- Bring on the plot twists. There were some twists and turns that I definitely didn’t see coming – especially one at the very end! Can’t wait to see where they take us in the next book!
What Left Me Wanting More:
- Big battle scenes aren’t my favorite. This is completely a personal preference – I just tend to get a little bored with big battle scenes in books (I confess that I sometimes even skim them). I think that all of the sci-fi robot battles in this book were pretty spectacular, but eventually I start to lose interest. If you love those kinds of scenes, you will love this book! (Actually, I think my 14-year-old son would ADORE this series, partially for that reason – he won’t read ebooks, though, so I’ll have to see if I can my hands on them in paperback.)
- Romantic spat. Adam and his girlfriend Shannon ended up in a conflict based on some information that Adam withheld from her, but I honestly felt like it was blown out of proportion a bit and I couldn’t quite see why she wouldn’t forgive him – or at least talk it through. The romantic relationships and conflicts are just a bit shallow in this series. (But, again, probably fine for the younger YA set – especially the boys).
This series is full of action and highly enjoyable. I give this second book 4/5 stars.
***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
About Mark Alpert:
Mark Alpert, author of Final Theory, The Omega Theory, Extinction, The Furies and The Six, is a contributing editor at Scientific American. In his long journalism career he has specialized in explaining scientific ideas to readers, simplifying esoteric concepts such as extra dimensions and parallel universes. And now, in his novels, Alpert weaves cutting-edge science into high-energy thrillers that elucidate real theories and technologies.
A lifelong science geek, Alpert majored in astrophysics at Princeton University and wrote his undergraduate thesis on the application of the theory of relativity to Flatland, a hypothetical universe with only two spatial dimensions. (The resulting paper was published in the Journal of General Relativity and Gravitation and has been cited in more than 100 scholarly articles.) After Princeton, Alpert entered the creative writing program at Columbia University, where he earned an M.F.A. in poetry in 1984. He started his journalism career as a small-town reporter for the Claremont (N.H.) Eagle Times, then moved on to the Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser. In 1987 he became a reporter for Fortune Magazineand over the next five years he wrote about the computer industry and emerging technologies. During the 1990s Alpert worked freelance, contributing articles to Popular Mechanicsand writing anchor copy for CNN’s Moneyline show. He also began to write fiction, selling his first short story (“My Life with Joanne Christiansen”) to Playboy in 1991.
In 1998 Alpert joined the board of editors at Scientific American, where he edited feature articles for the magazine and wrote a column on exotic high-tech gadgets. With his love for science reawakened, he wrote his first novel, Final Theory, about Albert Einstein and the historic quest for the holy grail of physics, the Theory of Everything. Published by Touchstone in 2008, Final Theory was hailed as one of the best thrillers of the year by Booklist, Borders and the American Booksellers Association. Foreign rights to the novel were sold in more than twenty languages, and the movie rights were acquired by Radar Pictures, a Los Angeles production company. Alpert continued the saga of the Theory of Everything in his second book, The Omega Theory, a gripping story about religious fanatics who try to trigger Doomsday by altering the laws of quantum physics. His next thriller, Extinction, focused on brain-computer interfaces and a collective intelligence that decides to exterminate the human race. His fourth novel, The Furies, told the story of an ancient clan who share a genetic mutation so shocking that its discovery could change the course of history. And his first Young Adult novel, The Six, is about six dying teenagers whose lives are “saved” when their minds are downloaded into U.S. Army robots.
Alpert lives in Manhattan with his wife and two non-robotic teenagers. He’s a proud member of Scientific American’s softball team, the Big Bangers.