IA: Initiate (Book 1)

This is a book review for IA: Initiate (Book 1) by John Darryl Winston
Warning: this may contain spoilers

Young "Naz" is dreaming about a past incident. He finds himself locked in a bathroom and things are flying around and he is suddenly falling through the floor. Shadowy specters surround him. Wait... What?

The problem is that he is not sure if he is dreaming, sleepwalking or hallucinating. The disarray in the bathroom that has the foster parent up in arms tells a different story. His ace and best sidekick is Meri, his super smart sister, whom he has promised to himself to get out of the ghetto they live in with their newest foster parent. At every turn, however, there are people that want something else.

This story is about an extraordinary young boy who has a secret. Unfortunately, his secret is hiding from him as well. As the story progresses we see that there is much more to young "Naz" than even he knows. He is living day to day hoping to stay out of harms way in a downtrodden urban environment where real fear, death and despair are a way of life, under the lax care of a young foster parent.

His goal is to get Meri off to a good school. Meri has secrets too. She knows something. He uses his wit to gain access to the area markets and start earning a little money for them and keep them both alive. He uses that same perfunctory skill to get into a chess match with the Chess Master. He plays chess with Meri in return for answers to his hidden past. But as author John Darryl Winston weaves his tale, we soon see that nothing is  random. Like Chess, the game has been set. Three moves ahead. A gang is breathing down his neck at every turn and so is something or someone else.

We get glimmers of back story about his parents fed in spoon size bites to keep the intrigue and mystery of young "Naz" Andersen just out of our reach. Expertly paced and set in an urban environment but not written in a harsh, gritty way, this book can be enjoyed by all ages, especially young adults. Hang on for the ride and the sequel as the story ends precisely at the moment you connect with the characters and are hungry for more.

Lots of actions, suspense and palpable emotion make IA: Initiate an unexpectedly wonderful Sci-Fi thriller. The characters are believable and authentic, not the expected status quo of the environment where they reside.  The smart use of intelligent tech and science paired with smooth dialogue throughout the story line blends seamlessly in this engaging plot. John Darryl Winston has a winner.

Looking forward to our next meeting "Naz" Andersen.  Check....

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars




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