Thursday, September 14, 2017

Thursday #Review - Nyxia by Scott Reintgen #YALit #Science Fiction

Series: The Nyxia Trilogy # 1
Format: E-Book, 384 pages
Release Date: September 12, 2017
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Young Adult \ Science Fiction \ Space Opera

Every life has a price in this sci-fi thriller that has the nonstop action of The Maze Runner and the high-stakes space setting of Illuminae. This is the first in a new three-book series called the Nyxia Triad that will take a group of broken teens to the far reaches of the universe and force them to decide what they’re willing to risk for a lifetime of fortune.

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.


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.

Story Locale: Present Day/Space

Nyxia, by author Scott Reintgen, is the first installment in the author's The Nyxia Trilogy. Emmett is the main storyteller of this series. Emmett is an African-American from Detroit who is given an extraordinary opportunity. Emmett is also one of Ten contestants chosen by Babel Communications to travel to the planet of Eden, and mine a substance called Nyxia. Nyxia refers to the substance the recruits will have to mine on the planet Eden. A substance that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe. To say that Nyxia is valuable, would be undercutting the real truth behind what the substance can be used for. 

But, there is a catch. There is always a catch. Only 8 of the 10 contestants will get the opportunity to actually go to the planet of Eden. What's even more fascinating & entertaining, is that each contestant is tested in many ways in order to win the most points. Points that are tabulated on a daily basis so that each contestant knows where they stand and what they need to do in order to survive and advance. Each contestant must survive and advance. Emmett must rub shoulders with nine others with similar backgrounds. Each of the 10 are from poor families and the money that they could each make from successfully landing on Eden, would set their families up for life and ensure that they each are able to have a stable future.

People have been crying out for diversity, and this book is stacked with diverse characters. Don't believe me? Check it out for yourself: Kaya is Japanese. Bilal is Palestinian. Jazzy is American. Longwei is Asian. Azima is Kenyan. Isadora is Brazilian. Katsu is Japanese. Jaime is Swedish. If you ask me who my favorite characters are and why, I would offer up Kaya as my first. Kaya is a special character who brightens up the story. She is extremely intelligent, and with her on your side, you will end up doing well. My second character is Bilal who becomes Emmett's only true friend. Bilal is kind, generous and the boy you would love to be best friends with.

The story is set in a dog eat dog environment, and then the author piles on so many other surprises, that you really have to ask yourself if anyone will actually survive this competition and actually walk away with the huge prize they can each earn by making it to the surface of Eden. I loved Emmett's relationship with his parents. His mother is struggling mightily with health issues, and his father works his fingers to the bones in order to pay the bills in hopes of getting her better. But, his father never pushed the theory of giving up on your dreams because they are too hard.

He never demanded anything from anyone. Just to do the right thing all the time. Their connection is really amazing, especially the fact that Emmett is named after one of my favorite Florida Gators. Can you guess who it is? As for the fact that this book is the first in a 3 book trilogy, you know the author is going to toss in some strange and curious situations which makes the story both heart breaking and entertaining. This series opener stands out due to its fusing of an adrenaline rush of a plot with richly textured emotional undercurrents. If you are a fan of such books as Illuminae,
Carve the Mark, & The Diabolic, you'll really enjoy this story. 

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