In the not too distant future six teens, each with a fatal illness, have chosen to leave their decaying bodies to transfer their “memories and personalities” to Pioneer robots, eight-hundred pounds of metal and neuromorphic electronic circuitry. Leaving their human shells behind is only the beginning for these adventurers. At first, there is pain and anger at losing their human form. Then, the fear takes over; fear of losing their memories, their humanity or of simply disappearing. Now they must learn to harness the technology at the tips of their synapse, as well as, coming to grips with the power and strength given their robotic forms. This second chance at life comes with a very high price. The Six must confront Sigma and all costs stop it. A highly developed, Artificial Intelligence, Sigma has escaped human control and is out to rid the world of its greatest nemesis, humans.
Adam, Jenny, Zia, Shannon, Marshall and DeShawn each with their own distinct personality demonstrates you can still be unique even when you are housed in identical forms. But, maybe one of the most difficult tasks for these teens will be learning to work as a team, caring about each other, fighting together and just plain getting along. Highly intelligent, each of these teens was chosen for the Pioneer Project because they are dying. Adam is a geek, who has spent years writing computer games, Zia, has street smarts and is tough as nails, Jenny, is a debutante who had everything, Shannon, a classmate of Adam’s is a wiz at math, Marshall, never let his deformity label him, and DeShawn, has a wicked sense of humor. Full of adventure, heart-ache and intriguing scientific facts, it is a roller coaster ride of emotions, a rousing battle for control of the Earth with teens who will face losses, death and decisions many adults couldn’t handle. And while they don’t come away unscathed, they command respect for who they are and how they handle what life throws at them. The final pages will have you searching the skies, or at least the Internet, for the next installment to hit the streets.
Mark Alpert takes us into our scientific future and begs the question can we hang on to our humanity, compassion, knowledge and understanding of others if we no longer hold a physical human form. Can we handle being given great strength and almost unlimited power to control the world around us? I had a hard time putting The Six down, even though at times I was slowed down a bit by where Mark Alpert was going with his scientific knowledge. I could hear the teen’s voices clearly in the characters, right down to the misbehavior antics and lack of emotional control at times. The commander was a bit stereotypical of a military leader, ‘my way or the highway’, but it fit in with the storyline. There was plenty of high adventure, strife, just a hint of romance and there was enough battle action to make me feel like I was watching a World War II movie.
Formats Available: Book (Regular Type)
Reviewed by Katy, Shawnee Branch