Two months ago, I had the opportunity to publish my interview with Scott Reintgen on the release date of his newest book: Nyxia Uprising. (https://mamapandabear.com/2019/04/16/author-interview-scott-reintgen-author-of-the-nyxia-series/ Uprising is the third and final book in his Nyxia Triad series and brings closure to the adventures of Emmett Atwater and the various Genesis crews. My son and I adored the first Nyxia books and were waiting expectantly for the final installment. Unfortunately, due to our crazy schedules in May and June, it took us two months to finish Uprising. We read at least one chapter together every night (but he had several nights at his grandparents and at overnight camp) so, while we enjoyed this book just as much as the last two, it did take us awhile to get through it! Definitely don’t take our speed of completion into account as an indicator of plot pace or our involvement in the story!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Nyxia Triad…definitely start with the first book: Nyxia. It’s well worth it to get to know Atwater and his fellow astronauts and learn about the company that is sending them to a foreign planet: Babel. The first two books detail the background of the space mission and what happens when Atwater and his friends reach the targeted planet and meet its inhabitants. The third book is a culmination of all of that action, including how the astronauts fight for their survival against the enemy and whether or not they are able to return to Earth. While I sometimes find myself struggling to enjoy books that are appropriate for an 11-year old (and this one veers toward the mature side for his age) there is one sincere compliment that Reintgen deserves: his stories are such that both young people and adults will truly be sucked into the action and read them with great anticipation!
In his acknowledgements, Reintgen explains that, while it was exciting to write the first book and difficult to write the sequel, the final book in the series just flowed out of him as if it was meant to be. I have to acknowledge that it reads exactly that way. While not predictable, the third book addresses all of the suspense in the previous books and ties up the action in a satisfying and complete way. We experienced some of the same intensity in Uprising that we felt in the first two books but gained the satisfaction of closure that made sense to us and for the characters.
There are a couple of new, albeit minor, characters introduced in the third book, but all of our favorites were back (and with a vengeance!) Reintgen has a skill for differentiating his major characters and allowing the reader to invest in each and every one. Considering that there are probably 15 important characters in all three books, it would be easy for them to run together but, by focusing on their ethnicities and defining traits, Reintgen manages to deliver that large number of primary characters without it being confusing. We did struggle with the pronunciation of some of the foreign names (Roathy, anyone?) as we were reading aloud every night but just gave it our best shot and pushed through!
There are a couple of things about the Nyxia series that I loved (for myself but particularly for my 11 year old son):
- The women in Reintgen’s stories are STRONG. They know themselves and their strengths and weaknesses and harness those for the good of the group. There’s no question that any of Reintgen’s female characters could have ‘saved the day,’ as necessary, at any point in the action!
- Reintgen doesn’t hesitate to portray characters with all kinds of backgrounds and from all walks of life. There are Asian, European, Middle Eastern and American characters and some are rich while some are poor. Reintgen has stated in several interviews that he wanted to write books that were accessible to those who don’t normally see themselves on the page: truly, if you can’t relate to at least one of the characters in the Nyxia Triad, I would wager that you aren’t trying very hard!
- Reintgen gives his teenage characters agency without making them exceptionally precocious. The setting (together on a spaceship or foreign planet far from home) allows the characters to gain the knowledge and experience they need to master their responsibilities and not seem like they are unbelievably mature. Yet, Reintgen allows them to still behave like the teenagers they are: they have teen-like squabbles and crushes and tell immature jokes that allow the reader to really feel that they are genuinely teenagers who have been put in an exceptionally difficult and unusual situation.
Reintgen’s world building is also impressive. The ‘aliens’ that he creates are just recognizable enough to allow for interaction between themselves and the teens while being just foreign enough to show real creativity. I’m always impressed by an author who can create a whole new world with its own structures and rules and Reintgen really hit this one out of the park.
All in all, while my son and I were sad to see Atwater and company go at the end of Uprising, we were incredibly satisfied with the overall story arc and enjoyed the three books immensely. At between 300-400 pages a piece, reading the trilogy requires a commitment of time. I can’t however, stress enough, that, even if you started at the very beginning of the first book and read straight through, you’d be entertained from start to finish! Personally, we have no idea what Reintgen has planned next, but, whatever it is, we’ll be reading it!
To get your copy of any of the Nyxia Triad books, click on the links below: