Apocalypse Nyx

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 09 Oct 2018

Member Reviews

You can't beat Nyx for some hard-boiled sci-fi thrill rides. Things never seem to go her way but she gets there in the end. If you like the God's War trilogy then you'll love this — a series of short adventures that throw you straight back into the mad, bug-filled sand storm of Nyx's life.
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Fantastic environment! The characterization had you from the start! And The plot never slowed down.  Will be reading more of this author in the near future!
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Apocalypse Nyx takes us into the world of Hurley’s Belle Dame Apocrypha series, giving us glimpses of the hardened, masterful character across five equally impressive novellas. I haven’t read the original trilogy, and feel like this is a great introduction to Nyx. Each story is filled with fight scenes, puzzles and the dynamics of a team with vastly different backgrounds and belief systems. The novella format fits the material perfectly, giving you a chance to meet the characters fully amidst shorter plots. I strongly recommend the collection, both for newbies and for existing fans. 

Full review at: https://reviewsandrobots.com/2018/12/10/apocalypse-nyx-book-review/
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Apocalypse Nyx
by Kameron Hurley
Tachyon Publications
Multicultural Interest , Sci Fi & Fantasy
Hurley is a genius in creating believable worlds down to a mote. These stories are related to a series apparently of a female mercenary/assassin and her group set in a future set of worlds with a strong feminist line where the women are definitely on top. While I really enjoyed these stories in this book on one hand there was something seriously disturbing on the other. As women and the original matriarchal societies were in many ways better and then to once again reach beyond that pint for the future one would hope we would grow beyond the lowest denominators biggest faults of a patriarchal society be it mentality,greed, criminal activity or on a larger scale wars and subjugation of other peoples. While the delight at the detail of this world wrapped me up the main character was not my favorite and led me to once against question why so many futuristic scenarios put down will show the same downfalls that the present holds, why women can't be ass kicking for good & triumph and not have the negative attribute of their male counterparts instead of showing the benefit of being female.  I think if nothing else [which there was so much to love] I truly enjoyed Black Panther movie because it gave us strong and hopeful women and scenarios. This world put forth while well written and engrossing is something I hope we would learn better from now rather than continue the same road regardless of who is in charge. Just something to ponder with an added point: if you love sci fi this is a must and  will probably now look up & read the series as I want more
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If you've never read anything by Hurley, I assure you, by page 15 you will stop and say "WHOA, who is this author and what rock have I been under that I haven't had the pleasure?  Why have my book lover friends not told me about her?!?!"  Hurley has something pretty amazing on her hands here, I hope there will be a movie or tv series eventually, although you really don't need it.  Even the most dull imagination becomes well lit with her amazing work building.  Thanks Netgalley for being the friend my fellow book lovers were not and introducing me to this amazing author!  Hurley, accept me into your legion because the worlds you build are AMAZING!  This month our book order will be HUGE!
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I love everything with Nyx in it. What a great, totally messed-up, yet still great character. And I also love her great but messed-up world. I choked up a bit when reading this, realizing some characters in it are now dead in book 2 or 3. But I also remembered how I came to love every single one of them. A fabulous addition to the Bel Dame Apocrypha trilogy.
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I am a fan of the Bel Dame series and revisited it after devouring these novellas. I forgot how much I enjoyed Nyx as a character.
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This collection of five novellas in Apocalypse Nyx is based on and uses some of the characters developed for the Bel Dame Apocrypha Trilogy. They especially - feature isn’t a strong enough word - so, star,  Nyxnissa so Dasheem one of the crankiest, orneriest, drunkest, most miserable heroines ever invented. Need I say that I adore her? 

I encountered the first and also the longest story, The Body Project, when it was made available on the net in 2018. I literally swallowed it whole, and found myself wishing the Kameron would give us another entire book of Nyx – soon. The following three here, The Heart is Eaten Last, Southbound and Crossroads at Jannah follow a pattern familiar to Nyx-fans. Nyx is talked into or finds some reason to agree to a ridiculous and dangerous job, which is certain to, and almost does, get her and her team killed, or covered in disgusting, smelly mire. In the process, copious numbers of bugs, bullets, blasts, bad language and farting bakkies (a form of transportation unique to Nyx-world) are stubbed out or otherwise disposed of. 

In the fifth story, Paint it Red, her team are all away for the night. Nyx allows herself to be talked into going on a job with an unknown team because it’s better, she reasons, than spending the night alone drinking. In doing so, she’s confronted with several truths that she has been trying ever so hard to ignore. Especially, what does it mean to have and be a friend. Don’t expect the answer to this to be all touchy-feely. These are Nyx stories, where with all the amazing world building and awesome numbers of bugs and ways to kill people, virtually all saccharine sentimentality has been meticulously scraped away. 

