Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Published Date: September 12, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi
Pages: 384 pages
Synopsis: 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.
So far I’ve had a hard time reading YA Sci-fi books. The last time I read was the sequel of Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth which was like ages ago. I’m happy that Nyxia was my first read this 2019!
Babel Corporation wants to mine Nyxia, an interactive element that can be shaped and transformed into different creations depending on what the user wants, in a planet called Eden. The problem, however, was that there were Adamites (aliens) living in the planet who would not allow the company to harvest them. The only solution is to use children because these aliens does not attack children thinking them as something sacred. With this, Babel Corporation chose ten children to be part of the program that will train them on how to manipulate & mine Nyxia, as well as teach them some survival skills that are useful when they reach Eden. These children are poor and broken in a sense that the company could easily manipulate them into doing stuff in exchange for the money that the participants are given. However, the plot here is that only 8 out of 10 are only given pass to make it into Eden. The remaining two will get a relatively small amount of money compared to the eight winners.
This book follows the story of Emmett Atwater, a black kid chosen by Babel Corporation to take part in the said program. More so, the story is told in his first point of view which I somehow felt was very lacking because I really wanted to look at the views of different characters as well. I would like to know what was happening inside the whole ship using the eyes of the other recruits. Despite that, I enjoyed reading this because Emmett’s emotions and thoughts are very clear to the point that I sometimes felt I was aboard Genesis 11 with the recruits.
“We’re all blue.” It all sounds so strange, but I can’t help asking, “What’s blue?””Forgotten,”she says. “We’re the people the world wants to forget.”
These recruits are equally diverse with Emmett. There are Asians, Africans, Europeans and Americans. The whole cast were from all parts of the world which I think was very crucial in order to see one of the transformation of Nyxia – a device that could somehow translate other languages to a language that one can understand. So with this, the characters could effectively communicate. I like the part wherein the characters share what it feels like to be living under poverty. I loved how it showed to me that no matter how well a country is, there are still lots of people who is living under poverty. I also loved the fact that despite their cultural differences, the characters somehow connected and formed both weak and strong bonds. I especially like Emmett’s bonds with Kaya, Vandermeer and Bilal. Not only do I like their bonds, but I really like them as a character.
“But they don’t tell you the pain comes with you. They don’t tell you that hurt travels at light-speed too.”
In terms of the plot, it is like a mix of Hunger Games and Ender’s Game. The kids are being trained in space while securing a spot in Eden in order for their family to live well. It wasn’t that unique. But the plot twists every now and then would push you to read one more page again and again because you just can’t get enough of the book. However, there are times where the story is slow which may bother some of you. The world building wasn’t that much as well. They were just in a ship which is boring if you think about it (there are less I’m floating in air scenes!). There were less (if not none) scenes about outer space like asteroids and stars. Don’t expect for that one and you’ll maybe like this book.
“I like playing games, but I like winning games even more.”
Overall, I give this book 5 bees. I felt lots of things at the same time – I was shocked and sad and happy and angry. It gave me all sorts of feelings. I really enjoyed it and the fact that the characters are very diverse is really good. I recommend this to people who liked Ender’s Games, The 100 and Hunger Games fans who are also fans of outer space books.
What are your thoughts about this book? Are you going to read the second and third book in this series? Because I am! Let me know and perhaps we can do a buddy read!