This sci-fi is definitely one of those “quiet YA” books–one that is good but flies under the radar of most people and drowned out by books by popular authors. To be honest, this book had been on my mind even before I met the author a few weeks ago but I finally decided to read it (okay, okay, I listened to it via audiobook but whatever!), and I enjoyed it!
Title: Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad #1)
Author: Scott Reintgen
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Release date: September 12, 2017
Genre: Young adult, sci-fi
Length: 384 pages (hardcover)
Synopsis: (via Goodreads) “Emmett Atwater agrees to leave Earth behind when Babel Communications offers him a fortune. The catch? He has to launch into deep space to get it. One of ten selected recruits, Emmett boards the company’s spaceship and sets course for a planet that Babel has kept hidden from the rest of the world.
Before long, Emmett discovers that all of Babel’s recruits have at least one thing in common: they’re broken. Broken enough that Babel can remold them however it pleases.
Every training session is a ruthless competition where friendships are tested and enemies are made. Each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden—where they will mine nyxia, a substance that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.
But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. Secrets about the volatile substance they’re hoping to mine, about the reclusive humanoids already living on Eden, and about the true intentions for the recruits.
Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.”
The only major complaint I have about this book is that it did become repetitive. Because of the nature of the story and where it started, we’re followed the main character, Emmett, along with others as they compete for a place on Eden. It reminded me a bit of Red Rising in that only a select few will move on. The competitions and what the goal was (to have the highest score) often become monotonous. There are a few small and big kinks along the way, including this underlying suspicion that the company, Babel Communications, isn’t all that it seems. I will say that the ending wasn’t what I expected, and even where the book ended had me feeling a bit indignant. Like how dare the author end it right there? 😂
I like the idea of nyxia, too, and how it can be molded to what the holder wants just by thinking. It’ll be interesting to see how Babel’s idea of what nyxia is may or may not counter with what the Adamite people of Eden think of it. And I’m really intrigued to see the planet and people as a whole (since we’re tossed a general clue about them).
I enjoyed all of these characters. Emmett was a really sweet, down-to-earth character and the story about his family (well, all the characters’ family) was like a punch in the gut (but in a good way). The whole idea of each character being “broken” made me a bit uneasy, but I understand how Babel would want to use that to their advantage. I was sad about a certain character death, and really wonder if it will play a role at all in the next series besides just being on Emmett’s’s conscious. I enjoyed his connection with the other characters, too, though everyone had a right to be suspicious about everything. I’m interested to see how Vandemeer comes into play, too. I have some ideas about him and how he might help but I’m not quite sure how yet.
To be honest, there’s nothing much to say here. The writing style was clear, easy to read (listen to), and it made me feel, which is always a good thing. I do look forward to the next book in the series, and how the author’s writing will develop.
Check out these other reviews:
- Bea at Books Bees gave this book a solid 5 ‘bees’!
- Mars also thought the plot became a bit repetitive.
- Angelina at Fables Library said this book was an “intense, kind of stressful (but in a good way)” book.