Nyxia #2. Author: Scott Reintgen. E-copy provided by publisher for review, through Netgalley.
Emmett Atwater thought Babel’s game sounded easy. Get points. Get paid. Go home. But it didn’t take long for him to learn that Babel’s competition was full of broken promises, none darker or more damaging than the last one.
Now Emmett and the rest of the Genesis survivors must rally and forge their own path through a new world. Their mission from Babel is simple: extract nyxia, the most valuable material in the universe, and play nice with the indigenous Adamite population.
But Emmett and the others quickly realize they are caught between two powerful forces—Babel and the Adamites—with clashing desires. Will the Genesis team make it out alive before it’s too late?
Usually I’m all here for power couples, but in this case the main problem with the book is Emmett and Morning. In a book of complex characters and fleshed out friendships, it’s both strange and jarring to have such a flat romance – as if the author had everything all worked out and put together, and then went “Oh, but we need to put some sex in” (Spoiler alert: No. You didn’t.) Morning and Emmett aren’t even… friends… the same way other characters are.
What I did like: the rivalries and in-fighting between the teens are gone. They are united by shared danger and the trauma Babel has put them through. “Babel has forged us into weapons”, is a repeated theme. I’m not quite sure I agree with that optimistic idea. (They’re all at least as old as me, and far more trained in fighting, and I’m still over here like “No, no, no. You’re all smol children who need to stop diving into near-death experiences!) And yet, maybe it’s true: they’re strong, trained, and vicious. Babel has done its best to make them killers, and now… they’re coming for those who tried to break them.
There are layers upon layers of plots going on between Babel and the Adamites and even our own group of teens. By the end of the story I no longer had any idea of who had the upper hand. I’m hoping for Emmett and his band, but does one of the other two have yet another even-more-recessive intrigue going on?
(Still no news on what the heck’s going on with nyxia itself. But apparently people may have been fed to it in the past? Still very alarmed by semi-sentient possibly soul-devouring all-useful space material.)
Sexual Content: Character sees one boy coming out of another boy’s room in the middle of the night (he’s confused, but a bit later someone tells him they’re “together”). Boy/girl kissing, they retreat to a bedroom for sexual intercourse: there’s no graphic details (the author uses a musical metaphor for everything in this scene?).
Language: 13 hell, 9 d***, 5 scatological terms, 2 a**h***, 1 derogatory term
Violence: A large bird snatches four smaller birds out of the air and eats them; a moment later it is eaten itself. Characters find three bodies. One character knocks another out. Two characters fight with knives, and nyxia; one wounds the other shallowly, multiple times, before finally killing with a (nyxia-made) hatchet strike to the head. Several birds are killed on-screen to eat. Boy takes a whip-blow meant for a beggar. Characters talk about the people they were forced to kill. Plans of genocide are exposed when a spaceship bombs an (empty) city. There’s one sea battle: the ships fight each other with missiles, and one character boards an enemy ship, where he kills and wounds multiple men with a blast of bullets, then a grenade. One character stabs another.