The Six

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Author: Alpert, Mark
Grades: 8 - 11
Can be suitable for teenaged readers
Sequential series - trilogy. Sci-fi thriller.This is a well-written young adult trilogy that could be kashered with editing. A group of 6 terminally ill teens agree to give up their lives to have their brain impulses transferred to metalic non-humanoid robots, who are then employed to fight a rogue AI (artificial intelligence) that is trying to destroy mankind. (all loosely based on existing or projected scientific inventions). Some boy/girl and hashkafa issues. Violence.

Comments are explicit and detailed and are intended for parents to use to determine acceptability for their children. Please read comments - do not rely on ratings alone. Books are reviewed to the best of our abilities, we apologize for any errors.

Review Date Title Rating Mini Series Series No. Comments
05/24/2018 The Six Problematic 1
Sci-fi thriller. This is a well-written young adult book that could be kashered with editing. A group of 6 terminally ill teens agree to give up their lives to have their brain impulses transferred to metalic non-humanoid robots, who are then employed to fight a rogue AI (artificial intelligence) that is trying to destroy mankind. (all loosely based on existing or projected scientific inventions). Hero of story is a boy who has muscular dystrophy and is partially paralyzed; his previous friends, a boy and a girl, do not visit any more. He programs a virtual reality game in which the girl is a cheerleader who cheers for him playing football ; she says "I love you, I want to be with you forever" (11). Boy is jealous and thinks the boy and girl are now boyfriend/girlfriend with each other - they aren't - boy has a different girlfriend, and girl ran away from parents. In description of friend with girlfriend, she wears a crop-top and he has his hand on her waist (80). Boy hugs terminally ill girl (87) - friendly. Language: jerk, idiot, heck, stupid, hellfire (weapon), butt, screw up. Boys and girls are friends. Non-romantic negiah. Passing reference to Darwinian evolution. Description of girl with mohawk and piercings and tattoo. Boy listens to song by x-rated rap group (mentioned by name), likes it because it annoys his parents (68). Boy's mother turns to religion to get comfort over his illness, he is annoyed by this. He has theological argument with her over whether he will be himself after he is transferred to robot body; she says his soul will go to G-d. He worries that there is nothing after death. Mild boy/girl talk p. 110. In robot form, boy puts his consciousness into girl robot, they can both see each other's thoughts and they feel as if they are "naked". Later they 'kiss' in their shared consciousness reality (226-227, 236, 320). AI says that boy (robot) is pursuing girl as 'mate' even though he can no longer father children (320). One of the girls is rumored to have a crush on the army commander. One of boys says he drank liquor stolen from his mother's cabinet. Passing mention of Xmas. Kids are chutzpadik to adults when they think they are wrong. Girl has memory of 2 leering boys attacking her - no details of attack. Violence.
05/24/2018 The Siege Problematic 2
Sequel to The Six. This is a well-written young adult sci-fi thriller that could be kashered with editing. See also comments on The Six. Robots fight AI (artificial intelligence), which kills tens of thousands of people with anthrax, and inhabits human bodies, causing metal spikes to grow out of their skin. Violence against robots and people. Adam (boy robot) and Shannon (girl robot) consider themselves to be a 'couple' and he calls her his girlfriend; however, they do not do anything romantic. Shannon becomes upset about the fact that Adam did not share with her the fact that he previously "kissed" another girl robot in virtual reality (in previous book) - she breaks up with him over this - pages 59 and 152. Language: butt, heck, stupid, freaking, idiot. One robot thinks a girl robot is 'in love' with the human general (40) - later it turns out that she hates him. Boy robot thinks that it's possible for a robot to have romantic feelings since he has them for his 'girlfriend' and for the girl robot he kissed (who then died) (40). Mention secret crush he had when he was human (41). Boy stole liquor from his mother's cabinet (42). Description of new robot girl before she became a robot: goth girl in low-cut corset (48). Mother of sick girl committed suicide. Mention doctors cut off clothing of sick girl (100). Mention that boy had fallen in love with friend who was a girl, because she was the only one who visited when he was sick (101). Mention that she gave him a kiss on top of his head (116). Boy went swimming with girl (118). Boy robot whispers 'I love you' to unconscious girl friend (118, 119). Boy robot thinks former robot girlfriend is about to hug him, she doesn't (127). New girl robot is overly friendly and boy robot thinks she is flirting (138). Former girlfriend robot touches his robot arm, and he is calmed down; thinks about how he misses physical touch as a robot.(213). Mention of picture of woman in bikini (216). Mention of TV, Times Square on New Year's Eve. Evil AI takes on robot form of old man with white beard, referred to as "G-d" robot, which he took from boy's imagination of what G-d looks like (chapter 19), including how he does a good job of mimicking the "angry Almighty" (232). Discussion of general concept of evolution and whether robots are next evolutionary step (231, 235). When AI inhabits 3 robots, compared to the Trinity (241). Description of girl wearing strapless curvy dress (268). Another kiss in virtual reality (270). In preview of the next book, mention of kiss (281).
05/24/2018 The Silence Problematic 3
This book is somewhat more problematic than the previous ones, but can still be kashered with editing. See also comments on previous 2 books. Teen robots fight powerful intruders and find out that they and their entire world is actually an AI (Artificial intelligence) program being run by AI beings from the future. In author's note at the end notes that in a real-life scientific conference, this theory was proposed (that the world we live in is just an AI projection), and it was determined that there is a high probablitiy that it is - could confuse an imaginative or mentally fragile kid. Page XIII - boy and girl robots flirt, she tells him she used to be 'hot', projection of girl in strapless dress. Reference to virtual-reality kiss - page 3. Strapless dress (19). Boy robot reveals that he is gay and has a crush on another boy robot (36-37 - entire pages; also reference on 169,199,318). Passing mention of religious question of whether robots are real recreations of people, or if their souls went to heaven. Boy robot gets a new girlfriend robot - no romance, just close relationship. Human official admits that he had an affair with girl robot's mother, and that girl was his biological child (75, 106) - this can be edited out, leaving in referrences that he is responsible for her parents' deaths (her father shot her mother and himself). Referrence to relationship with previous 'girlfriend' robot and how it broke up (81). Language: pee, heck, hellion, shut up, idiot, kick butt, freaking. Violence. Friendly 'negiah' between robots. Description of girl and boy together in virtual reality 117-118,122. Robots hug 145. When 2 robots are communicating, another robot calls them 'lovebirds' and asks if they are 'smooching' (109). Names of non-Jewish music groups. Boy robot remembers staring at girl because she was beautiful. Passing mention of Big Bang. Girl talks about not being a 'hottie' but being cute (286). Passing mention of 'conception' 9 months before person was born (209). some friendly 'negiah' between robots, and between robot and girl.