Illuminae

23395680Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Audiobook Review

5_stars

 

 

 

 

“And while the irony holds some base appeal. There looms in my heart.
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The inescapable notion that has brought us all to this.
Protect. Prioritize.
Better I should kill them when I am done. Better I should kill them all.
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Am I not merciful?”

Okay I get it. I understand why this book won an Audie Award in 2016 for Multi-Voiced Performance. But it was more than just that. There were sound effects and just….spectacularness.

I have always believed that in order to get the full experience of the Illuminae Files you would have to read the physical book, see the physical pages. But I’ve changed my mind. In order to get a full experience of this book, you need to listen to the audiobook while reading it. I know, that’s a little excessive. But both versions have their own contribution to the story. The audiobook only increases my anticipation for the movie…that will come out when???

I am super excited to listen to the Gemina adaptation now. I obviously can’t wait until the Obsidio comes out, and will certainly re read the first two books again probably in February and March, because let’s be honest, I cannot get enough of these books. Let’s play desert island, yes, I would bring these books.

 

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Related Reviews:

01cb5-23395680Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Illuminae Files #1) *Book review

 

 

 

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Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Illuminae Files #2)

 

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The Dragons of Nova

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The Dragons of Nova (Loom Saga #2) by Elise Kova

5_stars

“She had always seen tools of destruction as the way to gain control. Hope was a much more dangerous weapon.”

The story continues with Ari & Cvareh on their way to Nova to coerce with his family and Florence in the Alchemists guild working away towards a new rebellion against the dragons. The Dono is aware of a rebellion arising from Loom as well as the Xin House and is taking measures to hold is rule over it all.

The Story-You know, I really do read a lot of YA fantasy. So now that I am reading just a regular fantasy series, it really makes you appreciate how the story falls without something like romance or a singular person’s ideals. The fact that this book is told from both sides gives it a sort of a GoT-y. Mind you, I can’t really say that with authority because I have only read the first half of the first book….But I hope you can imagine the fact that we could all be rooting for Loom, but understand why Nova is operating the way it does. I just love how as the story goes a long, another layer is peeled back to show more adversity for our characters.

The World Building-In tDoN we get to spend a lot more time in Nova where the Dragons reside – and what a beautiful colorful world it is. I love that while Arianna spent time in Nova she was slowly introduced into the things that Dragons do not for practicality that she is used to, but for beauty, and just because it was nice. Like extra pillows & wind chimes. Further indicating how different the world on Loom is from Nova, function versus beauty.

“You build for beauty before function. You spend countless hours on adornments. You make noises with your mouth and tools, calling it song, moving to it and calling dance, but it serves no greater design.”

As the story progressed we got a further understanding of the functions of each guild on Loom. The way that Kova describes the world is poetic without being ostentatious, and it still offers us a super cool steampunk vibe.

It was as if the Harvesters had peeled back the surface of the earth to find its soul. And its soul was the very lifeblood of Loom: iron, minerals, oil, and coal.”

The Characters-

Arianna- Could this girl get any more cooler? Ari’s has this confidence that makes me want to think she is full of herself, but I just end up admiring her badass-ness.

“Far below, a pale blue woman stood with eyes like late sunset and hair the color of morning’s first light. She cut her place in the world with foolhardy arrogance, standing as though she were the personified herald of the Death Lord himself.”

Cvareh- I love Cvareh and his role in the story. He is what is connecting Loom to Nova as he battles between what Arianna wants from him and his duty as Ryu to the Xin House. The chemistry that he has with Arianna is sweltering and his need for her is almost tangible.

Florence-Flor’s development in this book was really strong. Without Arianna as a crutch, Flor really blossomed into a brave, independent girl with her own ideals and dreams.

“She had struggled for so long trying to find a place where she belonged that she had never stopped to see the innate benefits of belonging to nowhere. She could do things no one else could do. She could be things no one else could be.”

Petra- Petra is fierce.  ‘Ends before ideals‘. I love how Petra is unshakable in her hatred for house Rok and her expectation for every Xin dragon to sacrifice everything for House Xin.

I completely adore the covers for this series. The artist is Nicholas Grey, and more of his art can be found here.

