Title: Nyxia Uprising
Author: Scott Reintgen
Genre: Young Adult/Sci-Fi
Page Count: 368
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Notable Notables: POC characters, LGBTQA+ characters, Social class struggles
Recommended Readers: Fans of space adventures and high stakes
No, it’s over! Why??? Hats off to Scott Reintgen for delivering not only one of the best sci-fi trilogies in YA but also one of the best trilogies period with the Nyxia Triad. Like the others, Nyxia Uprising does not disappoint, and in fact it might rival the first book as being my favorite. I didn’t think that was going to be possible, but Reintgen did it!
Since this is the final book, I’m not going to be offering a synopsis since it will spoil the others, and I want people to go into this trilogy with fresh, eager eyes like I did. Nyxia Uprising especially contains the right balance of character, action, grit, heart, and heartbreak that begs to be experienced. Part of me wishes I could go back and read it all over from the beginning, not knowing what’s coming, and the best way I can do that is to recommend it to everyone I know.
If you’re looking for a fun space adventure with a diverse cast and thoughtful prose, the Nyxia Triad is it. If you’re looking for a “fuck corporations, pro-middle class” narrative, here you go. If you’re looking for a group of down-trodden kids with their own motives, goals, and dreams who grow in adversity, rivalry, collaboration, and friendship into a found family, look no further. If you love exploring gray morality and trying to make the right and/or strategic choices in the face of survival, you’re welcome.
There’s also pain, oh yes. Glorious pain as best laid plans and desperate last measures go awry. I can be thankful that all but one of my favorite characters made it to the end, but it’s hard! Because I still care about everyone, and the survivors ruminating on what occurs is tear-inducing, and I was stressed out the entire time. Luckily, there’s also plenty of edge-of-your-seat action and tension that you and the characters are never left to wallow in your misery. Reintgen knows how to balance action and reaction and knows when it’s appropriate to take a breather. In fact, I really loved the pacing overall. It was an improvement from Nyxia Unleashed.
In fact, the only “weakness” I can pinpoint in this one was an editorial error involving one character: Ida. There were a few instances where the book failed to keep up with her, and I’m shocked that the editor didn’t catch it. The first was when the characters had to pair up on board these spaceships. We learn Ida and Holly were paired, and then on the next page, Ida was paired with Jazzy, even though it was already established Jazzy was paired with another character. This becomes especially relevant a few pages later for spoiler reasons I won’t say, and the accidental character switch-up took me out of the story for a moment. Later—and this is a spoiler I can’t avoid, forgive me—Ida is killed. It’s fully acknowledged by the characters, but then the prose has her running after Parvin and Holly, very much alive. Next thing we know, Isadora is crying about “leaving her” dead back there.
I also don’t know if this was an accident or not, but as characters were reflecting on and honoring the dead, every character was named at one time or another—except Ida. And I don’t know. She was never super important, but I felt kind of bad because, girl, they forgot you, I’m so sorry. Therefore, I hope the editor is made aware of this, and maybe it will be corrected in future versions.
Nevertheless, the strength of the book continues to come from Emmett, Morning, Anton, and the other characters. We get more first-person perspectives here than the previous two books, all of them engaging and different enough so you experience variety without getting overwhelmed while reading. Some books suffer from too many POVs, but that’s never the case with Reintgen. Each character has their own distinct voice and perspective on the world along with interesting commentary about what’s going on, so there’s never a time where I was suffering through anyone’s internal thoughts. Even with the most cutthroat characters, you tend to like whether you’re in their head or not because Reintgen makes them all so engaging.
Part of me wishes that I knew about what happens after the trilogy concludes, but I definitely don’t need to know. I don’t need a spin-off series or anything like that because honestly? I like being able to wonder. I like the fact that I want more and that I wouldn’t mind following these characters into the future. That just means I came to love them and root for them so much. Plus the whole family thing between them all? It’s so powerful because each and every one of them had to earn it, to forge those bonds.
And all of them, from Emmett to Isadora, deserved it. I’m so proud of all of them, and I’m so thankful to Scott Reintgen for introducing them to me and telling me their stories. I can’t wait to revisit the Nyxia Triad someday and to see what else he has in store with his future works. You’ve definitely made a fan out of me, Scott. Keep doing good work!