Book Review: Nyxia Uprising

nyxia uprisingTitle: Nyxia Uprising
Author:
 Scott Reintgen
Genre: Young Adult/Sci-Fi
Version: Hardcover
Page Count: 368
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: POC characters, LGBTQA+ characters, Social class struggles
Recommended Readers: Fans of space adventures and high stakes
Rating: ★★★★★

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.

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ARC Review: Pet

petTitle: Pet
Author:
 Akwaeke Emezi
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Version: ARC – ebook
Page Count: 208
Publisher: Make Me a World
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: POC cast, LGBTQA+ characters
Recommended Readers: Everyone!
Rating: ★★★★★

Thank you, NetGalley and the publisher, for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

From its distinctive prose to its powerful message, Pet by Akwaeke Emezi is a compelling novel that asks us to be watchful of monsters, especially those that look, act, and smile just like us.

Our story follows Jam, who was born in a world without monsters. During her parents’ youth, the world finally got tired of the political corruption and social degradation, and said enough. Now, the city of Lucille teaches its children that there are no more monsters, that angels—ordinary people who rose to the challenge of saving the world—got rid of the monsters for good, through rehabilitation or otherwise. However, Jam’s understanding of this world is shaken when Pet, a creature with horns, feathers, and claws, emerges from one of her mother’s paintings, claiming it has come to hunt a monster. Jam has to work with Pet to uncover the monster, but she is torn with indecision when she learns it is located in her best friend Redemption’s house—and that none of the adults in her world want to believe that monsters still exist right in front of them.

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Book Review: We Set the Dark on Fire

we set the dark on fireTitle: We Set the Dark on Fire
Author:
 Tehlor Kay Mejia
Genre: Young Adult
Version: Hardcover
Page Count: 384
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: Latinx characters and WLW romance
Recommended Readers: Gosh, everyone!
Rating: ★★★★★

I was recommended to read this by a friend just in time for Pride month, and I was so incredibly blown away by it!

We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia is one of those rare YA books that is set in a fictional land, but there’s no real magic or sci-fi/fantasy elements to speak of. Rather, it mirrors our own world and the issues we face—particularly those of Latinx people in the context of American immigration—but at a more dystopian-level. Though, I regret to say, this dystopia and the current state of America is almost on the exact same wavelength. That’s…worrisome and depressing.

Our story follows Daniela “Dani” Vargas in the fictional island country of Medio. A myth about the sun god selecting two wives for his own, making the sea god and his people their eternal enemy, is the basis for Medio’s rampant political corruption and class divide. Dani’s parents once risked everything to cross the wall dividing the two islands and acquire forged identification papers so Dani could enroll at the Medio School for Girls. Now, she is graduating as the top Primera in her class, destined to run her future husband’s household and guaranteed a life of luxury.

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Book Review: Beneath the Citadel

beneath the citadel
Title:
 Beneath the Citadel
Author:
 Destiny Soria
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Version: ARC – ebook
Page Count: 480
Publisher: Amulet Books
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: Diverse, LGBTQA+ characters
Recommended Readers: Fans of ensemble casts, slower plots
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for offering this ARC in exchange for an honest review—and sorry for the lateness.

I loved Destiny Soria’s Iron Cast and was greatly looking forward to this book, but after finishing it… Iron Cast was better by far.

I’ve had a hard time determining if Beneath the Citadel just isn’t for me, or if it isn’t for me right now. Would I have enjoyed it more if I was in a better mood for it, or would my thoughts still be the same? Unfortunately, I have absolutely no urge to reread it to find out, but who knows? Maybe I will someday.

The novel takes place in the fictional city of Eldra, where infallible prophecies determine events and the fate of the people. The High Council rules with an iron fist, taking advantage of the gifts of rooks, diviners, seers, and sentients to prevent threats to their power. As a result, the last rebellion was crushed underfoot, leaving only their children as bitter survivors. Cassa, the daughter of rebels, seeks to expose the council’s corruption and overthrow them, and the key to doing so lies beneath the Citadel—but she and her friends have to break in and get there alive first.

Before I get more into the plot, let’s talk about my reactions to the characters.

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