(Author: D.M. Livingston) + (Year: 2013) + (Goodreads)
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Mr Livingston. Cachi!
I liked Nyx. It’s been a while since I’ve read any books about the Fae and most of them are epic love stories about stolen children and absolute psychopaths and stuff. Nyx does have its fair share of psychopaths but the most amazing part is that it is not a love story, disguised as a fantasy adventure.
As we are plunged into the depths of Hell, with its desert and its seven rivers, among which my favourite – the river of Paper Cuts or something, we meet Nyx, a murderous fae, who has been chosen as the Tithe, a sacrifice to the Devil. She starts wandering around until she realizes that aside from some scared witches, there is no one else down there. She meets four of these witches and they start a journey which has to lead them to the keys of Hell so that they can save the world.
My first and main observation about this book is that, despite its dark theme, the abundance of death and monsters, it’s hilarious! The author of the footnotes in the book is the narrator Nyx and so those footnotes are brilliant, possibly the best part of the book. Considering how Nyx is a sarcastic BAMF, I strongly suggest to whoever is reading the book, DO NOT skip the footnotes.
At the very beginning I was afraid that like in some YA books, it’s going to be dragged out, happening mostly while completing a single task for the entire book. When they started walking in Hell, I was SO SCARED that that’s what most of the action is going to be. Not even close. The book is very dynamic, in the 476 pages the characters travel in so many places and complete quite a number of tasks. So this is a definite plus in my book.
If any of you have read Darren Shan’s Demonata, you might notice the resemblance. If you are a fan, I recomment Nyx to you. It’s grotesque and strange but it is definitely fun and doesn’t leave you bored.
I had two important issues with the book, hence the rating.
First off, the mythology. The narrator strongly implies that different religions exist in different realms and yet the characters are somewhat familiar with other religions and deities. Even more so, all of them, despite being from different continents and with different beliefs, know who Hecate is and all of them bow down to her, even though at the very beginning of the book they have a conversation about how they have no idea that other religions exist. Actually mythology is a very complicated thing in the book. I was prepared to accept that many different mythologies are mixed up, but considering that there are different realms for each of them, it becomes very messy. Not to mention that different religions are mostly tied with different times in human history, meaning that as Olympus is in a different realm, the people who worship the Olympian gods should also be somewhat separate, so Ancient Greece should not even exist in this world. But even if it is that just the gods are in a different realms, since the characters have no idea what the deities from the other realms are, this should mean that no one on the earth depicted in the book should know about Olympian gods. Yet they do. I feel like my head is going to explode.
My second problem is not so important but is again enough to give me a headache. At the beginning Nyx shares parts of her essence with the witches so they all speak the same language. She does this just one more time with a demon. Meaning twice in the entire book. BUT! They meet relatively many people who should speak in different languages and yet they manage without the essence thing. So is it that everyone speaks one language, among the people left on earth? Somehow that seems doubtful. And if Nyx has tuned all of the witches to her language, how is it that they still manage to speak in their respective languages when they desire it. And what language is Nyx speaking in if she understands the witches in one and curses in another. And how is it that Mbayo chants in the Nyx-language AND curses in her own? That doesn’t make sense. Because if she needs her own language to chant, how does she manage it. And if the fact that they are speaking one language is a glamour, how is it that they manage to slip foreign words? Yes, the author wanted to show some skill in using other languages, I assume with help, but it’s just messy, because it doesn’t make sense: it should not be possible. Since my guess is that whatever Nyx does to make them all speak the same language is close to what the TARDIS does in Doctor Who, they should not be able to flip between different languages.
Oh, and if Morda curses in Russian with Cyrillic alphabet, why doesn’t Farzana curse in Persian with the Arabic alphabet? HEADACHE.
But considering that this is D.M. Livingston’s first book, I do think he did really well and I’d be interested in following his work.