It didn’t take long for Emmett Atwater 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, trying to extract enough nyxia to satisfy their employers and get their way back home, all while playing 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?
Ok, I really enjoyed Nyxia, even though there were a few things I wasn’t into, but HOLY SHIT WOW THIS WAS SO MUCH BETTER.
Even though my star rating is only half a star higher (yeah, crazy), Nyxia Unleased was far superior to book one. Props to Reintgen for that.
The things I didn’t like in Nyxia were all fixed, and then Reintgen even added a few more things that I had no idea I wanted, and I’m so glad I got a chance to read this!
There were two things I didn’t like in Nyxia: how high-octane it was, and how trope-dependent it was.
This is a weird complaint, but Nyxia was too high-octane for me. There was a lot of action going on and like Warcross, I was just a little overwhelmed by the amount of plot in comparison to everything else. It was super entertaining and thrilling and in a way, it was just too fast-paced for me.
But Nyxia Unleased had a much better pacing, and I just love the rise and fall of the storyline. The buildup was great, more and more things were happening and it was culminating into something that was going to burst and then BAM! It burst and everything went to hell. (And we’re not back from hell yet because those PLOT TWISTS OH MY GOD).
Seriously. Reintgen really pulled out all the stops on the plot twists. THE LAST LINE WAS JUST PLAIN CRUEL OK. I loved the twists and found them to be fitting with the story line, but still twisty enough that we’re all trying to figure out what the hell just happened.
The only thing I can complain about in this aspect is that I wish the plot twists were a little more dramatic. And I don’t say this often, but sometimes I felt like the writing and the emotional weight around the plot twists was a little off and it didn’t have the effect that it could have had. Good, but not great.
Still, the pacing was straight fire and I really like seeing how Reintgen improved on creating a buildup that really sucks the reader in.
As for the trope dependency, ALL OF THAT FLEW OUT THE AIRLOCK WOW. I’m serious–there was so much creativity involved in this book I was blown away.
I felt like book 1 was trying a little too hard to be competition-centric, which I know is a popular trope but not something I’m super into, but book 2 was so original I couldn’t help but love it.
And it wasn’t just in a “oh people exploring an alien planet whoop de doo” sort of way because Reintgen did this really amazing thing: he looked at the side of the colonized as well as the colonists.
There’s a really large level of awareness of his own fictional world, which I really loved, and Reintgen takes note of things. He talks about how the Imago (who you know as the Adamites) call themselves something besides “Adamite” and he talks about how the Imago call the planet “Magnia” not “Eden” and he is just very aware of all the differences between how the colonizers see the world and how the natives see it.
I found this to be very refreshing based on just how much he understood his own world and really gave the voice to the group that normally wouldn’t get a voice. This was really nice to see and it was amazing how Reintgen didn’t make the Imago barbarians.
I love how creative Reintgen was with this novel, and it was just the icing on the cake. Plus, there’s all sorts of amazing cultural items (i.e. FOOD) on Magnia that I loved reading about, and I think Reintgen did an amazing job of thinking things through and also setting up the plot.
The reason this isn’t a full five is just because of the romance. I didn’t really remember Morning and Emmett’s romance from book 1 (thanks Mia @ Pens and Parchment for reminding me) but I wasn’t really into it in this book. I just didn’t really care about their relationship, which happens a lot for me in sci-fi, so this just ended up as a kind of dull point for me. It didn’t make them do anything life-threateningly-dumb, but it wasn’t engaging either.
But one of the really big highs of this story that I loved was how Emmett wasn’t the best, most amazing person in the group. You know who the best fighter is? Morning. That’s right. The non-main character female character is actually the star of the group. High five to Scott Reintgen for showing off powerful females even with a male narrator, and for making a male narrator who is respectful and acknowledges said female’s prowess.
Overall, Nyxia Unleashed blew Nyxia out of the water, even though it’s only a half star ahead of the game. Pick up the series just so you can read this book. Seriously.
Thank you so much to Random House and Netgalley for providing me with a digital review copy in exchange for an honest review!