In this review, I am going to inform you about IA Initiate, which is a teen novel John Darryl Winston published in 2016. It is the first book in the IA Series. I will tell you what my opinion is of this novel, and whether it is worth a read.
2. A Summary
First, however, I would like to give you the following summary of this novel:
The most important thing in the world to thirteen-year-old orphan “Naz” Andersen is keeping his little sister safe from the streets of a Chicago/Detroit-like urban ghetto known as the Exclave. Naz tries to stay out of the way at his foster parents’ home, but he walks in his sleep. 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.
Naz is ordinary, or so he thinks. He harbors a secret of which he is unaware. A seemingly random act of gang violence propels Naz on a path that leads to discoveries about his supernatural abilities, abilities that will ultimately decide whether he lives or dies. Now he must navigate his turbulent surroundings and face the full force of the world around him. The only way he can survive is to discover the supernatural world within.
I loved four things about this book:
Firstly, IA Initiate is a well written book. It contains great descriptions and writing which captures you.
Secondly, Naz, the main character, is someone I could easily identify with and love. I saw the world from his perspective, and knew and felt he was a good person. Naz only wants what is best for his sister, and I found that heartwarming. Family should always come first.
Thirdly, IA Initiate is a beautiful story about a boy who is less fortunate in life. It describes his resourcefulness; what it is like to grow up in a bad neighborhood in the U.S.. It also depicts his will to survive and do good.
Last but not least, the best thing about this novel is that it teaches children good ethics. I find it imperative that children who grow up in this day and age learn this. Naz and his sister have endured trying times, but still Naz insists on doing good in life.
4. Weakness and Conclusion
My only point of criticism would be the fact that it took a while before it became clear to me what the conflict of the story was. In my opinion, the author could have presented it sooner in the book.
Even so, this is a great book which I not only recommend teens and young adults to read, but also older adults. Congratulations on a job well done, Mr. Winston. I liked this novel a lot, and look forward to reading I.A. B.O.S.S., the second book in this series.