An exciting sequel in this scifi series... The Life Below by Alexandra Monir (Review & #Giveaway) @the_ffbc

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The Life Below
(The Final Six #2)
By Alexandra Monir
YA SciFi
Hardcover, Audiobook & ebook, 338 Pages
February 18th 2020 by HarperTeen


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.

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My Review

THE LIFE BELOW picks right up after the first book, skipping back and forth between Leo's and Naomi's perspectives as the next stage in finding a habitable planet for humans. There is a constant undertone of danger that grows as the story progresses, with a few twists that make for an intriguing read. Recommended to fans of the series and scifi space stories.

I really liked both Leo and Naomi. They're just great characters and pretty much on the same page. They don't trust everything they're told or shown, but instead decide to take some things into their own hands. I also liked the twist in this one of not knowing who might sabotage the mission and what these kids would find once they reached Europa. Romance does play a role in the story, but it isn't the main focus and I liked that there was quite a bit more going on than just that. I don't know if I completely buy the whole plot of what is found on Europa and how that relates to earth, but it was definitely a new idea from what I've read before. There wasn't a lot of action, but what there is was plenty intense, particularly the climatic ending. There were some unanswered questions at the end of this one and I'm curious to see how the author works those out in the next book.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was a quick, entertaining read! The story moved at a good pace, with a few twists, a bit of romance, and an intriguing plot.

Content: Some swearing, violence, and closed-door scenes.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through the Fantastic Flying Book Club, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Other Books in the Series

The Final Six
(The Final Six #2)
By Alexandra Monir
YA SciFi, Dystopian
Hardcover, Audiobook & ebook, 352 Pages
March 6th 2018 by HarperTeen


When Leo, an Italian championship swimmer, and Naomi, a science genius from California, are two of the twenty-four teens drafted into the International Space Training Camp, their lives are forever altered. After erratic climate change has made Earth a dangerous place to live, the fate of the population rests on the shoulders of the final six who will be scouting a new planet. Intense training, global scrutiny, and cutthroat opponents are only a few of the hurdles the contestants must endure in this competition.

For Leo, the prospect of traveling to Europa—Jupiter’s moon—to help resettle humankind is just the sense of purpose he’s been yearning for since losing his entire family in the flooding of Rome. Naomi, after learning of a similar space mission that mysteriously failed, suspects the ISTC isn’t being up front with them about what’s at risk.

As the race to the final six advances, the tests get more challenging—even deadly. With pressure mounting, Naomi finds an unexpected friend in Leo, and the two grow closer with each mind-boggling experience they encounter. But it’s only when the finalists become fewer and their destinies grow nearer that the two can fathom the full weight of everything at stake: the world, the stars, and their lives.

Read my review HERE.

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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 of the Month,” Timeless and its sequel, Timekeeper, have been featured in numerous media outlets and been published in different 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 the Iranian American Women Foundation, an organization near to her heart. Alexandra currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and newborn son. To learn more about Alexandra, visit her online at

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Did you read the first book in the series? Will you be reading this one?

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