by Scott Reintgen
I received this free digital ARC from the publisher via Penguin’s First to Read & Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
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.
Waiting for the Cliche
I’ll admit it, I’m severely critical of YA fiction nowadays. I constantly am looking for the next cliche, the next poor choice, whatever and I spent about half of this story doing the same thing… until I realized it wasn’t going to deliver. Nyxia does not follow the stereoytypes commonly found in YA fiction. It doesn’t utilize the same typical plot directions. It’s a unique story with unique ideas and characters and I honestly fell in love with it. (Seriously, I’m excited for book two!)
Delve into the Psyche
What I really love about this story is that it’s not just face-value entertainment. Yes, it’s entertaining. Yes, it’s fun, exciting, and full of action, but it’s also so much more than that. The characters are challenged physically, mentally, and emotionally, which allows the story to delve deep into the psyche, morality, and drive of the characters. It challenges them in a way that tests the very fabric of their souls, and not every character in this story is an innocent bubble of bliss.
Speaking of characters, I absolutely love the characters. There was such a diversity of personalities, ethnicities, backgrounds, traumas, joys, etc. Granted, there may have been a little too much variety in such a small group of people (because people often share certain personality characteristics with others), but I thoroughly enjoyed the cast in Nyxia and the dynamic created between the characters. For this reason, I think the story was more character-driven than plot-driven, which I can get behind. 😀
Either I am really bad at reading this book and telling when ‘X’ was going to happen or this story had some really amazing twists in it. I kept finding myself surprised by the newest event. I kept reacting in the same manner that the characters did: shock, disbelief, etc, and when it was revealed, it was like I should’ve known that twist was coming, but I was too invested, too into the story already that I wasn’t looking for the next gimmick because they didn’t feel like gimmicks. They felt like good story-telling reveals!