Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

27426044 (1)Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad #1)
By Scott Reintgen
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9780399556791
Pages: 377
Genre: YA Sci-Fi

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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.


My Thoughts

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!

The skinny..

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.

tea cup

 

Pair with a nice black tea because you are going to want to caffeine to stay up with this one.

Grab a Copy: Amazon.com Book Depository

*Disclosure: I use affiliate links and may earn a small commission for purchases made through them. Click here for details.

Happy Reading,

Danielle ❤

Connect With Me: FacebookTwitterTumblr and Instagram

Sons of Gods Blog Tour & Excerpt

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Today I am thrilled to share an excerpt of Arthur J Gonzalez’s YA Fantasy, Sons of Gods. There is also an international, tour-wide giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card. So make sure that enter at the end of the post.


The Book

SonsSons of Gods
By Arthur J Gonzales
ISBN: 9780988891678
Pages: 444
Genre: Fantasy/Mythology/YA

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Long ago, the wrath of the three God brothers marked the onset of the Great War. The other Gods watched in horror, until they, too, were forced to take sides. Their beloved Mt Olympus collapsed, ruin was brought to all Divine, and the Age of Darkness gripped the world in its clutches. But a group of Gods was wise, and before their impending deaths, they had crafted a pact, committing to one day rebuilding the Territories – the Heavens, Seas, and the Underworld. It would usher in the world they protected and honored out from its darkness. And from it would rise the new Greats: the Sons of Gods.

Cienzo has always had an affliction for metal and fire; never did he anticipate it would one day translate to wielding dormant powers. It is during a journey to fulfill a promise to his dying sister, that he is plunged into a dark and magical world, and where great responsibility is bestowed upon him.

Is he worthy of assuming the throne of the Territories? Can shattering steel and splitting fire change his mind?

Purchase Links: Amazon.com  Amazon.UK


The Excerpt

KAYANA

THEY HADN’T WANDERED far from the hut, but Kayana couldn’t shake the tightening in her chest. An alarming energy enveloped her. The tiny hairs on the back of her neck tingled. She sensed something. She just wasn’t sure what. Maybe it was simply for leaving Cienzo alone in the hut.
Wild animals ran around freely. A peacock here, an elephant there, a fire-eyed phoenix just beyond them. A
couple clunked by on wooden stilts, dressed in nothing but gold-feathered briefs and enormous wings fashioned to their boots. Beside them, three drunken men engaged in a sluggish sword fight.
The music blared throughout the air. It was a blissful sound, full of hard beats and energetic strings. Zendaya glanced down at her boots—which she realized had been tapping along to the rhythm. She stopped herself. She turned her focus to the drunks that paraded and stumbled around them like fools, masks drooping sloppily from their faces. She couldn’t believe how careless people were. They had drunk themselves defenseless. In the event of an attack, a blade would barely have to be lifted to take a life. It was as if death was so desperate to be granted.
“How do these people not care?” she asked, eyes set on detecting the smallest swing in the normal rhythm of the crowd.
“That’s quite the accusation,” Caleseus said. “Some would say they are here because they care. They cherish their fallen Gods and hope that celebrating them shall directly impact the state of their afterlives. I find it admirable.”
“Admirable?” She turned to face him, breaking her concentration.
His eyes lingered on a group of men and women hoisting wooden sticks attached to the bottom of long and massive paper puppets of peacocks, lions, dolphins and serpents. Beside them, women with beautifully silver- painted faces spun torches of fire above them. Magenta flames streaked the air with outlines of flowers and birds.
“To think,” he continued. “That even after all these years, their beliefs and faiths are so strong they are willing to sacrifice their safety.”
She raised a brow at a yellow-hooded carnal bent over a barrel. A man behind her chugging from a steel flask fondled her laces, trying to pry them free. “Right. So they run around like fools …all in faith? How wise.”
Caleseus turned to her and tilted his head. “You know yourself that wisdom and practicality don’t always follow the same course.”
She knew exactly what he meant and grunted. “Okay, Cal, I get it—”
A loud shriek tore through the air. Kayana felt the terror in it, and without preamble she drew her bow and arrow. The feeling in her chest. She knew it. She launched onto Caleseus’s back, feeling the contraction of his muscles beneath her hands. She glanced up and watched as a group of Roamers spilled into the Serpent’s Head, wielding sharp, double-bladed swords dripping with the appetite for destruction. Where did they come from? How had she not noticed them? They had appeared as if from thin air, riding the backs of their winged horses, the Pegasi. Each of them was robed in the Roamer’s armor: bone helmets accented by flame-engulfed wings, half-masks with painted mandible skulls that covered only the bottom half of their faces.
“Cienzo,” Kayana gasped. “We need to hurry back to him.”
Caleseus had already spun to gallop toward the pale charcoal hut. The tightening in her chest clutched its fingers around her heart. How could she have left his side? How could she have not sensed their presence? If he was injured again—or worse—it would be on her. And there was no remedy known to even the Gods that would cleanse her soul of that guilt.
She would die before allowing that to happen.