It can be sometimes a puzzlement to understand why her team members stay with her, but for the most part, failing death or serious dismemberment, they do. In these stories, Nyx has acquired four new employees: Rhys a Chenjan magician (In Nyx-world, that is one who can make bugs do funny things), Anneke, her sharp-shooting, weapons loving, marks-person, Taite her com tech, a nerdy teenager who is nonetheless a hacking whiz, and Kos, a big in all the right places Mhorian with a mane of yellow dreadlocks, who is a shifter. These are all wonderfully realised and somehow, despite the outrageous environment, totally believable creations. Need I mention the world building as always is awesome.   

There are some who might find the violence, diversity, Islamic religion and bugs a bit much to stomach. For them, these stories could provide a gentler introduction. For me, I love it all and can’t wait until Kameron gives us MORE NYX! 5*****.
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Apocalypse Nyx is a collection of short-ish stories about Nyx and her bounty hunting team. What I didn't realise before starting this book was that Nyx and her team (I presume) already have a book series - but that's ok, that means theres more Nyx stuff for me to read!

I quite enjoyed this book. I love books where there's a gang of unlikely friends who work together, and in this book, whilst they aren't all friends, Nyx has formed her bounty hunting team around people with very unique skills. The world is one of the most unique and diverse books I've read. I imagine it being set in a desert-like place, perhaps in the middle east. It is a world where people wear bournouses and dhotis, where praying is done multiple times a day, and where people eat plantains. There are also things like weird bug-based technology, magicians that control them, and surgeries that can not only bring people back from the edge of death but also change their appearance, including their gender. So cool! I think the author not only did a great job of world-building, but was also able to introduce the characteristics of the world slowly and organically. 

Despite the book being a short story collection based on novels I haven't read, I think Kameron Hurley did a great job of introducing the world in each short story, they work very well as standalone stories. The world explores ideas of religion, race, sexuality, war, science, ethics.. I could go on. I loved all of it, and I will definitely be reading the main story now. 

I liked all of the short stories, but my favourite was The Body Project. This was the first story in the collection. It made me think about the concept of gender identity in a world where people can surgically get their gender swapped with (relative) ease. 

What kept me from rating this a 5/5 is that even though Nyx is an interesting character, I think the hard-drinking and uncaring female leader who doesn't care who she sleeps with is becoming a bit of a trope. HOWEVER. I understand that when the very first book was published (God's War, 2011), it may not have been a trope. But I feel like I've read a few characters like Nyx and her as a character didn't grab me. I did like the other characters in the book, particularly the male characters. I like how Nyx has a weird relationship with all of her gang members. 

Got a free copy of this book from Netgalley.
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These novellas are ... well, they're weird. They are capital "W" WEIRD AS FUDGE. Sludge. Bio-punk urban fantasy sludge. They're light, they're fun, they're set in a world which is implicitly matriarchal. They're the light, dark, gritty, fun follow-up to "The Stars Are Legion" that you never knew you needed, but you oh-so-definitely do.

Oh, and they're full of bugs. SO MANY BUGS.
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One online source says this book is suitable for people who aren't familiar with this series so I gave it a try. I had no idea what was going on and I quit reading.

I received a review copy of "Apocalypse Nyx" by Kameron Hurley (Tachyon) through NetGalley.com.
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"It's selfish to make somebody's life or death about you. It was her life. Let her live it as she chose."

Apocalypse Nyx is a series of short stories about the protagonist of Kameron Hurley's Bel Dame Apocrypha series. Each of the first few stories describes the way Nyx met a member of her team. (There are some discrepancies in the timeline, but Nyx isn't the most reliable source.) I think the ideal reading order would be to pick this collection up after the first book: Nyx and her team are still very young, in these stories. Though none of them exactly grow wise, their relationships shift over the course of the trilogy in a way that these introductions don't reflect. On the other hand, if you miss Nyx's first team, before compromise and explosions and politics tore things up, this collection is a chance to spend time with them again.

