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?
Nyxia Unleashed has the Genesis crew on the planet of Eden aka Magnia, getting caught in a battle of wits and power between Babel and the
Adamites Imago. This book did quite better than Nyxia, for me. For once, there was something more going on than a core storyline. There was Emmett being on Isadora’s hitlist because she thinks he killed Roathy during the final trial. Plus, Babel is being shadier than usual when it came to their job. Their host, the Imago seem way to happy to see the Genesis crew, which means they need them desperately for some purpose other than what was told to them. Basically, they have to continually evaluate their circumstances, and see how they can ever get back to Earth.
The one thing the book did better is characterization and relationships. These kids from both Genesis crews have been through hell and more to get to Eden, and the realization that Babel maybe doesn’t really care for their lives is a big blow to some. Also, now that they aren’t in direct competition with one another, it paves the way for a survivor-bond, with the exception of Isadora thirsting for his blood. There are some initial clashes due to the fact that four were supposed to have died at the hands of others for them all to get down, and the motives behind Babel forcing their hands are not clear. Morning was already onto the conspiracy so she puts some plans into motion, but the fact is they are on the ground and Babel’s ships are the only hope of them ever getting back to Earth. While they are interacting with the Imago, they learn more about their society and culture, leading them to decide which side to take, even if both seem dangerous. Also, this book has some chapters from perspectives other than Emmett’s so it makes for good change and also lets us know what it going on.
The book has fewer plot problems, but it is not free of them. While I loved the introduction to Imago culture and the hierarchy they live by (the society is extremely classist), the fact that it isn’t brought up again when they meet the rulers makes it just filler material. The only saving grace is that they didn’t adhere to the social classes when it came to their evacuation plan, but it still left me wondering what was the point of that whole ‘we’ll take the Seventh Ring people for dinner too’. (It wasn’t even presented as a thing that they were judging them by, soooo) The romance parts of the book did not interest me, even with the newer pairs being presented – somehow they didn’t fit the flow. I had hoped the ending of the book would come about at the evacuation and them being in space, but the climax actually threw a wrench into that idea and gave us newer variables in the form of players in the Babel company structure. And looks like all that is going to be the next book, thanks to the minor cliffhanger dropped on the Tower Station.
Verdict: Good sequel – definitely better than the first. Liked the characterization this time around and felt like there was some connection for me to root for them. Still needs to better think out its plot.
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Crown Books for Young Readers, via Netgalley.
Is it diverse?
The MC, Emmett, is Black, and his love interest, Morning, is Latina. Most of the secondary characters in the Genesis Crew are POC, and two of them are canonically gay and another girl wears a hijab.