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Reviewed by Bil Howard for Readers' Favorite
What our minds can achieve is certainly beyond what we truly understand at this point in time. John Darryl Winston explores that concept in IA: Initiate. Doctor Cory Andersen has tapped into other parts of the mind and has begun to experiment along the edges of what the mind can truly become. That brings us to Naz, a young teen growing up in an inner city environment, the Exclave, which is extremely rough. With Meri, his little sister, as the only family that he has left, he is constantly concerned with making sure that she is well taken care of and protected, and even holds onto the hope of getting her out of the Exclave entirely. As Naz faces the struggles of starting at a new Middle School, he is also faced with the problem of a gang that have made it their mission to either add him to their numbers or kill him. If these problems weren't enough for a thirteen-year-old, the voice in his head and the disconnection with his past that continues to haunt him leave him to face a struggle that is advancing toward him as an unseen enemy. Naz has to sort it all out or drive himself crazy.
IA: Initiate is an excellent beginning to a sci-fi series that is certain to thrill sci-fi enthusiasts. John Darryl Winston has created a believable premise with just a touch of the concept of mind and thought control mixed in. The reader will be engaged from start to finish, feeling the emotions and thoughts, as well as playing out the actions as each scene unfolds. This is not only sci-fi, but also a coming of age story as our hero is forced to discover who he is and where his true gifts lie. Excellent intrigue throughout, joined with plenty of underlying mystery to keep the reader stirring, IA: Initiate has the potential of becoming a new literary phenomenon.