Review: Initiate by John Darrly Winston

“A good friend once told me that true heros don’t stand in the sun with a symbol on their chest, cape flying in the breeze for all to see.No, they prefer to use the darkness … the shadows. They are unassuming, and they walk amongst us every day.”

Date Published: March 17, 2014

Published by: Purple Ash

ISBN: 9780991609109

Pages:  218

Status: Read on November 2-4; December 20, 2016

Rating: ★★★★


IA: Initiate is a supernatural thriller set in the mean streets of America. A seemingly random act of gang violence sends “Naz” Andersen on a quest to find answers surrounding his dead parents that lead to a series of discoveries about his supernatural abilities. Naz tries to stay out of the way at his foster parent’s home, but he walks in his sleep, and 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, and his efforts to protect his little sister make him the target of malicious bullying by the notorious street gang, Incubus Apostles. Naz is an ordinary thirteen-year-old, or so he thinks. He harbors a secret that even he is oblivious to, and a series of ill-fated events reveal to him telekinetic and telepathic abilities. Now he must navigate newly found friendship and gang violence, and face the full force of the world around him. The only way he can survive is to discover the supernatural world within.


The author sent me a review copy in exchange of an honest review.

Naz and her little sister, Meri are living in a mysterious place called Exclave. Gangs and drug dealers also lurk every corner of the said place which is why it is not safe for young children like Naz and Meri to wander to. Naz, however, has some problems. He sleepwalks, hears voices inside of his head, and halfway through the book, a gang takes an interest on him and wants him to join them. What I liked and enjoyed in this book is the relationship of Naz to his little sister; he’s protective of her and loves her dearly. Meri’s probably my fave amongst all characters; she’s sweet and mature even though she’s only 9 years old. The duo’s dynamic is great and I loved how they care for each other especially since they are living in a foster home. As the progresses, Naz also develops; he learned how to speak up for himself and gained confidence.

The book is slow-paced but I still managed to enjoy it. The mysteriousness of the story drove me to turn every page of it and it is disappointing when I reached the end because it left me with some questions like what are those voices? who are they? what’s the past side story got to do with the present? what’s the reason behind Naz’s sleepwalking and the dream? But since it is a series, I’m quite sure those questions will be answered.


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