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.
Summing up Nyxia, I would say it is Hunger Games meets Red Rising in space – and for me that is a perfect combination for a great read. From it’s opening pages I felt completely drawn into the world, the mystery of what drew this band of unlikely hero’s together bringing immediate intrigue and I couldn’t stop turning the pages from then on! Whist Emmett is our main protagonist, the story gives equal focus to all the characters – who neatly tick all the diversity and trope boxes. They are an instantly likeable group and as we get to learn more and more about what drives them to be the ones to succeed, it becomes more and more heartbreaking that some of them wont reach the selection to go down to Eden. The selection process is brutal at times and I liked how the factions grew, displaying both the good and bad in people and how desperation brings out the worst in humanity – that scoreboard had me full of anxiety!!
Whilst I wasn’t particularly sold on the concept of Eden and the reasons why it had to be a group of teenagers selected for the mission (it felt like YA justification) the story itself is outstanding, there are some huge twists, stunning set pieces and given that the majority takes place on a starship, the author did really well to make the most out of that environment and bring creativity to the surroundings. I loved the concept of the Nyxia itself, the substance is intriguing and I can’t wait to discover how it’s impact evolves down on Eden.
There are some HUGE twists in this which turns the story completely on it’s head, I did not see one of them coming at all which made me feel like I had started reading a new book over with the way it impacted on the group dynamics, the book ended on a doozy too, book 2 has just moved it’s way up near to the top of my TBR!