The Six by Mark Alpert
Published July 1, 2015 by Sourcebooks Fire
A hardcore science fiction joyride.
What happens when you take six dying teens and upload their brains into the most technologically advanced robots ever created by man? You get a team of unruly superheroes who are the only hope for destroying a rogue Artificial Intelligence hell-bent on the destruction of all humanity.
Meet the Six, a group of teens given a second lease on life. Led by the violent ex-gang member Zia and computer prodigy Adam, who happens to be the son of the tech-genius who is leading the entire operation, the Six have less than a month to learn how to fight together using their new robot bodies. A rogue AI program, named Sigma, that was also created by Adam’s father, is trying to take over the world – and now only Adam and his team can stop it.
The best feature of THE SIX is that the author does not portray the scientists as the bad guys. In fact, advanced science and technology is on the side of the good guys – they need it to save the lives of millions of people. Among a wealth of dystopias and sci-fi novels in which the scientists and the government are the enemy, this standpoint is refreshing and exciting.
With accessible writing and a diverse cast of characters, THE SIX is a well done sci-fi action novel that will appeal perfectly to its intended audience. However, adult readers of YA, particularly women, will most likely find the series opener not quite to their tastes. There is the tiniest hint of romance, but once the teens are virtually ensconced in their new robot bodies, any hint of romance is crushed but the technological barriers between them.
The verdict: I highly recommend THE SIX, a well-researched, hardcore science fiction joyride for fans of first-person shooter video games like Halo and Destiny. Fans of YA sci-fi romance and dystopias may find it not quite suited to their tastes.
(Adapted from a review first published in School Library Journal, June 2015 issue)