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?
When I reviewed Nyxia I was uncertain how I felt about the story continuing on the surface of Eden because the environment was totally different and the competition element wasn’t there. Having finished Nyxia Unleashed I have to admit that after less than stellar start, this book did manage to pick up the pace and dynamics of book one and pack it into a whole world of double crossing and hidden agenda’s.
The arrival on Eden is far from seamless, with the horror of Emmett and the others’ final acts weighing heavily, the group are dispersed on arrival and so find themselves alone on a strange planet with little concept of the dangers that may lurk. Babel’s presence on the surface was strangely larger than I thought it would be though which actually was a relief as that allowed for more of a feeling of being back on Genesis to develop. Some of the old divisions remain but being on the surface allows unlikely friendships to develop and I actually enjoyed how much more depth that allowed to bring to more of the characters. Even the Adamites took me by surprise as a race, especially given what we knew of them they came across in some ways gentle, steeped in their own history but actually quite savvy in many ways, again i’m not sure why I felt that they would be so primitive.
There is a large amount of social commentary here that brings a new depth to the series, whilst on Genesis, poverty was the driving force for the teams, the hierachial structure of the rings and the throwaway nature of how it treats it’s members of society seems horrific, but then you think that actually our veterans form large proportions of the homeless community so it’s really not to far a throw to think that it would happen on an alien world. This did allow me to form much more of a bond with the story and its from the time that they visit the Sixth Ring that the story comes into its own. As Babel’s secrets are uncovered as well as plenty of Eden’s own, the characters situation goes flat out and we jump from planetary exploration to all out action. I just could not put the book down at this point, battles and revelations coming in wave after relentless wave, I hardly had time to catch a breath. The situation on Eden running a parallel with those above the planets surface it really does make for a cataclysmic finale with one hell of sweetener for book 3 to boot.
The few downsides were that the different POV’s didn’t exactly work well, the story is still 95% from Emmetts perspective and I thought that there would be more of a flip and especially for one of the characters it felt almost an unnecessary addition. The start was very slow too and whilst we were thankfully saved from too much mining the move to the surface took a long time to bed in with the group dynamics.
This is still a great continuation of the series though and I will definitely be picking up with book 3!