The most unexpected story is the last one, in which we meet parrot shifters who have chosen not to be human circling around a tower, and learn that although Nyx is a terrible shot, she's genuinely good at disarming mines. Nyx is also good at staying alive, and slightly better at keeping a team alive along with her than she would like to admit. I hesitate to call her honest, but she has a weird compelling straight-line stubbornness that I keep coming back to.
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Interesting world building along with characters that fit.  This is a good post-apocalypse story with a interesting plot and great edge of your seat action.
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It was enjoyable for the most part but it was also very repetitive.  The story basically of Nyx who is a rebuilt human? cyborg? enhanced human?, it's never very clear.  She's a mercenary on a planet that is Muslim mostly and seems to be drunk most of the time..  She surrounds herself by misfit's and refugee's as they take on various job where things never go as planned but they always come out more or less ok.
The stories are fun, enjoyable violent mayhem with some great humor.  But when they are back to back like this you get a been there done that quality.  These would have worked better if I had read them piecemeal over a longer period.  This is also not a good jumping on point where few things are explained.
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This collection of short stories is set in the Bel Dame Apocrypha World. There is an entire series that I haven’t read. I don’t want to spoil to much of the main books for myself, but from what I could gather these are set in between the events of the main books. Even though I went in knowing nothing of the world or the previous stories, Hurley doesn’t throw you into the deep end, you quickly get a feel for the world. After all the very first line of the first story gives you a real sense of the type of world our girl Nyx is inhabiting.

I loved getting to know Nyx and her team. She is unapologetically herself. She is highly trained, willing to sacrifice her team and when the girl wants to get laid, we all know its going to happen. She has experienced a lot in her short (but long by the world’s standard) life. She has been to war, she has been broken, she has been put back together, trained as an assassin, spent a year in prison and built herself a reputation as someone you don’t want to fuck with.

These stories have betrayal, magic, romance, violence, weird creepy bugs, whisky and a whole heap of sass. If you are unsure if Kameron Hurley is for you, try this collection. There are five stories of varying length and detail, all of them are well written, bringing this war ravaged land to life.
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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.
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The Body Project and The Heart Is Eaten Last are both great stories, whilst the other three were just okay. There is nobody quite like Nyxnissa so Dasheem so it’s always enjoyable to spend more time with her.
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For those unfamiliar with Kameron Hurley’s Bel Dame Apocrypha (God’s War, Infidel, Rapture), Nyxnissa so Dasheem (a.k.a. Nyx) is a hard-drinking, hard-fucking mercenary with sliding scale morals, working mostly as a headhunter on the planet Umayma, as the never-ending holy war between her home nation of Nasheen and their rival Chenja drags on. True to Hurley’s cacophonous approach to sci-fantasy worldbuilding, the details of the Bel Dame universe sound outrageous to the ear (insect-based technology?!?) but function with such an earthy coolness and insistent internal logic that they come off as realism. Hurley’s new book in the Bel Dame canon, Apocalypse Nyx, is a five-story cycle set in the time between the first and second novel of the trilogy; the stories are all standalones, though they are arranged chronologically and certain themes and character arcs thread through the book, giving it a satisfying, unified feel. 
In “The Body Project”, Nyx and her team are on a job when they come across the mutilated corpse of Jahar, a former squad mate from Nyx’s time at the front. The problem is, Jahar should already be long dead – Nyx was there and blames herself. Nyx pretends to be a bel dame to get access to the building Jahar’s head is swinging from, only to cross paths with a long-estranged frenemy named Anneke who has her own reasons for investigating Jahar’s death. Then the real bel dames show up. 
Anneke has joined the team by the time “The Heart is Eaten Last” begins, as Nyx takes a job hunting down domestic terrorists who are bombing weapons plants in southern Nasheen. Nyx’s estranged sister Kine comes calling, and her magician Rhys is finally getting sick of Nyx’s shit and starts looking for employment elsewhere, and a shapeshifter named Khos joins the team. “Soulbound” finds Nyx and the gang investigating a smuggler moving contraband in dead bodies when they come across a woman dissecting corpses while looking for the “seat of the soul”. The shortest work in the collection is “Crossroads at Jannah”, where Nyx is hired to retrieve some discarded data casings from an acid lake before they dissolve – a job that ends up being far more dangerous than it sounds.
The nightcap to all this madness, and the best of the five stories, is “Paint it Red”. With the rest of her team taking some downtime, Nyx tries to take a day off, but Mahir, a fellow former inmate shows up to call in a favor, and hijacks Nyx for a smash-and-grab job while providing distressingly little in the way of details. The details don’t come until much later, when it leads to someone from Nyx’s past.
Nyx isn’t always an easy sell as a protagonist; she’s an objectively terrible person, but then Hurley tends to build worlds where only terrible people have fortitude/resources/luck to survive the day. In Hurley’s stories, the environment, culture, commerce, etc. is relentless in placing demands on your time, your mind, your body. Nyx’s coping mechanisms – drinking and fucking – are nothing new, and little changes in her temperament from the opening page to the last. This is a predictable feature of its placement within the canon of the trilogy – Nyx can’t really grow as a person any more than the space between God’s War and Infidel allows, and it’s doubtful Hurley would want her to anyway. Fans show up for the fatalistic prose, acid-tongued banter between hard-bitten mercenaries, over the top violence and female-centered action storytelling - Apocalypse Nyx delivers on all those fronts.
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This is a collection of five short pieces and can be read as an intro to the world of Kameron Hurley's Bel Dame Apocrypha world, which began with God's War. I confess I have only read the first two stories, slightly over half the book. I've seen Nyx described as 'painfully hard to like' and I'd go with that description. Her answer to everything is to smash heads (or maybe hack them off), and by the time I'd read the first two stories I needed a rest. Nyx is a former Bel Dame, a government assassin turned bounty hunter. She's seen a lot of gore, and contributed greatly to the body count, but she's damaged, and like her surroundings, she's angry, grim, and bloody. She has a team, but she's not sure she can count on them and, what's worse, she's not sure if they can count on her. I will go back and read the other three stories in thius collection, but I need to decompress first.
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Nyx is a bounty hunter in Nasheen, which is stuck in a never-ending religious war with neighboring Chenja. The world building is a fascinating mix of magic and technology, mostly based on insects – a character breaks apart a fire beetle to start a fire, for instance, and bug bits and secretions are used to do everything from power cars to make bullets. Nasheen society is matriarchal, and also draws heavily on the Muslim religion, with mosques on every corner and the calls to prayer dividing up the day. Nyx’s team is a mishmash of the dregs of society, and it consists of Taite, a young com tech; Anneke, a hired gun who likes carrying around guns almost as big as herself; Rhys, a Chenjan bug magician, able to control swarms of bugs; and Khos, a bulky shape shifter. An ex-soldier and ex-assasin, Nyx’s existence consists mostly of bounty hunting and then drinking away her past, and the others on her team go along for various similar reasons. She’s deeply flawed, prickly, morally grey, and kind of a bitch, so of course I loved her. This anthology doesn’t have much of an overarching theme – it’s more of a series of heists that outline Nyx’s character and her relation to her team. While the first two stories are novella-length, the last three are short stories, and all of these were previously published on the author’s Patreon.