ArthurAbout the Author

Arthur J. Gonzalez is a Young Adult author of the Photo Traveler series. Originally born in Miami, FL, you can now find him living on the West side in Los Angeles. If he’s not drinking coffee or playing with his adorable Schnoodle, Sookie, then he’s probably enjoying a nap. Also, he forgets the lyrics to nearly every song.
Follow Arthur J. Gonzalez: Website  Facebook  Goodreads  Twitter


The Giveaway

  • Tour-wide & International
  • $25.00 Amazon Gift Card
  • Not sponsored or Administered by Books, Vertigo & Tea.

Enter Here


I would like to thank Xpresso Book Tours & the author for providing me with this opportunity. You can follow the tour (April 16-20) here.

Happy Reading & Good Luck!

Danielle ❤

Connect With Me: FacebookTwitterTumblr and Instagram

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

36697848The Wicked Deep
By Shea Ernshaw
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
ISBN: 9781471166136
Pages: 320
Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal

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Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Two centuries ago, in the small, isolated town, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town. Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return from the depths, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them down to their watery deaths.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into or the fact that his arrival will change everything…

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.


My Thoughts

I happen to be a huge fan of witches and all stories surrounding them. I also love the ocean and settings centered around small seaside towns. Living in Oregon, I hold a certain appreciation for these things and feel a deeper connection when reading about them. I have to admit that The Wicked Deep felt a bit like kismet as I picked it up.

The skinny..

200 years ago, the Swan sisters were accused of witchcraft and sent to meet their watery fate with stones tied around their ankles. Now, each summer in the town of Sparrow, the sisters return to claim their vengeance by inhabiting the body of the young, local female residents and luring boys to a watery grave. Penny Talbot is no stranger to the town’s curse. But when young Bo Carter arrives in town, unsuspecting and disbelieving of the current dangers, she quickly finds herself surrounded by mistrust and difficult choices. Will she be forced to choose between saving herself and this new stranger?

“We wait for death. We hold our breath. We know it’s coming, and still we flinch when it claws at our throats and pulls us under.”

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What I appreciated..

  • Lumiere Island and the atmospheric seaside setting that felt authentic and familiar.
  • Stunning and fluid prose with a successful first-person narrative that carries the story with incredible ease. This will be a one sit read for many.
  • The mysterious lore of the Swan sisters and town’s darker history was well balanced and complex enough to feel viable.
  • Relatable characters with individualized conflicts.
  • The unexpected turn of events and a satisfying conclusion.

Challenges some may encounter..

  • The somewhat rushed element of romance (although the twists throughout make it appealing in its own right).
  • Sometimes one-dimensional feeling characters due to being shrouded in mystery.

“There are legends of mermaids who fall in love with sailors, their devotion granting them a human form. I read about the Irish tales of selkies shedding their sealskins, marrying a human man, and staying on land forever.” 

The Wicked Deep is a fantastic and unsettling tale that the author brilliantly weaves into something tangible and almost natural. It supplies the reader with a magical experience enveloped in paranormal mystery and the end result is genuinely unique and gratifying.

tea cup
Pairs well with a cup of loose leaf white tea.

Grab a Copy: Amazon.com Book Depository

*Disclosure: I use affiliate links and may earn a small commission for purchases made through them. Click here for details.

Happy Reading!

Danielle ❤

Connect With Me: FacebookTwitterTumblr and Instagram