Book three of the I.A. series, by John Darryl Winston is here! I am so fortunate to have made such a good buddy in Winston. I'm also very fortunate that he's an amazing author, with an ability to tell a story in a manner that not only holds my attention, but also my son's. I truly believe any middle grade reader will take this book, the entire series, and rage through, loving every single minute!
Naz has returned to the Exclave, his home, but not just for old times sake. He's looking to exact revenge on those who took his only reason for living: his little sister, Meri. He and his friend, Harvis know what must be done, but thin lines become hazy. Nah has developed his gifts and he's met someone. D- from his past- who can easily alter his course. Can he accomplish what he's returned to do? Is there more to his painful story than he's always thought? Will he find Meri's killer?
I believe what I love most about the I.A. series is that Naz knows how to go about things. Yes, he's a kid with a temper, but he knows that you can't rush things. There's always a plan and patience. More than anything, you need patience. He also knows that you can't always believe everything you see and hear. He's got suspicions and he isn't always sure who his friends are - like I used to be.
The characters are relatable, though I could only grow comfy with D and Naz most. I don't know if this was due to the backgrounds or or behaviors of Harvis, Soul and Ham. They simply did not affect me the way Naz and Delilah did. What I can say is they assisted in making the story superb. There was nothing I disliked, but I found myself frustrated with the small bits I seemed to tie together, thanks to the strange activities of certain people. A trail of events began to surface for me where I knew something should have been done. I wanted Naz to see and act on them too! This happens all the time; the characters don't listen to me. (LOL) Other than that, I expected some surprises.
What I didn't expect was for him to find D and for things to happen the way they did. The story took me in a totally different direction. And I was happy for that. I couldn't figure things out, like I'm always doing, making the story predictable. It wasn't like that at all, making me appreciate the journey.
When Naz's hand is forced, with someone taken from him again, I knew things were going to go big. I loved the storyline and especially the ending. If you like slightly dystopian tales, featuring middle graders that must learn to handle their own, this is the series for you. I'm off to the next read- Cheers!
I. A: Union
John Darryl Winston
Published by Purple Ash Press
June 21, 2017.
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