I won this in a giveaway sponsored by the author.
Synopsis: 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 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 Naz gets too close to the truth and tragedy strikes again, he is compelled to unleash his newfound abilities, wield his own brand of destruction, and bring his friends’ murderers to justice.
True heroes don’t stand in the sun, cape flying in the breeze for all to see. They use the shadows, and they walk amongst us every day.
~ IA Initiate ~
IA B.O.S.S. continues the incredible story of young Naz Andersen as he tries to not only cope with his developing powers, but also with living in the increasingly dangerous Exclave, and protecting his sister Meri.
When I read and reviewed IA: Initiate, The only reason why I didn’t give it a full 5 stars was because I wanted to find out a little more about Naz’s father from whom Naz received his mysterious powers. Well, this book answers those questions and more, as Naz begins to remember his life with his father before the Exclave. Picking up a few days after the conclusion of the first book, things seem to be settling down for Naz and Meri. Naz joins the school basketball team and even has a budding romance with a mysterious classmate. Things don’t remain calm for long though, as outside forces conspire against Naz resulting in two unspeakable deaths.
Naz is someone that readers whether they’re middle-school aged, or adult, can’t help but be drawn to. He’s a thirteen-year-old who really just wants to be able to live his life, yet is repeatedly pulled into a sinister conspiracy against his will. In the first book he had few friends, so it’s a welcome development that this time around he has not only his teammates watching his back, but he also has more adult allies. Despite this growing group of support, and Naz beginning to master his abilities, it’s not enough to prevent two tragic deaths. While the first one is upsetting, it’s the second death which takes place near the end of the book that is truly shocking and tragic. There have been several books over the years that have moved me to tears, but only a few children’s books have elicited such a strong emotional response in me. IA: B.O.S.S. is now one of those books. The death is something that will help shape Naz into the hero he is meant to be, but it doesn’t make it any easier to read.
With this second book in the IA series, John Winston has more than earned his place in the upper echelon of writers for tweens and teens. His stories are captivating not only because of the incredible worldbuilding, but also for his ability to draw his readers into the minds of his characters. In addition to being a talented author, he’s also a teacher, and I think his experience working with kids is reflected in his amazing stories. Naz is someone that kids can not only look up to, but can also relate to. He’s a perfect role model for today’s world that is weary of all the relentless and mindless violence that unfolds every day. My only disappointment is that the next book, IA: Union isn’t due out until June 2017. I really can’t wait to see where John Winston takes Naz, and his readers next!