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Related reviews:

The Alchemists of Loom (Loom Saga, #1)

The Alchemists of Loom (Loom Saga #1) by Elise Kova

 

 

A Gathering of Shadows

20764879A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) by V. E. Schwab (Victoria Schwab)

5 Stars

AGoS picks up months after where ADSoM left us– on a boat with Lila and her new fellow shipmates aboard the Night Spire. Kell meanwhile is not adjusting to life that is tied to the royal prince. Essentially under house arrest, Kell is getting restless living day to day under constant supervision and without anything to distract him from the one person who manages to find their way back into his thoughts; Delilah Bard. While the rest of Red London is preparing for the Element Games, Prince Rhy devises a scheme to allow Kell to release some steam. Caught up in their own lives, Black, White, & Grey London seem to be flourishing in their own ways.

The Story-This book was so much better than the first one! In fact, it made me appreciate the first one even more! The first book felt more like character development and world development – the background story that brings our characters together, I mean sure there is a lot that does actually happen, but for some reason I feel like the adventure really started here.

The World Building-AGoS really brought in a deeper understanding into the magic that Kell uses. Introducing rules and consequences to the magic, how magic is used combatively, and even how the other countries surrounding Red London view magic. Aside from that we didn’t get much more world building, as we really are returning to our beloved London’s.

The Characters-I feel like the characters really came to life in this book – especially Delilah. Her mannerisms and actions really helped drive her character as she had to prove to herself as well as the world that she is no ordinary girl.

In aGoS we get extra points of views as well. So all those who were going gaga over Rhy in the first book, be happy because you got what you asked for. Unfortunately, Rhy isn’t the charming prince that he comes off to be, and as we delve into her POV we get an understanding of how he feels in the aftermath of Kell linking their lives together.

 

If you haven’t already seen, there is quite a bit of awesome fanart out there for the SoM series.

Kell by Merwild

Delilah Bard by Freiheit

One of my favorites is Merwild. (Kell) The other is Freiheit. (Delilah Bard)

As always, I would be careful scouring the internet for any fan art, as it might unintentionally give away spoilers.

 

 

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Related reviews:

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A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V. E. Schwab

 

 

 

 

Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2) by Victoria Schwab

Gemina

29236299Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

The Illuminae Files #2

5 Stars

“Patience and Silence had one beautiful daughter. And her name was Vengeance.”

THIS BOOK WAS PERFECTION!!

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Gemina continues the epic story that Illuminae started. From Jump Station Heimdall we meet a whole new crew of ass-kicking and hacking characters to continue the prosecution against BeiTech.

The Story– I didn’t quite believe people when they told me Gemina was better than Illuminae. But OH. MY. GOSH. It truly was so much better. It did NOT suffer from that second book syndrome we know as “this sucks”. I don’t even need to say much about how awesome the story is, if you loved the first one, you will most definitely love this one, if not even more like I did (and obviously so many other people). I don’t know how the story was able to come up a notch, but it did and I cannot wait to see what happens in the next one!

The World Building– How do you expand the world on a space ship? Kaufman and Kristoff have introduced some elements that, frankly, scared the shit out of me. I’m not going to say what said element was, but let’s just say that my (irrational) fear of air vents has been rekindled. Yes. Freaking. Air. Vents.

Even though we the story is in a futuristic multiuniverse there are still some familiar attributes to be found in this book. Annoying double entendre pop songs that are way over played, culture (such as Russian), drug dealers, instant messaging. It’s all stuff that isn’t too crazy sci fi for the average person to get behind. So even if you aren’t really into sci fi, you can still enjoy the non stop action this book provides.

The Characters-Kady & Grant << Hanna & Nik << AIDEN.

I know, right? Yay for more Kady, Grant, & AIDEN!!! I am so glad that they did have a come back, at first I was slightly worried since we were on a completely different location in space.

Hanna-Such a bad ass! I love that even though she was all prim & proper spoiled could still live a little. She had a journal to draw out her feelings. Her dad had her in combat training. And above all else, she still had a little sense of adventure or a spark for the wild side. Despite all that, she still had her moments where she was a broken girl, and it was such a relief to see a hero still be able to feel despair, failure, and anger.

Nik-Can I have one please? I love that Nik is not who you expect him to be. His character has such excellent development from what Hanna’s preconceived opinion of him. There’s never a moment where I wasn’t cheering him on. I always have been a rooter for the underdog. & I am love a story with the most unlikely companions.

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The Lightning Thief

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

5 Stars

Much to my friend’s amazement, I knew pretty much nothing about the Percy Jackson series before starting this book. I think I enjoyed it a lot more because I didn’t really know any of the little factoids that a lot of other people know, heck, I hardly even knew the synopsis before opening the book. I knew that my 11 year old nephew was reading the series, and that I wanted to read it with him. I really wish that I was his age reading the book for the first time. The thing about Percy Jackson that would probably make it so appealing to as young as a 5th grader is that they probably have a lot of recent education on Greek mythology in school. At least, I think I learned about that stuff around the 4th or 5th grade, to be honest it was so long ago it mostly mashes together. Regardless, it should be taking a lot of information that they would be familiar with.

