Book Title: Nyxia
Author: Scott Reintgen
Series: Nyxia #1
Genres: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Space Fantasy
Pub Date: 09/12/17
Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family. Forever.
Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden—a planet that Babel has kept hidden—where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.
But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And 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.
That cover. All the heart eyes. Honestly, I didn’t even read the description before hitting that request button faster than I could blink; I had seen some fantastic early reviews for Nyxia and I’m a bonafide, card carrying member of the “judge a book by it’s cover” club. I know, that’s terrible for a book blogger to admit but it’s the truth and there you go. I’ve been finding the young adult space exploration novels a bit hit or miss lately; I’m really drawn to the idea of them but sometimes the execution and world building just doesn’t leave a significant impact on me. As a reader, I consume roughly 200 books per year and the ones that are a debut to a new series or trilogy rarely hold me long enough to intentionally carry on, but this one did. Can I have it now? A rough draft is fine thanks.
Clearly, I am no teenager; I’m usually in my jammies by 8pm and I only wear makeup and big girl clothes when absolutely necessary. I am not the intended target audience for a book like this, which is why I always give my observations a wider berth for the genre and form more generalized opinions throughout my reading experience. All that to say, Nyxia worked well for me as it didn’t make me feel like an old fart. Yes, the focus is on a group of whippersnappers, but the quality of dialogue, the level of world building (along with the aspect of leaving some things mysterious for the following installments), it was all pure genius. The beginning was a slow and steady introduction to Emmett, our narrator, and the why behind his involvement in Babel Corp and their mission to mine Nyxia is gradually revealed. From there, we had the chance to discover the purpose of the mission and the benefits and incentives for the kids to go, followed by the training exercises and relationships that form during the one year passage to Eden. That’s all I’ll give you plot wise, because you need to gasp as loudly as I did in the airport at the twists so everyone around you can jump up and give you dirty looks the rest of the evening. Oops.
One of the many facets that won me over was the naturally occurring diversity. These kids are from all over the world, and as I learned more about why they are present and what backgrounds they came from, an inclusive picture was created in my mind. It was so cool to have a multi-racial plethora of kids formed in my brain! I wouldn’t call the plot action packed, but it did grip my attention from beginning to end. Think slow building suspense with regularly placed twists that keep you tense and intrigued throughout. It’s no wonder everyone is grasping for the next book; the ending is abrupt and a bit of a cliffhanger, but not in the way that pisses you off. It was highly memorable, and once one question was answered a few new ones would open up. I’m really intrigued to see where the author takes us next and to learn more about Eden, the natives on said planet, and what will happen to those who were able to complete the challenges and proceed to the next phase. If you enjoy young adult novels with unique world building that are just as enjoyable for adults as to those of a younger audience, you really don’t want to miss Nyxia.
*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy via NetGalley; it was a pleasure to provide my honest thoughts here.