Nyxia by Scott Reintgen was a hidden gem in my bookcase which I am glad I gave a try for this was a great book to start the new year with. This book was a real page turner which had me breaking some of my reading rules because I enjoyed it so much.
Genre: Science Fiction
Stars: 4.5 Stars
Reviewer: Michael D. Griffiths
Emmet and nine other poor teens from across the world have been chosen by the Space Exploration company called Babel. They will all receive money beyond belief and be some of the first to explore a newly discovered planet. There is a hitch. Only eight of the teenagers will be allowed this bounty.
The best eight will be determined through various contests such as holodeck dangers and personal combat. The contestants are also each given a small amount of Nyxia, which is an inky black substance found on the planet they are training to be strong enough to journey to. This substance can be molded by the mind to make things such as goggles, shields, weapons, and perhaps more.
Emmett starts behind but then quickly rises in the ranks of the contestants until a tragedy occurs and then he is buried deep with little hope of being in the top eight. Then, just when he might have a chance, Babel changes the rules.
This is a fast paced exciting novel. Babel conceals much of what is really going on and keeps things buried in mystery. This leaves the characters never sure where they stand. It also delves deep into Emmett’s moral compass, which I found enjoyable as well. The game is won by points, which are shown to the reader. This kind of competition fuels the reader’s interest. In this era of likes and hits, I think most younger readers will be able to relate to such tallies.
The only weak parts of the novel were how the other contestants remained an enigma. They share some of their stories, but friends proved rare amongst them. I think given a two-hundred-day flight there might have been more alliances between the players.
This is the best Young Adult book I have read in years. I think both adults and teenagers will get something out of this one. Science Fiction at its best.