Review: Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen
Published by Michael Joseph
Released 12th September 2017
384 Pages

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.


Nyxia is a book that I’d been intrigued by for a while. The title just captured my interest and I knew I wanted to find out more. When I saw this proof copy edition on the pulp shelf when I was on work experience at Penguin I grabbed it straight away. To say I was looking forward to reading it would be an understatement. I was so excited.

Emmett Atwater is leaving Earth. Why he has been recruited by the mysterious Babel Coporation is unknown but the amount of money in his contract has him boarding their ship, hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family. Emmett soon discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all from troubled backgrounds. Each recruit must earn the privilege to travel to the planet Eden – where they will mine a substance called Nyxia which has become the most valuable material in the universe. However, Babel’s ship is full of secrets. Emmett must soon face the ultimate choice win at any cost or find a way to fight that won’t make him lose his humanity.

The concept behind this book I found to be really unique and this is appealing. I’m not usually a big fan of sci-fi and have tried to read other books within the genre in the past but to no avail. With Nyxia it was different. I was so sucked into this world that I couldn’t stop reading. I wanted to know more, explore the surroundings and find out about each and every character. You need to have a great imagination to create a story like Nyxia so Scott, I applaud you. 

However, despite the great concept and intriguing storyline I did feel like the plot dragged for quite a while. I can understand that as it’s part of a series you can’t rush anything but I found myself getting frustrated at times. Some parts were so slow moving that I kept wanting to skip a few chapters to see if it was going to move on anytime soon. Granted, the story took part over 200+ days so it was going to be slow to some extent but not to the extent that I was feeling.

Friendship, I felt played a big part in the overall plot. At first you don’t think any of the ten recruits are going to be friends as they are technically all up against each other however further down the line you realise this thought is wrong. I particularly loved Emmetts friendship with Kaya. It was proof that you didn’t need a male and female character to fall in love. Their relationship was a brother/sisterly one and it did melt my heart slightly. His friendship with Bilal was also one that was slow burning but beautiful in the end. Bilal was one of my favourite characters and the one that I kept rooting for.

Emmett as a character was one that took a while for me to warm up to. At first I’ll admit I thought he was being a bit of a jerk. However, further down the line when we learn more about him I started to soften up to him. I am hoping that throughout the series we get to learn a lot more about his backstory as he has the potential to become an incredible protagonist.

Nyxia, overall, was a good read. The idea behind the story was intriguing and I enjoyed all the little twists and turns that kept me guessing. Granted, it was slow paced but that hasn’t put me off continuing with the series.


Scott Reintgen was always a back-row dreamer. As early as kindergarten, teachers noticed his tendency to stare out of classroom windows and disappear to more interesting elsewheres. In high school, he began laboring away on the opening chapter of his first fantasy novel. One of his favorite English teachers agreed to read the pages and the very next day she switched him (illegally) out of Spanish and into a Creative Writing class. The story got tossed eventually, but he never lost the confidence he was given by that single act of empowering faith.
Convinced he would one day be a writer, Scott spent most of college and graduate school investing in the world of literature. This eventually led to a career teaching English and Creative Writing in North Carolina. He strongly believes that every student who steps into his classroom has the right to see themselves, vibrant and victorious and on the page. It’s his hope to encourage a future full of diverse writers. As he’s fond of reminding his students, “You have a story to tell and you’re the only one who can tell it.”
As for his own writing, Scott continues to follow in the footsteps of his favorite authors. It was Tolkien who once wrote, “The fairy gold (too often) turns to withered leaves when it is brought away. All I can ask is that you, knowing all these things, will receive my withered leaves, as a token at least that my hand once held a little of the gold.” And Scott hopes his books are a trail of withered leaves that might lead readers to the bright elsewheres through which he constantly finds himself wandering.
He currently lives in North Carolina with his wife, Katie, and family.

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