Nyxia is the ninth ARC I’ve read for ARC August and another one that I’ve seen a lot of hype about. It’s a action-packed sci-fi about kids battling for a place on a life changing mission on a new world and the start of a planned series. It’s fun, the characters are great but there were a few flaws to the storytelling that I hope get ironed out over the course of the series.
The narrator of the story is Emmett; a young black kid from Detroit who hopes that the wealthy payout he will receive from Babel if he succeeds in gaining a place on the team will mean that his Moms finally beats the kidney disease that is slowly killing her. The other ten kids (Babel tells them there are eight places in the team) all come from equally deprived backgrounds making them easy to manipulate in to a fighting crew. Over the course of the novel it’s revealed that not all is what it seems, with Babel slowly becoming less and less trustworthy as a corporation. There’s not much backstory about what’s going on back on earth; I assume that it’s just a more technologically advanced version of our own society given the contextual clues but Babel has risen up as a technology giant.
I liked the use of translating technology to bring together characters from all over the world. It meant that the group have a more diverse background without defaulting to a Westernised Everyone On Earth Mysteriously Speaks English. I thought the characters were well rounded but flawed, which made for a much more interesting read.
I do think the entire concept of Nyxia (a mysterious substance that the group needs to mine on the planet Eden) feels like a narrative cop out. It seems to be able to do absolutely anything that the story needed it to do and I hope that it’s limits are explored in book two.
I’ll definitely carry on with the series because I want to see where this all goes. Nyxia is out on 12th September!