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Apocalypse Nyx by Kameron Hurley. Book Review

July 30, 2018

Book cover of Apocalypse Nyx

Nyxnissa so Dasheem or Nyx has fought as a soldier, been an ex-government assassin and done a stretch in prison. She has turned her disreputable past into a living as a sought-after bounty hunter and problem solver of awkward problems people want to go away. She does not work alone, collecting an equally disreputable, but competent crew to help her in her work.

Nyx is a brilliantly imagined character. She is full-on, ruthless, outrageous, but this merely reflects the unforgiving war-ridden world she lives in. To those on the outside of her inner circle Nyx appears uncouth and very unpleasant. To her crew she is equally verbally unsavoury, but they know she is also someone they can rely on, particularly when it comes to straight talking and not leaving any man or woman behind.

Nyx’s world is one where bugs are deployed by magicians. The bugs are used in the same way we would any technology for intelligence gathering, protection or computer hacking. It is a fantastical world set in a desert world where only the powerful and tough survive. A world where people like the hard-living Nyx are unlikely to make old age.

Nyx and her team have a family structure and like all families argue, fall out and misbehave, relying on the matriarch figure of Nyx to pull them all together. A particularly nice touch is Nyx’s very conventional sister Kine, who matches Nyx’s obscenities and tough talk with a firm and determined dignity, because she understands that despite the emotional wall Nyx puts up, she still needs that connection with her sister. Though poles apart their connectedness is clear.

The team’s escapades are told through a series of stories with tenuous links between them. Within it we are introduced to Nyx’s motley, but extremely efficient and lethal crew. Each of which has their own special skill. Rhys, the magician, Taite, the com tech, who works on the surveillance and hacking into communications, Anneke, who is superb with weapons, but a bit of a loose cannon, and Khos a shapeshifter.

We also meet people from Nyx’s past, which to say was colourful is an understatement. It is a past which comes back to haunt her and test even Nyx’s skewed moral compass.

To say this book is one of my comfort reads might seem strange, but each story played out in my head like a film in which there is much to take in visually, as well as the superb banter between Nyx’s surrogate family. The first story had me so sold on Nyx and her motley crew, I just wanted to take time out and enjoy their adventures. I hope this is not the last I read of Nyx.

Apocalypse Nyx was courtesy of Tachyon Publications via NetGalley.

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