TLT tells the story about Percy Jackson a modern day kid who finds out that his dad is Poseidon (HA! I didn’t even know this going into the book, but apparently it’s in the synopsis so I don’t count this as a spoiler). There is trouble with the Greek gods as someone seems to have stolen Zeus’ thunder lightning bolt. Someone, Percy to be precise, must find the lightning bolt before the wrath of the gods starts WWIII.

The Story-Obviously, kids like to have stories where ordinary people find out they are destined for greater things. When we are young we like to let our imaginations get away with us (heck, I still do). TLT delivers what is familiar and makes it into something exciting. Throughout the book, I am reminded of familiar mythology as it is reincorporated into Percy’s quest.
The writing style in the book is so easy and flows well enough that any young reader will enjoy the book because it reads like someone telling a story. A story full of twists and turns and never a dull moment.

The World Building– There isn’t a lot of new world building as this is set in a modern day setting. However, Riordan does a spectacular job of modernizing the Greek gods into Western civilization.

The Characters-Percy really is such a lucky boy. I mean, yeah, his life leading up to his quest was pretty awful, however, he should pretty much be dead. There were so many opportunities where he could have easily died, the end. It really was right place & right time plus a little dash of help form his friends (and dad).

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I’m not going to go too in depth into all the people and friends Percy meets. But I will say that I love how the gods are depicted in this story. They are supposed to be this revered being, but they’re just a bunch of selfish, snotty brats. It’s funny how entitled they are because of their power.

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Ready Player One

9969571Ready Player One by Erenst Cline

5 Stars

Set in the future where the world has essentially gone to crap, people spend most of their time in a virtual reality world called Oasis – chock full of pretty much every form of entertainment, ways to spend money, educate, work, and essentially live (minus actual eating & drinking for sustenance) . When the creator of Oasis dies without an heir, his will, in a form of a YouTube video, announces that he has placed three Easter Eggs (hidden keys) and that the first player to complete all three will inherit his shares of the company and his fortune. Five years later, no one has even found the first Egg, and only avid gunters (egg hunters) like our hero Wade are still searching.

 

Ready Player One is the biggest nerdgasm I have ever experienced! 

 

 

 

The Story-There was a time in my life where I spent a lot of time playing video games. As a kid I grew up on Gameboys, Playstations, computer games, and X-box. As someone born in the 80’s I consider myself a secondary 80’s kid, as a lot of the stuff that came out then was still prominently popular in the 90’s, or at least re-done. As kids do these days with 90’s reincarnation, thus my age group did to the 80’s. So when I say that this book was totally relatable, I mean. This. Book. Was. Totally. Relatable. At least, to me that is. Now, if you don’t know a thing about video games, 80’s movies/music or a variety of other “geeky” things such as any major sci-fi movie/tv series (Star Trek/Wars, Firefly, etc) or Japanese hero shows/anime, then you definitely would not really know 99% of the references stated in this book. With that being said, I still think this book might be enjoyable to you, except you might have to google a music video or even take a break to watch a movie here and there. Which, they are “classics” for a reason, so educate yourself.

The World Building-Thankfully there is a pretense as to why we spend almost an entire book in a digital world manifested of…made up worlds. Cline gives us a futuristic scenario that is pretty plausible and slightly daunting. The true magic is how he ties in all the different “geeky” aspects. Even though we have key elements from multiple eras in gaming to different countries, we have a world that literally has multiple worlds incorporated into it. Even though most of the elements are borrowed, I still feel like my mind was brought into a whole new experience that cohesively brought all these wonderful elements together. The real kicker is how to make it more than just a game and more than just a nod to cult classics.

The Characters-Aside from the epic amount of references throughout the book that is like reminiscence bound into a book, the characters and their interactions are what really drive the story. The crazy thing about this is that since most of the book takes place in a game, we don’t really know who Wade meets. Wade is our classic underdog, but the sidekicks of the story are really strangers. Just people that he has spent a third of his life interacting in non-real-life scenarios. But because Oasis is basically what Wade’s life revolves around, these other players/gunters are really his best friends and vice versa. Their relationships are tested throughout the book as the game progresses as they all want to win, and they all want to have the upper hand. The real kicker to the characters and where the book plays you is that you don’t really know who these people are. As Wade continuously points out, his friend could be a hot enigmatic teenage girl, or she can be some middle aged fat man named Chuck.

