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Publisher's Summary

Everyone has secrets.... What if you didn’t know your own?

One young man with latent supernatural abilities plus one street gang hell-bent on recruiting him equals...IA: Initiate.

The most important thing in the world to 13-year-old orphan "Naz" Andersen is keeping his little sister safe from the streets of a Chicago/Detroit-like urban ghetto known as the Exclave. Naz tries to stay out of the way at his foster parents' home, but he walks in his sleep. 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.

Naz is ordinary, or so he thinks. He harbors a secret of which he is unaware. A seemingly random act of gang violence propels Naz on a path that leads to discoveries about his supernatural abilities, abilities that will ultimately decide whether he lives or dies. Now he must navigate his turbulent surroundings and face the full force of the world around him. The only way he can survive is to discover the supernatural world within.

©2016, 2017 John Darryl Winston (P)2017 John Darryl Winston

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Awesome Audiobook

I love the story of Naz and Meri and both readers brought the story to life. I'm reading the second book in the series Boss right now and I loving that one as well.

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Very Intriguing Setup!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would definitely recommend this audiobook! It was my very first, and I don't know if I could have had a better "initiation." I love the way John and Marquette Winston played off each other; their personal bond really lent weight and emotional depth to Naz and Meri.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Though Naz is the star, I'd say Meri was my absolute favorite. Her tone and snappiness are very much like my own, and I love the way she grounds Naz. Many great heroes have that one person who keeps them tethered to reality; for Naz, that's definitely little Meri.

Have you listened to any of John Darryl Winston and Marquette Winston ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This was my very first audiobook. It definitely will not be my last!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I truly wanted--and tried--to consume the book in one sitting. Unfortunately, life barged in, but I was quick to come back and finish. The story draws you in, and you just don't want to leave the world the Winstons so expertly craft with their readings.

Any additional comments?

I found this audiobook to be a delight. It's enthralling and immersive, and you really fall in love with the characters of Naz and Meri. This was an intriguing story and an excellent reading performance. I can't recommend this enough, and I'm looking forward to the next installment!

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A fabulous story with excellent narration!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes! Not only is it creative and inspiring, but it is narrated with a strong storytelling technique in the voices and accents of the characters. I totally loved it!

What was one of the most memorable moments of IA: Initiate?

One is most definitely meeting Naz. He is the kind of guy I wish I had around when I was growing up. He has special powers, but he is also kind, empathetic and uses his intelligence, instead of caving in to peer pressure. He's my hero.

Which scene was your favorite?

That's too tough to answer. There are so many great ones!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

What moved me the most is that no matter what Naz faced, he never let all the negative things coming at him change who he really was. This character is the kind of person everyone can relate to and I love this story!

Any additional comments?

If you haven't read or listened to the IA Series yet, you are missing out!

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Better Than The Print Version

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I recommend the print and now the audio version to my friends every time the subject of books come up.

What was one of the most memorable moments of IA: Initiate?

All the action and dialogue scenes without a doubt are most memorable. But I’d have to say the nightmare scene toward the middle of the book was riveting.

Have you listened to any of John Darryl Winston and Marquette Winston ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, but Marquette Winston as Meridian Anderson deserves the Oscar!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I couldn't listen all at once but it was hard to stop when I had to.

Any additional comments?

I actually read the entire series and the first two out of order with BOSS first and Initiate second. I liked it that way. BOSS is the much better of the two books with Union being even better. I’m looking forward to hearing the audiobook for BOSS. Hurry.

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Initiated and captivated

If you could sum up IA: Initiate in three words, what would they be?

Though provoking and inspirational

What did you like best about this story?

Developing the characters and history without turning it into a comic book.

What does John Darryl Winston and Marquette Winston bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

A little more personality inflection

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I did ponder over the dark history the youngsters had to go through.

Any additional comments?

The author starts a strong story set in an accurately trending vision of the future. His characters are well developed with idiosyncrasies that make them real. He captures the good kids in a bad neighborhood under bad circumstances very well. This involved and excellent amount of detail many new authors overlook. The author doesn't just launch this idea like a comic book hero, but builds it realistically and hints at a plausible scientific possibility behind the powers. I look forward to the next book.

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Amazing story! Fantastic audio book!

If you could sum up IA: Initiate in three words, what would they be?

Realistic, exciting, and heartwarming

Which character – as performed by John Darryl Winston and Marquette Winston – was your favorite?

Marquette Winston was perfect portraying Meri. I loved John Darryl Winston performing every character, but especially the IA gang members.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely!

Any additional comments?

I read IA: Initiate a couple years ago and loved it. It is an exciting, heartwarming tale about a young boy struggling to avoid the pitfalls of living in a sprawling ghetto as a gang sets their sights on him to join them. All the while he is working to remember his repressed memories and discover the secret power he has within.

When I saw it was now available as an audio book, I had to give Audible a try. And I am so glad I did.

The audio book version brings this fantastic story to life. The author and his daughter perfectly convey the excitement and emotion of each scene. I especially loved the brilliant differences in each characters voice which brought them to life.

This book is a must read for all kids and adults alike. And the audio book is a must listen to everyone who loves or is just discovering audible!

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Intrigue, forward thinking and creativeness

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely. This is a fresh and creative story that brings you into the heart of these two young souls that had me ready to take on the world with them.

What was one of the most memorable moments of IA: Initiate?

My favorite is when Naz discovers his 'special' gifts for real.

Which character – as performed by John Darryl Winston and Marquette Winston – was your favorite?

Naz is amazing but Meri is a little spitfire... tie.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I felt for these two...left to fend for themselves, they pulled on my heartstrings.

Any additional comments?

The story was well done, and the voices are wonderful. I can't wait to see what John Winston has waiting in store for us in his future projects.

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Brilliant!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely. I enjoyed the story as an ebook before, but this audiobook offers it in a whole new dimension.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I love Meri. Her spunk and care for her brother are to die for.

Which character – as performed by John Darryl Winston and Marquette Winston – was your favorite?

Also Meri, and for the same reasons. ;)

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was especially hooked when Naz was learning about his abilities on IA's campus.

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All good!

What did you love best about IA: Initiate?

I love the pacing, how Winston took his time with the story and the introduction of characters. There's no need to rush into action scenes as with most literature today, and as a result, as the book progresses the story is richer and the characters are better developed. I love how the backstory is phased in which also gives the story depth. The chess scene and the maze scene are both riveting could have gone even longer. The theme and message of the power of the mind were also huge. And Meri is absolutely adorable.

What other book might you compare IA: Initiate to and why?

Definitely, Harry Potter with the pacing, coming of age, and hero's journey. Maybe the Percy Jackson books as well.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

You will believe in the power of the mind to move mountains.

Any additional comments?

I read the book before I listened to the audiobook, and it was good. But the author and Marquette Winston do a good job of bringing and connecting the intended emotions along with the characters which I think is extremely powerful.