“Plotting?” he asked.
“You know me well enough to know I don’t think any of this shit through beforehand.”

“The Body Project” – ★★★★ – While out on a bounty hunt, Nyx and her team find a dead body – and a head floating in the window of the building several stories up. She quickly realizes it’s one of her former military team members, and someone who should already have been dead. Nyx, out of obligation to her old team member or some other whim, decides to investigate, and is drawn into a mystery that will endanger her current team.

“Anyway,” she said, “I’m in the market for a shifter anyway. You know anyone?”
The man raised his brows. “You’ve brought a dead shapeshifter here, which you admit was killed in your own basement, and want me, a shifter, to recommend a good shifter to you?”
“Yeah,” Nyx said.”

“The Heart Is Eaten Last” – ★★★★★ – This was my favorite of the bunch. Another job, another pretty woman lying to Nyx, another chance to get her whole team blown up. Nice and twisty, with some seriously messed up moments!

“We are discussing the plan we need to come up with to finish the job that we contracted for.”
“We should have just stolen her leg,” Taite said.
“Fuck you and the fucking leg,” Nyx said.”

“Soulbound” – ★★★★ – An easy job to round up some on-the-run magicians turns into an excursion into the disputed territory between Nasheen and Chenja. Surprisingly hilarious and action-packed.

“This is the hell you made yourself. I’d ask what you have to punish yourself for, but I’ve already seen enough in my time with you to justify every bit of this.”

“Crossroads at Jannah” – ★★★★ – A bit more background on some of the bug technology, another confrontation between Rhys and Nyx.

“You did me a favor in prison,” Nyx said. “I clear my debts.”
“I saved your life.”
“Sounds like a favor, doesn’t it?”

“Paint It Red” – ★★★ – Nyx, minus her team. An old prison friend calls in a favor, and Nyx joins her crew for a heist. A good story to end the anthology with, as it reaffirms the family that Nyx has drawn around herself, and that she’s not as morally bad as she’d have you think.

As a first introduction to Nyx, I think it works pretty well, and it definitely made me interested in picking up the rest of the books in the series to see more of Nyx and her team. Recommended for fans of kickass flawed heroines and grimdark SF&F!

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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