Despite the character interactions being within a game, they are hardly plain 2D characters. They have depth. They each challenge and help Wade in their own ways. And most importantly they each bring their own flavor and personality to the book.

Side Notes-I knew there was a little lot of hype to the book due to the fact that they are making a movie of it. About halfway through, I caved and decided to watch the trailer. Now while the beginning of the trailer gives you a little idea about the book, the second half is wildly misleading. Let me just point out, that (and this isn’t really a spoiler) there are no races depicted in the novel. I mean, I am sure that it is expected that there are worlds within Oasis that have some racing, BUT, let me just say that if you’re expecting some epic race scene in the book….don’t. It has nothing to do with the book.

The other thing about the movie that I am curious about is if there will be any licensing issues with the film adaptation. I don’t know what the rules are for writing/filming with all these major references in them, so I am curious to see how certain elements will be shown in the book, and if some would be completely omitted due to some sort of copyright issues.

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Family Camp Trip – Albeni Cove

It feels so remote yet it’s less than 1.5 hours away from Spokane. This campground is small, wooded and on the Pend O’reille River. Our spot was surrounded by trees and even had a creek running through it!

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Where: Albeni Cove

Info & Booking

What I loved:
-Camping spots are very spaced out, surrounded by trees and level. It’s not a parking lot for tents! I find it weird/uncomfortable to go camping and have strangers right next to you and not having any control of their behavior.
-The swimming area is sandy and clean. It’s pretty shallow for a long depth and then sectioned off by a rope to indicate the deep area.
-Clean bathrooms with showers! Yeah!
-Fire pits are usable even during summer (fire season) and at each site.
-Picnic table at each site.
-If you forget something, Safeway is about a 5 minute drive away. We took a short trip to get the wine I forgot (celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary).

Family Friendly:
100% family friendly. Our kids spent their time swimming, splashing in the creek, hiking, looking for wildlife through binoculars, hiking, and stargazing. Not once did they complain of being bored. Amazing!

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Readability: I finished a novel while we stayed there.It helped that the kids were busy! It’s a new to me series: Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz. Review here.

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Repeat: We would go again. In fact, it was already our second visit.

Happy Trails!
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Roar

Roar (Stormheart, #1)Roar by Cora Carmack

5 stars

“You are lightning made flesh. Colder than falling snow. Unstoppable as the desert sands.”

Roar is the gripping tale about Princess Aurora who lives in a land that is ravaged by magical storms. Stormlings like her family, inherit the power to tame and control the storms and it is their duty to protect their kingdom. Except Aurora does not have any affinity with the storms. In an attempt to still protect the kingdom without any magical skill, she is arranged to marry the son of a neighboring kingdom. It is only days before her wedding that Roar begins to realize there is much more the magical storms than she was led to believe.

**Okay before I really dive into the review, can we just appreciate how GORGEOUS this cover is?? I must find out who did this art!!**

The Story-Okay, so maybe not the most original story. Princess has an arranged marriage only for her whole world to change causing a chain of reactions that sends her on an adventure of self discovery. It was the pitch that really did me in. We have had so many elemental books recently where people come across gifts to fight one another. But what if it wasn’t another race or people that you were fighting against, but the world itself? This book hooked me from the start. It was both beautiful and exciting from start to finish. In fact, I don’t recall a dull moment at all. Roar had a vast magical world, feisty characters and plenty of action and romance to drive the story to the very last page.

The World Building– Ok, really magical storms? The world building was so fantastic! The cover is only a small example of how descriptive Cora Carmack writes without droning on and on. The world building slid in seamlessly as the story progressed so you weren’t bogged down by just history or just luscious scenery. The concepts that she introduces were incredibly original. I loved the idea of stealing a storm’s heart and while having said heart it helps you control similar storms. I loved that there are brave souls and that chase and hunt down storms. Everything about the story helps promote vivid imagery that keeps the mind entertained.

The Characters-Aurora is such a great main character. She is spirited, brave, determined but still with fault. She isn’t this magnificent princess that she portrays, but she is willing to fight for the strength that she needs. I loved that she can be naïve but she learns as she goes and doesn’t back down to uncertainty. No one can blame her for keeping her real identity and skills secret because it would cause chaos, therefore causing her to suffer alone without any sort of reprieve.

