ARC Review: Nyxia

Happy Birthday to my must read sci-fi novel of the fall: NYXIA!

Y’all this was my very first ARC approval and  it definitely set the bar sky high! Sorry, you guys know I lack constraint when it comes to wordplay! I’m so thankful to Random House Children’s/Crown Books for providing this ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I’ve written a brief blurb about Nyxia in the past, but now it’s time for my full review! So bust out some vintage hip hop because we’ve got a flight to catch!



 Title & Author: Nyxia by Scott Reintgen
Genre: YA/Science Fiction
 Release Date: September 12, 2017
 Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
 Series Details: Trilogy/Triad (Book 1)
Page Count: 384 pages
Description: “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.”

“We can be kings and queens, sure, but only if we bow first.”

How far would you go for a chance at financial freedom and the perks associated with a secured lifestyle? What lines would you cross if it meant free health care and access to the best and most advanced treatments — in perpetuity —  for you and your family? That’s the question our MC, Emmett Atwater, and his fellow Babel recruits competitors must answer before arriving at Tower Space Station and the newly discovered planet Eden.

Hailing from every nook and cranny on Earth, the recruits aboard Genesis 11 are quickly pitted against one another after discovering that only 8 of them will actually win the prize and earn the chance to see Eden. As such, much of the book is devoted to their competition. From physical trials in the Rabbit Room (a techie’s dream; think VR on steroids) and endurance drills to mental tests and Nyxia-manipulation sessions our cast of characters are constantly pushing their limits. And although it might sound repetitive, Reintgen keeps the intensity high with a constant slew of twists and a connection to the diverse characters — and their stress levels — every time we’re exposed to the scoreboard.

“…your shared humanity is the most precious commodity of all.” 

My favorite part of this book — beyond the tech gadgetry of course (I’m talking to you, Nyxian language converter) — was Emmett’s narrative and his relationship with his family — especially his father. It was truly refreshing to see a positive paternal presence complete with uplifting guidance throughout this YA thriller.

“You get in there and fight, Emmett. Be worthy. Not in their eyes, but in yours. Break the rules {if} you need to, but never forget who you are and where you come from.” 

Through the eyes and mind of Emmett, a black teen from Detroit, the book is able to eloquently toggle between its’ sci-fi components to real-world insights on everything from systematic poverty and empathy to mercy and hope.

“Where I come from, low expectations are generational.”

“My fight is one of decades and generations. One bad day won’t stop me from rising up.”

These sneak peeks into Emmett’s psyche add a level of realism that is often missing in the sci-fi genre. And it’s truly a testament to Reintgen’s words that a book set in the future — and in space — is able to pack those heavy hits. Because let me tell you, there are a handful of quotes and scenes tucked away in this novel that hit you harder than one of our southpaw’s jabs.


The first installment had me hooked from takeoff and I can’t wait to see how this sci-fi saga plays out. If you’re a fan of The Hunger Games/Divergent, and are looking for a fast and addictive read, Nyxia is definitely the book for you! Fathom?

Related image4.5 Stars!

25 thoughts on “ARC Review: Nyxia

  1. Kourtni @ Kourtni Reads says:

    This is a fantastic review! I also loved the fact that Emmett was close with his family, including his dad. This seems to be so rare in YA, so it was wonderful to actually see it in Nyxia.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nerd Narration says:

      Thank you! All opinions are valid. Goodness knows I have a few lower-starred reads that no one seems to agree with me about lol!

      I just read your review and I agree that a lot of the elements — especially the competitive aspects — seems similar to other YA series, but I think the usage of Emmett’s morality and family ties build an interesting foundation, which will hopefully set up a solid and unique follow up.


      • alilovesbooks says:

        Definitely. I think his struggle with what he needs to do to win and what’s morally right is possibly the best part of the story. There’s definitely some brilliant character development and I was fascinated that Nyxia could be having some kind of influence on them. I am however completely confused over what it is.


      • Nerd Narration says:

        Yeah I think the underlying biblical messages are what truly separate it from traditional YA. And, without getting spoilery, I totally agree about the Nyxia confusion. I think the Nyxia and its true abilities are going to lead to big twists in book 2 and 3.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. LairOfBooks says:

    Ohhhhmygooooooosh!!! I read your review smiling from ear to ear!!!! You my friend have captured exactly what I LOVED about Nyxia in a wonderful review! You even threw in “Fathom” 😂😂😂 LOVE IT!! 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼 so ready for the sequel! 😆

    Liked by 1 person

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