by John Darryl Winston
My rating: 5 stars
Series: IA - Book 1
Publication Date: April 19, 2014
Publisher: Purple Ash Press
Genre: Science Fiction | Supernatural YA/Middlegrade
Print Length: 218 pages
Available from: Amazon
A: Initiate is a supernatural thriller set in the mean streets of America. A seemingly random act of gang violence sends "Naz" Andersen on a quest to find answers surrounding his dead parents that lead to a series of discoveries about his supernatural abilities. Naz tries to stay out of the way at his foster parent's home, but he walks in his sleep, and he is unable to keep the fact that he hears voices from his therapist. He attempts to go unnoticed at school and in the streets of the Exclave, but attracts the attention of friends and bullies alike, and his efforts to protect his little sister make him the target of malicious bullying by the notorious street gang, Incubus Apostles. Naz is an ordinary thirteen-year-old, or so he thinks. He harbors a secret that even he is oblivious to, and a series of ill-fated events reveal to him telekinetic and telepathic abilities. Now he must navigate newly found friendship and gang violence, and face the full force of the world around him. The only way he can survive is to discover the supernatural world within.
IA: Initiate by John Darryl Winston (IA #1)
What? Another young adult thriller filled with supernatural elements? NOT EVEN CLOSE! John Darryl Winston is carving a name for himself for contemporary young adult fantasy filled with realistic characters and fantastic dialogue! IA: Initiate the foundation for his IA series is a fine blend of genres that will have even the most reluctant readers gravitating to his work. Whether you are a young adult fancier or not, this is great creative work that flows at a comfortable pace, no breakneck speeds, no trudging along at a snail’s pace, and thank you, Mr. Winston, no info dumps!
Set in a less than choice part of town, thirteen-year-old Naz has appointed himself as his younger sister, Meri’s protector. Gangs rule the streets and everyone not with them is fair game. When Naz becomes the victim of bullying, he makes an incredible discovery that will lead him down a path he never knew existed. To survive in the world he lives in, he must embrace the unbelievable and do it quick. But how can he not think he is going a little crazy when he hears voices and is walking in his sleep? Does he need therapy to overcome brutal evens in his life or are they just a part of the building blocks of the man he is to become? It’s Naz and Meri against the world, two young individuals, family by blood, but bound by love. Siblings gotta love ‘em, in a world too harsh to feel safe in, these two are a force to be reckoned with.
John Darryl Winston has created wonderful role models for young adults, as their dialogue shows their emotions. What could be better than dimensional characters and detailed scenes to bring it all together and make a story breathe? Believe in the unbelievable and revel in the talent of John Darryl Winston. To the top of the hidden gem pile for this one!