So excited to get to promote this wonderful book, NYXIA, by Scott Reintgen, one of my favorite reads of the year!
Goodreads Book Description: 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.
My Rating: 5 stars
My Review: I hadn't heard about this book until I delved once again into my YA social media. Boy, I'm glad I did. I'm still in a book hangover from this terrific novel by Scott Reintgen. I describe this book as Ender's Game meets Survivor.
Nyxia stars Emmett, a prickly but likeable main character, who is thrust into a high stakes competition from the Babel company, with a bunch of teammates that he can't help but like, but also are his main competition as not all of them will get to go to space and get the full prize to help their families back on Earth. Emmett's mom has cancer, and this will get her the treatment she needs. While Emmett gets into the competition, he starts realizing there are dark undercurrents to the competition, and there's more at stake than he thinks. Will he be able to figure it out before it's too late and make it through to the next stage?
The pacing was great in this book and I couldn't put it down. The first part was really fun and I liked all the characters a lot. At the same time, it wasn't anything new, and it was very similar to Ender's Game and other such competition books we've seen before, but because of the setup and the characters, I wanted to know more. But once we hit past the halfway mark, it turns from a fun ride to something else; something unexpected happens and a couple of twists hit, and then suddenly it hits a new, unique stride. It was a solid 4 star read up until then and then reached 5 star land once Reintgen turned everything on its head. I'm picky about the sci fi I read, but Reintgen hit every note for me. I cannot wait for the next installment.
Overall, a fast paced, nonstop ride with multiple twists and an appealing backstory, with a unique and diverse cast of characters. I can't wait to see what Reintgen throws at us next! One of my favorite reads this year.
Blurb about Scott:
Scott Reintgen has spent his career as a teacher of English and Creative Writing in diverse urban communities in North Carolina. The hardest lesson he learned in the classroom was that inspiration isn’t equally accessible for everyone. So he set out to write a novel for the front-row sleepers and back-row dreamers amongst his students. He hopes that his former students see themselves, vibrant and on the page, in characters like Emmett. You can follow him on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter at @Scott_Thought.
Interview with Scott
1. Name books that helped pave the road for Nyxia.
Red Rising, Across the Universe, Illuminae, Zeroboxer, The Hunger Games, Ender's Game. All of these books played a role in shaping a literary world that was ready for a book like Nyxia.
2. Star Trek or Star Wars?
I enjoy Star Trek, but I live and bleed for Star Wars.
3. Coffee or tea?
I'm a coffee drinker, but it's totally a convenience thing. The caffeine doesn't affect me one way or another.
4. Hogwarts house for yourself and Emmett (and any side characters you'd like to include)
So I almost always end up in Gryffindor. Emmett tends that way as well, although I do think he has a pretty analytical Ravenclaw side to him as well. I'd place Kaya in Ravenclaw, Bilal in Hufflepuff, and I'm going to throw Marcus Defoe the Slytherin House badge.
5. First person or third person?
I love writing in first and reading in third.
6. Favorite read this past year?
I have two of them. Warcross by Marie Lu absolutely blew me away. I've always loved Marie's books, but I felt she leveled up in a big time way with Warcross. I'm thrilled to be sharing a pub date with her, and readers can meet both of us at Changing Hands Book on Monday, September 18th in Tempe for a shared event. I've also loved getting back to reading about Fitz and the Fool from Robin Hobb's brilliant new series.
7. Crit partners or beta readers, yes or no?
Yes to the nth degree. I have a writing group that meets every other week. I've submitted work to them for the last six years and wouldn't be the writer I am today without them. And I absolutely use both beta and sensitivity readers. It's crucial to me for getting the story right.
8. Favorite movie?
Finding Forrester still holds the number one spot. I think I love it even more because most people aren't that familiar with it. The story hits on every level for me, and I never get tired of watching it.
9. Name a character in another book or movie that Emmett would get along with.
I'm going to go way out to left field here and pick Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon. This is just me secretly wanting to see Emmett with a dragon companion, but I really do think they'd be awesome together.
10. Song that reminds you of Nyxia.
Sound and Color by Alabama Shakes is one. There's a specific scene in the book where Emmett is listening to that particular song. Another is Polaroid by Imagine Dragons. I'll confess that most of the fight scenes were written to the tune of an Imagine Dragons song.
Now the moment you've all been waiting for! Win a signed, personalized ARC of NYXIA by Scott Reintgen! Don't miss out!
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