Saturday, July 21, 2018

BOOK REVIEW | Nyxia Unleashed by Scott Reintgen

Title: Nyxia Unleashed
Author: Scott Reintgen
Series? Yes, Nyxia Unleashed is the second in a YA science fiction series.
Pages: 400
Publication Date: July 17, 2018
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Source: I received an e-galley of Nyxia Unleashed in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own. :)
Getting to Eden brought Emmett and his crewmates one step closer to their promised fortune. But surviving Eden may be the biggest reward of all. Discover book two in the trilogy Marie Lu called, “a high-octance thriller.”

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?

Last year, Scott Reintgen debuted his first novel, Nyxia. I'm a fan of science fiction novels, and Nyxia's plot sounded perfect for me. In the first book, 10 teenagers are given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Babel Corporation is paying the teenagers a fortune in exchange for them to travel to another planet and extract a substance they call nyxia. Our protagonist, Emmett, and the other teenagers don't realize until they are on the ship that spaces are limited, and they have to compete against each other to get the money. After finishing Nyxia, I was blown away by how much I enjoyed the book. Check out my review here! When I saw its sequel, Nyxia Unleashed, available on NetGalley, I immediately requested it and started to read it.The first book left on quite the cliffhanger, and I was eager to be back in the world Reintgen created and see what would happen next. Though Nyxia Unleashed is a good sequel, I did not love it, as I did the first book. 

One thing I liked about Nyxia Unleashed was the balance between answers and questions. The sequel takes place on Eden, so as readers, we learn much more about the Adamite population, their culture, and the world as a whole. There was such mystery surrounding the Adamites and Eden in the first book, and I loved having more clarity. But rest assured, not every question is answered, and more come to fruition. Emmett and the Genesis survivors have only been told that Adamites revere children and that they are allowed to mine nyxia because of their young age. However, nothing is that simple. There are still many secrets kept from Emmett and the others, whether it be from the Babel Corporation, Adamites, or from each other. While the physical setting of Nyxia Unleashed was different from the first book, and a great change I might add, the intrigue and tension from the first book remains. By having some of my questioned answered, the book had direction. Adding a new set of questions also gave the book momentum, and kept me hooked when the pace slowed down.  

This leads me to one of my complaints about Nyxia Unleashed, the slower pace. The first book was essentially non-stop action, but this is not the case in its sequel. Emmett and the others are learning about this new world, and rather than competing against each other, have to work together. Though I liked seeing the groups come together, the competition element that I loved from the first book disappeared. Since a whole entire world was being introduced in the sequel, there was a lot of time devoted to world building. The world building did pay off, as the world did seem genuine. However, because of the world building and lack of competition, the pace was much slower, and I was left missing the non-stop action from the first book. 

One good thing that came out of the slower pace was more moments among Emmett and his crew. I loved seeing them all sitting down, bonding, and playing cards. In the first book, I had a hard time differentiating among characters, but this was not the case in the sequel. Secondary characters like Katsu, Anton, Alex, Jaime, and Longwei were given more time and felt much more developed and individual. Instead of Nyxia Unleashed being a book about one protagonist, Emmett, the novel instead is about a team of teenagers working together.

Another thing I want to mention is the diverse cast of characters. Our main character, Emmett, is a black teenager from Detroit. Morning, is Latinx. There are at least two LGBT+ characters, an Asian crew member, and more. Others also deal with PTSD, grief, trauma, etc. All of this diversity is handled with great care, and seems genuine. I cannot speak to how accurate the representation is, but I have not heard any complaints, and nothing problematic has jumped out at me. It seems like Scott Reintgen has done a wonderful job ensuring that not only are his characters diverse, but are authentic. 

The ending of Nyxia Unleashed was amazing, and featured the high octane action that I, at times, missed. After the ending, I cannot wait to see what happens next in the next and final book, Nyxia Uprising. There are many moving parts, and it'll be rewarding to see how they all weave together. 

Though I didn't enjoy Nyxia Unleashed as much as its predecessor, it was a great follow up. The world building did slow down the book more than I thought it would, but the cast of characters were more developed because of it. Nyxia Unleashed also features a diverse cast, and from what I have heard, did a great job with representation. After the explosive ending, I am eagerly awaiting Nyxia Uprising.

With that, I give Nyxia Unleashed
4 out of 5 Flowers!

Small Notes:
  • I love that Emmett isn't the best person on the team when it comes to manipulating Nyxia. He isn't a chosen one, he's just a normal guy doing his best to try and get home. 
  • The romance in Nyxia Unleashed was ~lovely~ and had more depth than in the first book!
  • Honestly, I was getting annoyed at the whole Roathy/Isadora/Emmett situation. I think they're interesting characters, but Isadora made me groan because of how stubborn and hateful she was. 
  • I loved the secondary plot line regarding Anton! 
  • After reviewing Nyxia Unleashed and going to an event (post coming soon) I want to reread the series before getting to the third book.
Have you read Nyxia or its sequel? What did you think?
Thanks so much for stopping by and I'll see you soon with another post!
Happy Reading!
Genni @ Ready, Set, Read!


  1. I had forgotten all about this series. I think the first book is still sitting on my shelf somewhere. I'll have to get to it soon so that I can move on to this book. I'm glad to hear the second book is still a solid read even with the pacing issues. Great review!

    1. I'm glad I reminded you! The series hasn't disappointed yet. :) Thank you Suzanne!