Niko

The Outsider Chronicles Book 1

Young Adult - Sci-Fi
231 Pages
Reviewed on 10/17/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Kayti Nika Raet moved down South when she was 11 where she was bit by the writing bug as well as other less friendly insects. She the author of the YA dystopia, NIKO, it's sequel, HARM, as well as short stories SLITHER and TAPE THE DEVIL'S MOUTH. She's also a reviewer for Reader’s Favorite and is currently writing two series, The Outsider Chronicles, and a werewolf trilogy The Summer of Dogs.
Her procrastination aids are reading, K-pop, and photography.
Kayti lives in Milledgeville, Georgia. Visit her online on Twitter, Goodreads, on Facebook, Youtube, or email her at KNRwrites(at)gmail(dot)com.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Faridah Nassozi for Readers' Favorite

In Niko, by Kayti Nika Raet, 17-year-old Niko's life was shattered when she returned home one night after scavenge for some food to feed her two brothers, only to find their home on fire. The neighbour had set the place alight in defence against an invasion by Slithers - the ruthless monsters whose favourite treat was the human heart. The incident left Niko with one brother dead and one missing. In an unexpected turn of events, Niko woke up in the city, a place completely different from what she was used to in the slums. Here water and food were plentiful, unlike in the slums where one could go for days without food or even die from dehydration because pure water was so scarce and rain water acidic. Niko desperately needed to find her surviving brother and her new 'family' agreed to help her, but at a price - she had to become a part of their crew and help them defend the city against the Slithers. But soon she found out that life in the city was not exactly all it was cracked up to be.

Niko by Kayti Nika Raet is a thrilling YA science fiction novel that will have you on the edge of your seat. Imagine human looking but vicious monsters whose favourite dish is the human heart. From the very first chapter, I was hooked by the story and the creepy feeling the scene created as young Niko walked home with the ruthless monster on her trail and by her bravery, a feeling that continued throughout the book. Kayti Nika Raet's characters, the humans and the monsters, are all remarkable; she makes it very easy to connect with her characters, and the emotions in the story are well portrayed. The people feel very real and vulnerable while the monsters are really nasty and vicious. I had an absolute reading thrill with Niko and I cannot wait to get my hands on Book 2.

K. T. Bowes

This storyline would make a fantastic movie. Set in a world that is entirely believable, the fate of Niko’s family rests on her fragile shoulders. The reader loves Niko instantly. She is feisty, determined and refreshingly unafraid, juxtaposed with cowardly neighbours who stand and watch her home burn - with her two brothers in it. Niko’s quest is to find her missing brother and try to protect him from a civilisation that has turned in on itself. The reader knows that it’s not possible and so does Niko, but it doesn’t stop her wanting to try.

The characters Niko meets along the way are dangerous, even the ones she chooses to align herself with. The fate of the valiant Rose Circle is already mapped out in a progressive, hopeless spiral into failure, the product of man’s meddling with nature. Niko is the one bright spot in a beautifully described world that has no future and the reader is carried through on a tide of hope and possibility.

I really liked this novel, despite being entirely outside its perfect demographic audience. It was gripping and engaging, holding onto me until it was done.

Kristopher Brown

This book was completely mind blowing. The world has changed--the environment is tainted with acid water, and monsters called Slithers roam the land, and only a select group of people can kill them.

Niko is an orphan who's forced to take care of her 2 younger brothers, until a house fire destroys everything she's ever loved. She learns that she is unique--she can kill Slithers, which is an usual skill, and a lot of people don't have that ability.

The world is divided into cities and what Niko calls "Outside". There is obvious class distinction between city dwellers and Outsiders, and it was interesting to see the social hierarchy in this dystopian world.

The fight scenes were fast paced and beautifully written, and Niko herself was such an interesting character--she collects knives!--and she wasn't afraid to fight for those she loved.

There's a small amount of romance and humor in this, not enough to deviate from the plot, but enough to keep you curious and interested in the protagonist and those she interacted with.