Locke is not your typical “hero”. He isn’t some brave prince swooping in to save the day. He definitely creates an interesting dynamic as he has to battle his will against the princess’ determined spirit. She won’t back down, and Locke is forced to match her determination.

I love that though everyone may be slightly attracted to each other, there isn’t any instalove or ridiculous romance. Each character has a temperament that adds to the story.

Overall– this was one of my most anticipated books, and I was incredibly happy that it came in my June FairyLoot box. It was love at first sight from just the cover, and it didn’t fail to follow through with any of my expectations. In fact, it both met and exceeded them. It is definitely one of my favorite reads for 2017, and I cannot wait until the next book comes out.

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The Big F

thebigf

The Big F by Maggie Ann Martin

ARC from Swoon Reads and Netgalley for a fair review.

Publish Date: August 29, 2017

5 stars

“Being lost, being without the plan I’d armed myself with my entire life, got me out of my comfort zone in ways that challenged me and forced me to grow as a person.” 

Maggie Ann Martin debut? I dub thee for fans of Kasie West and Morgan Matson.

The Big F by Maggie Ann Martin was a breath of fresh air in the YA contemporary category. Instead of a story about a 16 year old falling for that one guy that sweeps her off her feet in the most unexpected ways we are given the story of post high school but not quite adult. Where YA contemporary has steadily given us that high school romance and NA/Chicklit gives us those mid-twenties/fresh out of college taking on the world through middle age stories, Martin has delivered us a refreshing story that manages to land right in the middle. While The Big F dances around the typical tropes it doesn’t exactly take the same path.

Dani is fresh out of high school and as the daughter of a college guru she is on her way to the college of her dreamsor not. She’s failed her AP English class and her acceptance into the communications program has been taken away leaving her without a college plan. That is until she meets Luke, the boy next door who held her heart till he moved away when she was 11, wearing a t-shirt advertising the local community college. She finds herself enrolled into a community college as a last ditch effort to hopefully get back on track. If only she could figure out how to handle her new budding relationship, passing her classes and getting back into the good graces of her parents.

The Story-Like I said before, I loved that this didn’t follow all the typical YA contemporary tropes, but they are there, just not obnoxiously…

Firstly, lets touch on the base that she has a healthy relationship with parents that are, wait a minute, still together. There was no tragic death of one of her parents or a divorce sparking some kind of character building. Her parents were together, her family spent time together, and her brother was normal. Now, this book didn’t pretend that the world was perfect as her friends have had their own parental issues. It just wasn’t one of the defining issues for Dani. In fact, everything Dani goes through is self-inflicted and she figures it out on her own.

The boy next door trope is probably the biggest cliché in this book. Thankfully, the story doesn’t completely drive this one home, and uses it merely as a spring board for the plot. You know what the best part of this one was? It was almost more of a reach for a familiar connection rather than the one next door that is suddenly confessed to.

Lastly, the friend that sets you right trope. Dani had two friends like this. She had a friend to set her right emotionally, and a friend to check her when she was drowning academically, what a lucky girl. Even though they were there for her though, it wasn’t like her friends had to knock her silly and talk sense into her; they were just there for that extra push.

Was this the next story to make your heart break into a million pieces and then soar to the moon? No, but it’s the type of book you can enjoy over a weekend, silently cheering her on and grinning and her foolheartedness

The Characters

Dani-Okay, I really liked her. I think my favorite part of her was that though she had her romantic tendencies she felt so tangible. She was realistic, straight forward, and had her weaknesses that didn’t put her in the damsel in distress category. Despite making some key choices that she has to fix, she is still fairly level headed. She doesn’t need people telling her what to do, just the usual pat on the back and reassuring words.

Luke-What can I say really? He is pretty much the perfect boy next door. What makes him so perfect? He is the boy we dream about when we’re 11 but realize that everyone has their flaws even if they sit on such a high pedestal.

Porter-Everyone needs that one friend that shakes things up. Porter is that friend that introduces you to new things without making you go buck wild crazy that your family is completely concerned. I feel like all the Porters of the world are underappreciated, and I thank Martin for helping the “gangly boy” stand out.

Zoe-This girl has got to be the best wing woman ever. Martin did such a good job of incorporating a supportive friend without her own issues becoming the plot of the story. Zoe isn’t some magical creature that doesn’t have any drama per se, but the book wasn’t about her and she did a stellar job as a supporting character by not stealing any drama thunder.

