Hyena Boy

The Neva Aton Collection

Fiction - New Adult
289 Pages
Reviewed on 04/08/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Mixing the pot of magic and realism, Ila Golden is a mature young adult fantasy author, with a focus on personal relationships and identity exploration. They started creating their unique stories as a child, telling them to their younger brother on long car journeys. As they grew up and matured into a young adult, writing also became an outlet for them to explore their own burgeoning sense of identity, although it would take until their early 30s for them to have the strength and confidence needed to fully realise the unique individual they were always meant to become.

Their history as an indie author began after they graduated from the University in 2008. Unfortunately, Blood, Friendship and Marriage: Time Forgets (retired) was released to little success. Undeterred, Ila tried again with Realms and Reality: Zero Conformity (retired), but struggled to get traction in part due to issues with the title's publisher.

After a brief pause due to health issues, 2017 saw the release of Echoe . This was followed in the 2018 by the release of Hyena Boy, and 2019 by The Colours I See, which was also the first title published through KDP.

After seeing an improved traction with The Colours I See, Ila made the decision to republish both Echoe and Hyena Boy through KDP. Following this, in August of 2020, Ila released The Doll Maker Son books. Then, with success as an indie author looking a lot more promising, in April of 2021, Ila released their latest book, No Doors Allowed.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Hyena Boy is a work of fiction in the young adult/new adult coming of age sub-genre and was penned by author Ila Golden. Forming another part of the Neva Aton Collection, we examine the life of another young man from the same central friendship group and the challenges he has to deal with as he continues his journey from boy to man. In this volume, we meet Jay Peters, who has experienced a harrowing life so far living under the roof of his father. At seventeen, Jay will be able to move out, so he begins the task of chronicling his life up to date in order to put it all away and start afresh, alone in the adult world.

The work contains some sensitive content such as abuse, violence, sex, and language, but I find that author Ila Golden uses it to recount an authentic teenage experience, particularly of life in the late 1960s. The period feels apt for Jay’s struggles before the watchful eyes of social workers popped up everywhere and times were physically harder. Golden evokes a beautiful sense of emotional atmosphere through the descriptions of both place and person, and the close narration allows us an intimate portrayal of Jay’s mental state as he prepares to cut the ties which bind him to his past experiences. What results is a sweeping and evocative book with some beautifully intimate moments, and I would definitely recommend Hyena Boy to readers seeking deep and meaningful coming of age fiction.