In the Nyxia Triad series finale, Emmett and the Genesis team must join forces with a surprising set of allies if they're ever to make it home alive.
The Genesis team may have been brought to Eden as Babel's unsuspecting pawns, but they refuse to be sacrificed in this winner-take-all game. Thanks to their secret alliance with Eden's indigenous population, they know something Babel doesn't.
This world is coming to an end.
But Emmett and the Genesis team lost their secret advantage when their escape route was destroyed, leaving them stranded on the dying planet with their adversary. They must find a way to win one final battle for control of the Genesis ships--or they'll lose Babel's twisted game once and for all. This is their last chance to rise.
Praise for the Nyxia Triad:
"A high-octane thriller. . . . Nyxia grabs you from the first line and never lets go." --MARIE LU, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Young Elites series
"File this book under A for Amazing." --JAY KRISTOFF, New York Times bestselling co-author of Aurora Rising
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18 days 12 hours 11 minutes
Babel’s king bleeds.
For a moment, I think I’ve lost the trail. But I double back and find his blood painted across moonlit leaves. A great streak of scarlet marks the body of a swollen trunk. If I squinted any longer, I might have been able to convince myself the mark looked like the Chinese characters for dying.
I need this king alive.
Moonlight dominates the clearing. A creek angles west. It forks, and just there, I see where Defoe must have gone. There are no footprints, not in this ghostly place, but it’s the most reasonable decision. A massive tree has been exposed at the roots. They curl above and around a hollow. It’s the kind of burrow a deer might sleep in. I watch the shadows for several minutes.
I follow the creek forward. The trees sway, their branches and leaves grasping at the light of the nearest moon. It almost feels as if the entire forest is flinching away from where Defoe is hidden. Fifty meters. I lift both hands innocently into the air. My eyes trace over the landscape, through the shadows. I’m not eager to die just because some creature has picked up our scent.
Twenty-five meters. I pause, hands still raised, awaiting an invitation. The shadows are too deep to see anything. Breathing. I can hear breathing. One shallow breath after another.
Reaching up, I tap the light on my shoulder. A beam flashes out--like a third moon--and highlights the makeshift cavern. Defoe is there. His eyes take in the sight of me before closing in pain. I can feel him grasping, the subtle trace of nyxia in the air. Clearly, he’s far too weak to do much with the substance. I have a choice to make. The consequences will echo.
The first choice ends here and now. How painfully simple it would be to finish him. One of Babel’s greatest threats, erased. It would eliminate any opportunity for him to hurt the others.
It would also eliminate any opportunity to infiltrate Babel. Show up on their doorstep without him and I become a prisoner. The other choice: Save him. Rescue. Subvert. Wait.
When I strike, I want to make sure I hit an artery. My two choices and their consequences play out in less than a breath. “Mr. Defoe.” I make my voice calm. “I came to help you.”
He wheezes. It’s almost a laugh. It is clear what he thinks of me.
“Longwei--of course you did. . . .”
I watch as he leans his head back. Hidden at his hip, an explosive. Identical to the one he used on the battlefield. The same device that nearly ripped my friends apart with a single blast. Defoe lifts the device so I can see it more clearly.
“I thought--well, never mind what I thought.” A cough shakes his body. “Take this. Replace my fingers on the pin and get rid of it. Three-second charge. Throw it as far as you can.”
His arm shakes, but I am steady. I replace his fingers quickly, device secured, and turn. Twenty paces bring me back to the edge of the creek. With a deep breath, I throw the grenade as far as I can. Moonlight dances across its spiraling surface; then the grenade falls below the tree line and vanishes briefly from sight. A second passes before an explosion tears the darkness in two.
Bright and loud. A pair of birds take to the air. Something massive stirs deeper in the forest. I move back to Defoe’s side. “I can’t--stop the bleeding,” he gasps. “The nyxia won’t take.”
I kneel so that my shoulder light is centered on the curled, covered stump of his arm. He has a soiled towel wrapped around it. Ineffective. I set down my own pack and start digging.
A new bandage, gauze, a plastic bag.
“I need to unwrap your current bandage.”
Defoe nods once. I pinch the gauze between two fingers, carefully avoiding the blood, and lift one corner. The folds unravel. Defoe doesn’t protest as the material rips and snags. The wound exposes the bloody interior of his arm. Babel’s king. How human he seems now. For too long I thought him a god. Seeing him this way will help in all that is to come.
I pack the gauze in tight around the exposed areas before wrapping the bandage tightly. Layer after layer. I use a piece of nyxia to seal it to his arm. Defoe lets out a groan as I pull the plastic bag over the entire wrapping, cinching it on his forearm, closing everything within.
“It needs to be iced,” I say.
“It needs a lot more than ice,” he replies. “I haven’t slept. I’ve forced myself to keep moving. I need you to seal us in here. Keep us safe. Do you know how to do the manipulation?”
In answer, I reach for my nyxia. The substance pulses. A firm thought casts it out like a curtain, big enough to drape over the entrance of the hollow. “Like this?”
“Adjust it,” Defoe gasps back. “So we can see out, but nothing can see in.”
The change takes a few attempts. Defoe worms his way deeper into the hollow so there’s room for me. I reach up, tucking the top of the nyxian drape between a set of exposed roots. I test it with a tug and it holds. The fabric stretches as I adjust the flaps and enclose us. There are gaps to let oxygen in, but we’re hidden from prying eyes now. Defoe turns his back to me, injured arm balanced delicately on his hip.
“Sleep. I need sleep.”
For the second time, I consider killing him.
The moment slips by like a long, slithering snake. Understanding shivers down my spine. I can feel the goose bumps run down my neck and arms. I know what keeping him alive will mean. Someone will die. A friend of mine, perhaps. Defoe is formidable. He can turn the tides in a single battle with ease. His intelligence will also give Babel the upper hand in the coming days.
Who will die because I let him live? What will the cost be?
I force myself to swallow those fears. I chase the dark thoughts away and remember that it’s wise to lose a battle if it means we can win the war.
Unbidden, my eyes roam up to the distant moons. Glacius looks like an unpolished pearl; Magness like a bloodshot eye. The two moons appear hammer-struck into the sky. It’s hard to remember they are moving, spinning, spiraling. I know their paths are drawing them inevitably toward one another. I keep the thought quiet--almost afraid Defoe might hear it if I think about it for too long. But no matter how much I try to bury it, the truth is impossible to ignore.
This world is coming to an end.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What a beautiful ending to a favorite series!! Scott Reintgen gave us a perfect ending to The Nyxia Triad in Nyxia Uprising. Can you say book hangover? I'm pretty sure I'll be experiencing a massive one. In Book 3, Emmett and Morning along with the rest of the Genesis kids, and the Imago, race to beat back Babel and get off planet before the planet's moons collide. Along the way, the gang not only has to fight Babel, but also fight off the predators of the harsh planet. I switched off between reading this book in print and listening to the audiobook. Ummmm... You may want to be careful about listening to this one while driving. Reintgen does not hold back about killing off his characters, and I found myself trying to drive through the tears during one especially emotional chapter. And that ending! I'm completely at peace now and can leave this series knowing that all is right with the Genesis survivors. The audiobook was narrated by Sullivan Jones, Kyla Garcia, Alex Romashov, and Keong Sim; Emmett, Morning, Anton, and Longwei. I loved Sullivan and Keong's chapters the best. For Kyla, I had to speed her chapters up for some reason. Overall, a little over a 4 for the performances.