The Connection– Personally, I have always felt completely detached whenever I read about the following things in YA contemporaries who were obsessed with going to a university. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against this age old tradition of kids graduating high school and heading off to college. I loved that this book showed a little bit more of the alternative – the wonderful world of community college.

I consider my town a college town. Spokane has both Gonzaga and Whitworth, a remote campus for WSU downtown, EWU just a stone throw away in Cheney and two community colleges. I had the luxury of going to both community colleges over the course of five years, and while I missed the whole dorm/sorority bit, I don’t feel like I missed out on all that much as far as my education goes. I think one of my favorite parts of the book was really that Martin didn’t dog against community college, even though Dani’s mother was a consultant for college acceptance. It was refreshing to be reminded that while they don’t typically offer 4 year degrees, they are an amicable stepping stone for transferring to university for either catching up on requirements for a program or simply determining that maybe you don’t know exactly what you want to do.

Purchase The Big F on Amazon or Barnes & Noble

-Scrill

NYXIA

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

ARC from Netgalley for an honest review

Publish Date: September 12, 2017

5 Stars


“Babel might have all the keys, but they don’t know what they’re keeping in the cage.” 

 

Before I get into this review, let me just say that I never read Ender’s Game, but I think I watched the flop-ish of a movie. Now while I found a few things that I didn’t particularly love about the book, it wasn’t anything that I fully disliked, they were just aspects that I just shrugged off.

Nyxia is a futuristic story about this guy named Emmett that gets recruited by a company called Babel into this space quest to a distant planet called Eden to mine for a substance called Nyxia. 9 other teens are also recruited on this mission as well. Turns out only 8 of them get to go and they must battle it out for the chance to make a lot of money and go to Eden.

The Story-What I liked most about Nyxia was that it wasn’t just about the challenges that the characters have to go through. Yes, a majority of the book is stock full of vivid accounts of the challenges, however, there is this underlying creepiness that Babel has form all the secrecy. First of all-Babel? I mean, in the Bible the story surrounding Babel is about how all the descendants of Noah started to overreach and build a tower to get to Heaven & God-at which point God was like, oh heck no let me scatter you and make you unable to understand each other. So that, and all the other biblical references in the beginning really set it up for the company to not be trustworthy. Do we ever find anything out? Not really, the men in charge openly admit that they aren’t just one wizard behind one curtain, there are many wizards behind many curtains. Quotes like this:

“But a quick glance shows that not all the kids around the table can see the writing on the wall. Translation: Walking away isn’t an option.”

just really set up the book to have a lot of twists and turns in the story, and boy are there a lot of twists and turns. (BTW, in case you don’t know “writing on the wall” is another biblical reference). Anyway, as soon as you start to think the book might plateau, BAM twist and then BAM turn. Literally, at 97% of the book another twist is thrown in.

The World Building-Let’s be real. They were on a spaceship, there wasn’t much world building. What little there was was in creation of Eden & the elements that go with it. The Adamites, the nyxia, the history behind previous travels was where any world building was. Here is one of the few things that bothered me comes in, but still was able to shrug it off. Here we are in the near distant future, Google apparently has been eaten up by this company Babel, but we are wearing these full masks for translating? There is already an ear budthat you can get that translates like 5 different languages from Waverly Labs and I would have expected a little more advancement than what was depicted in the story. 

I loved the complexity of nyxia and what it was capable of, and I can’t wait to read the next installment so that I can learn more about what it really is, what’s Babel up to, and what has really happened down on Eden. I really hope Reintgen really spends a little more time on the background than the day to day in the next book.

The Characters-Oh my little children. I wanted to scoop each of these kids up and hug them till their worries went away. Firstly, people can stop complaining, because, drum roll please, we have a narrator that is a POC. Emmett is a kid from a hoodrat neighborhood in Detroit. What I love about him is that he doesn’t let it define him. It’s where he’s from, but not who he is or where he is going. Aside from Emmett we have a smörgåsbord of ethnicity. Each character had their own history and skill to bring to the table. I really look forward to learn more about each character as their adventure continues on Eden.

The small bit of romance felt rather shallow. With the kids pitted against each other, it was hard to even imagine something romantic sparking, but I did appreciate all the camaraderie that was built. I did find the romance to be a little bit of a reach, because how does one chose one person over the rest of the kids scrambling to go when they really didn’t have much time to get to know each other. Still, they’re kids, they have hormones so and a limited variety of other people so…

Anyway, I loved it. It was exciting from start to finish. I felt connected with the characters and wanted rooted them on.

-Scrill