Book Review: IA: B.O.S.S. by John Darryl Winston

Title/ IA: B.O.S.S. / Author/ John Darryl Winston  / Publisher/ Purple Ash Press / Publishing Date/November 2015  / Length/221  / Recommended Ages/  Young Adult

Amazon / Goodreads

Wow! Oh wait, I said that already…

I have been waiting whole weeks for this book to come into my hands. Weeks, I tell you! It was almost more than I could take. Really, it hasn’t even been two months, I am such a baby.

Back in October, I had the pleasure of receiving a copy of the book IA: Initiate to read and review. It was the introduction to the story of 13 year old Naz Andersen as he navigated a world he was coming to realize wasn’t at all what it seemed. I was floored. It was totally original without being pretentious, so completely bursting with potential.  This week I had the pleasure of receiving a copy of book 2, IA: B.O.S.S., and I am not disappointed


Book Review: IA: Initiate by John Darryl Winston

51c09JD1uvL._SX336_BO1,204,203,200_The first thing that struck me about this new book is the sharp contrast in the covers. Book 2 is dark and ominous making the cover lighter cover for book 1 seem almost cheerful in comparison. The cover is your warning that this book is going to transport Naz and the reader to dark places.

The story picks up mere days after the last one leaves off. With a release of pressure following the events of the previous book, Naz and Meri settle into a slightly more normalized existence. Naz is convinced to join the school basketball team and as a result gains a bunch of new friends. He finally gets a chance to talk with his dream girl, he finds a way to balance his new activities with his responsibilities and for a while  life is pretty much typical teen. Then his friend dies in an apparent suicide, yet Naz is pretty sure that it was foul play. He begins to realize that he is being targeted. Things heat up as he investigates until finally the unthinkable happens.

Set against this are the occasional flashback scenes where we finally learn a little bit about Naz’s father and the reasons why Naz has no memory of his life before The Exclave. We learn more about his mother and the sacrifices she was forced to make to protect her children. It is no accident that Naz has come to this place and as he learns to recognize his talents for what they are he also must learn who he can trust.

In the previous book we were introduced obliquely to so many really phenomenal characters. In this book we finally get to know them and become invested in their stories. Despite the lines filled in and so many answers coming to light we are still left with many more questions. The main one being who is behind group targeting Naz and how far will this person go to get what they want? While I do not fear for this young man whom I believe will win out in the end, I do want to weep for him. Seriously that is your warning to keep a tissue handy. Dark places indeed.

Now I have to wait for Book 3… I am such a baby!

This bookworm awards “IA: B.O.S.S.” 5 Tomes
5 stars

I gratefully received a copy of this book to review


Goodreads Summary: The most important thing in the world to thirteen-year-old orphan “Naz” Andersen is keeping his little sister, Meri, safe from the mean streets of the Exclave and insidious foster parent, Miss Tracey. Until now, he’s done just that. But after losing his best friend to suspicious circumstances, Naz turns his attention to ruthless gang leader, Roffio Styles, and the Incubus Apostles. But to find out the truth, Naz will need to once again summon the world within, and with the help of Meri and his therapist Dr. Gwen he begins to discover that the voices in his head, his nightmares, and sleepwalking are actually telekinesis and telepathy at play: a gift from his father of whom he has no memory.

But when Naz gets too close to the truth and tragedy strikes again, he is compelled to unleash his newfound abilities, wield his own unique brand of destruction, and bring his friends’ murderers to justice.

Author Info:

IA: Initiate is an origin story and the first in a series by debut author John Darryl Winston. A Detroit native and public school educator, Winston created the coming of age hero’s journey as part of a creative writing and “Boys Read” program. He is a graduate of The Recording Institute of Detroit, Wayne State University, The Motion Picture Institute of Michigan and is currently enrolled in the MFA Creative Writing program at Wilkes University. He has written songs with and for Grammy winner David Foster and record mogul Clive Davis. He has been a recording artist on Arista and Polygram records, and has written and/or produced songs for Gerald Levert, Gerald Alston, and many others. Winston currently lives with his daughter, Marquette in Michigan.



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