Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad #1)
By Scott Reintgen
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
With millions of dollars at stake, walking away isn’t an option.
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.
Science fiction, I love it. With that being said, it has to deliver as I can be a tough critic. I think we all tend to approach our favorite genres with raised expectations. I generally require two things when exploring sci-fi; an intelligent plot and entertainment on a larger scale. Nyxia served up both with a healthy layer of beautiful icing on top!
When Babel Communications offers Emmett Atwater a chance to not only travel to space but provide his family with financial security, agreeing is the easy part. Coming from a home faced with many challenges (an overworked, underpaid father, an ill mother in need of medical treatment that cannot be afforded) being chosen as one of Babel’s 10 recruits seems like the answer. But Emmett soon learns that all candidates have one thing in common, they are broken. Each of them needs this as badly as the other, and now they learn they will compete for their spot.
Emmett’s plan: to train and survive the competition for an opportunity to travel to Eden and mine nyxia, the most valuable substance known to man. But as the fate of his family hangs in the balance, can he survive this new world of deadly secrets and cut-throat rivalry while maintaining his own integrity?
“It’s hard to tell the difference between rich and wrong.”
What I appreciated..
- The stunning cover that compliments the story beautifully (yes it is vain, but I have to admit I am a fan).
- The narrative told from the perspective of the protagonist that fosters an early connection and appreciation with the reader.
- A protagonist who is complex and riddled with personal conflict. Emmett is admirable and easily relatable through his internal struggles and constant emotions. He is flawed.
- An intelligent and original plotline that is beautifully balanced and supports character growth and world building with incredible ease. Expect the unexpected and have fun doing so.
- The avoidance of your typical YA tropes.
- Nyxia! I really cannot be that girl and spoil the fun here, but this stuff is incredible and I loved reading about it.
- Stellar writing that carries the reader through each page to a very gratifying conclusion.
“It’s impossible that someone with his story could have ever learned to smile. But that’s all he ever does. There’s a heaven in him no darkness can take.”
Challenges some may encounter..
- Having to wait for the sequel! (I am lucky to have a lovely copy here beside me.)
Nyxia was a huge sci-fi win for me this year! Long story short, this one worked for me, and I cannot think of any reason I would not recommend this book. If you like sci-fi, you should love it. If you do not, it will probably change your mind. Scott Reintgen is on to something spectacular, and I cannot wait to explore it further.
Pair with a nice black tea because you are going to want to caffeine to stay up with this one.
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