YA Book Review: The Six

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Posted: August 2, 2017

Category: Staff Picks

The Six Book Cover: a black silhouette of a boy replaces the I in Six, a green silhouette of a robot is in the background.Adam, a sixteen year old white teenager, has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and uses a wheelchair to move around. Adam knows that he won’t live a long life as his muscular dystrophy progresses further and further, but he is content to spend the rest of his life coding virtual reality football games, a sport he enjoyed when he could still run.

Adam’s father, a computer scientist working on a military project, is doing everything he can to extend his son’s life, including developing software to digitally preserve human minds. But Sigma, an artificial intelligence, escapes from the facility and threatens to destroy humanity. Adam, along with five other terminally ill teens, is selected to have his mind transferred to a weaponized robot, in the U.S. government’s final attempt to stop Sigma.

Fast-paced and engaging, The Six raises interesting concerns over whether transferring a human mind is a continuance of consciousness or just simply the creation of a copy. Not only is Adam’s muscular dystrophy accurately portrayed, we see how he struggles with whether leaving his body behind is the best choice and how a robotic body presents unique challenges, such as having to learn how to synthesize laughter and the inability to feel sensory information, such as wind moving across legs.

Furthermore, Sigma is a truly terrifying enemy, originally designed to defeat enemy AI through any means possible, their lack of emotion leads to a brutal, cold efficiency in their final showdown with Adam and The Six.

All in all, The Six features well-written characters, an engaging and memorable plot where the enemy has no moral constraints, and an emotionally-charged ending.

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