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. (via Goodreads)
I received an eARC of Nyxia via Netgalley, courtesy of Crown Books for Young Readers, in exchange for an honest review.
This needs a content warning for character death, torture and evil corporate overlords.
I really wanted to like this book, but it needed more worldbuilding for me to fall in love with it. Nyxia is very character driven, which I usually love, but I really just needed more of the world to actually care about what was going on with the characters.
I was really curious about what was actually going on with our corporate overlords, Babel. I think a POV chapter, or an included news article would have been helpful for really understanding what was going on. Who was Babel? Why did they want to go to Eden? What made them choose these kids? Why the point system?
I loved Bilal as a character. It’s nice to see a Palestinian character be, and be treated as literally the best character in a story – something I haven’t seen of late. I feel like Emmett should have known what the West Bank was, though. Us poor kids know more about non-US countries than you might think.
I did love that the cast was diverse. Not a single one of these kids had the same background, and they talked about it. It did feel very heteronormative when all of the hinted pairings in the novel are allocishet pairings.
I didn’t feel the tension at all in this book. While Emmett worried about not making it to Eden, I never did. Maybe it was because I knew it was a trilogy? I’m not sure, but I never worried about Emmett making it.
Overall, Nyxia had some good elements, but the lackluster worldbuilding really made this a flop for me. I really just needed more, as an avid science fiction reader.
If this sounds like more your thing, you can pick up a copy on Amazon.
Disclaimer: All links to Indiebound and Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you buy through those links, I will make a small amount of money off of it.