How fitting it was for D.J. Bodden to choose this as the title for his review. I am a big fan of the Star Wars movies and I’m looking forward to watching the newest addition to this legendary series with my family when it opens this week.
The reviews for the IA series are beginning to come in, and I am excited and humbled to say that the feedback has been outstanding!
I am proud to post two of the latest reviews, one for the first book in the series IA: Initiate, from a Top 500 Reviewer on Amazon and one for the sequel IA: B.O.S.S., from D.J. Bodden author of The Black Year series.
Read and believe!
The Characters Actually Breathe, They Are So Real
What? Another young adult thriller filled with supernatural elements? NOT EVEN CLOSE! John Darryl Winston is carving a name for himself for contemporary young adult fantasy filled with realistic characters and fantastic dialogue! IA: Initiate the foundation for his IA series is a fine blend of genres that will have even the most reluctant readers gravitating to his work. Whether you are a young adult fancier or not, this is great creative work that flows at a comfortable pace, no breakneck speeds, no trudging along at a snail’s pace, and thank you, Mr. Winston, no info dumps!
Set in a less than choice part of town, thirteen-year-old Naz has appointed himself as his younger sister, Meri’s protector. Gangs rule the streets and everyone not with them is fair game. When Naz becomes the victim of bullying, he makes an incredible discovery that will lead him down a path he never knew existed. To survive in the world he lives in, he must embrace the unbelievable and do it quick. But how can he not think he is going a little crazy when he hears voices and is walking in his sleep? Does he need therapy to overcome brutal evens in his life or are they just a part of the building blocks of the man he is to become?
It’s Naz and Meri against the world, two young individuals, family by blood, but bound by love. Siblings gotta love ‘em, in a world too harsh to feel safe in, these two are a force to be reckoned with.
John Darryl Winston has created wonderful role models for young adults, as their dialogue shows their emotions. What could be better than dimensional characters and detailed scenes to bring it all together and make a story breathe? Believe in the unbelievable and revel in the talent of John Darryl Winston. To the top of the hidden gem pile for this one!
~Dianne~ Top 500 Amazon Reviewer
The Force Is Strong With This One
IA: B.O.S.S. picks up where IA: Initiate left off, and answers a lot of the questions I had in the first one. The writing is smooth and well edited, and the characters still feel very distinct – both from each other and from standard YA denizens. That’s the IA series’ charm, you see: the challenges are mostly the same, there are bad people in the world and someone should do something about it. But the point of view of the characters is so different they come at the problem diagonally, never quite doing what you’d expect.
The best analogy I can give you is that you walk into a room covered in broken pieces ceramic, steel, and glass. As you watch, the dust gathers, the bits tumble and pool and cluster, and an android comes together, first a leg, then a skeleton, then synthetic flesh. Its eyes glow, and it hums a song. It’s not quite human, and it has a few extra pieces that might be decorative or deadly, and you’re not sure if the result will be wondrous or horrible. That’s Naz, the main character.
The story itself is well executed and paced; it’s like seeing Anakin Skywalker grow up in a bad urban neighborhood instead of a desert planet, with dubious mentors. By the end, we’re still on that backwater world, one foot on the boarding ramp of a ship, and the galactic republic awaits. It left me satisfied but still curious, and I look forward to seeing where Mr. Winston will take it from here.
~D.J. Bodden~ Goodreads Reviewer