Spoiler-Free Review: IA Initiate (#1) by John Darryl Winston
IA: 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.
Title - IA Initiate (IA #1)
Author - John Darryl Winston
Pages - 218 Pages
*I was sent this book from the author in trade for an honest review*
Thank you John for sending me a signed book along with two bookmarks and I'm really sorry that it's taken me so long to read IA Initiate and review it for you (a few months...)!
Anyway, let's forget about that and get into the review!
My thoughts going into this book:
I didn't really know much about this book apart from the fact that it's a first in a series (trilogy, I think) and that I had been seeing it EVERYWHERE! Literally at the time all the people who I follow on Instagram had this book. However, I'd never seen it in a bookstore anywhere near me, which is why I was so so grateful when John asked me whether I'd like a copy for review. Of course I said yes otherwise I wouldn't be doing this review now.
Anyway, all I knew was that it was quite popular at the time and that I was really excited to go into it. It had been on basically every TBR for the months afterwards, but for some reason I just never felt like picking it up until now.
My thoughts while reading:
Things I liked
The book was surprisingly really easy to get into and that really helped me as I had felt quite reading slumpish recently. It made it easier for me to feel interested in the story and to carry on reading.
The language was really clear and descriptive and overall easy to understand.
The characters were well developed and I really enjoyed the transformation of Naz's character throughout the story. You also learnt a lot more from his past the further you got into the book and slowly you were able to slot them together to create a more detailed profile of Naz and his past.
Also, Naz hears voices and the more you read on the more you find out what they may mean and what they say. However, the things that the voices said were quiet obvious and I felt like they could've added much more to the story if they actually said something interesting rather than 'He's scared'. Overall, I think they could've been developed further in order to add something more to the story.
The pace was surprisingly slow and relaxed, it was at a calming speed and though that was good at times, I felt it took away from some of the excitement hidden in this book.
Though there was a scene towards the end that with the pace of the book made it sound more tense and creepy. The pace was consistent throughout, which is actually quite hard to succeed in doing, but John did do a great job of it.
There was a feature on gangs in this book and in certain areas today that is still a problem and I think that made it a feature that some people may be able to relate to.
I think the plot was well thought out and it did definitely have a lot packed into it for quiet a short book. The book starts off with a part from the past but then it switches to the present. The book mainly talks about what is happening to Naz but about 2-3 times the book does switch back and carry on with the past. I think John did a very good job of this as it wasn't difficult to understand or confusing at all. I really enjoyed this feature as it did add quite a bit of mystery to the backstory of Naz and his sister but also Naz's parents.
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21471358-ia?from_search=true&search_version=service
BUY THE BOOK ON JOHN'S WEBSITE - http://www.johndarrylwinston.com/store/p7/IA%3A_Initiate.html
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