I really enjoyed this book, and highly recommend to anyone who is looking for something fresh and fun in the dystopian genre. I'm looking forward to see what other adventures/dangers Niko gets herself into next

H. L. LeRoy

The first in a planned five book series, Kayti Nika Raet’s “Niko” is a tense and imaginative novel set in the popular field of YA dystopia. The characters are plausible, memorable, relatable, and cleverly written. Even better, the world she has created stands up to scrutiny, making sense where so many others collapse as you move from chapter to chapter.

The plotting in Niko is terrific with tension and story questions raised on the very first page. Not only is the world is bathed in acid rain making food scarce, humans are beset by ‘Slithers,’ fanged and clawed human-like beasts who feed on human flesh. Fortunately, as a proper heroine, Niko gleefully dispatches the Slithers with a nail-studded baseball bat. She joins the Rose Circle, a rogue group of Slither hunters who smuggle her into the presumed haven of Amaryllis City. But, as expected in a dystopian novel, all is not quite as it seems. What she discovers, about herself and the world she lives in, you’ll have to learn for yourself.

Each page is filled with adventure, sacrifice, surprises, and danger. You’ll not want to put this book down because each chapter leaves you wanting more!

5 Stars! Give it a try!

Thelonious Legend

The popularity of the Hunger Games, Divergent, and Legend has lead to an influx of dystopian series with a strong female lead. Niko is the latest entrant of this burgeoning genre and infuses it with promise and it's own unique twist.

Premise: Can't a girl just go out to get a bite to eat for her brothers without her house being burned down and her brothers being attacked by Slithers? For Niko that would be a no. Niko is the protector and provider of her brothers in this post apocalyptic world where people run for their life from the bestial humanoid Slithers and hope to god they are never caught in the acid rain which might be worse. In this bleak landscape Niko is one of the few special people who are capable of killing Slithers making her a wanted commodity. But all Niko wants is to find her brother and some form of normalcy. Yeah, good luck with that.

What I like: It goes without saying that I like Niko. She is a well written character with a clear goal. I like the science behind the salting of the streets after the acid rain. I like the description of the vibrant market place hucksters and all. The author has successfully weaved a post apolopytic world where people battle each other, Slithers, the elements and still manage to maintain their humanity because what the need most is a safe market to procure goods for their daily survival. Good stuff.

What I didn't like: What is different about the people that kill Slithers? Is it reflexes, strength, speed, bravery? This was touched on but never really spelled out and the difference between fantasy and science fiction is that science fiction requires specifics in this area. It's why nerds like me read science fiction. We want monsters, elements, super-powers married to real science somehow and explained. The tree scene went on a bit much for me. I know, I know, you are stuck in a tree and it's bad. Didn't need more than one page to tell me that.

Summary: Really good book. I had to think hard about material for the "What I didn't like" section because the author didn't give me a lot to choose from. Niko is a compelling charismatic character. She has a spine of steel, is determined and at the same-time compassionate and sensitive. All attributes that serve her well as she struggles to survive in her uncompromising environment. I am definitely looking forward to reading more about her and her future adventures. Solid 4 star

Peter Dickerson

Niko by Kayti Nika Raet is a page turner. It is an urban post apocalyptic thriller adventure.
I read Niko quickly and enjoyed the ideas and the style of the adventure.
The view of the future is believable but it is not somewhere we would want to live. Niko is likeable and resourceful. She has important skills but her future would be uncertain in such a hostile environment. I am not sure what the next 2 books in the series will reveal or how even short term survival issues would be resolved.
A special note should be made about the cool cover art, which I like a lot.
The book is nicely done and well crafted.

Hello again, this E.B. Hood the author of Melabeth series. If you haven’t seen my Youtube channel E.B. Hood, you need to check it out and subscribe. I do reviews of books and movies. Once again bring you another review of great book, Niko (The Outsider Chronicles Book 1) By: Kayti Nika Raet. You can watch it here http://youtu.be/DUD_DRuW6Ok