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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.