The Bookshelf : I.A. Initiate

In the YA novel IA: Initiate, by John Darryl Winston, an orphaned middle school boy and his precocious little sister are plagued by strange and inexplicable events as they lay the foundation for an escape from their isolated, impoverished neighborhood.  Mr. Winston presents a perfectly paced sci-fi tale that does not fall victim to the stereotypes of its’ urban setting.  The book alternates between the dangerous present and a mysterious yet hopeful past.  
The term ‘magical realism’ kept popping into my head as I read this novel.  However, instead of some folkloric tradition generating common miracles,   dreams collude with amnesia in a haze of fragile mental health to alter the character’s reality and reorient the reader.  
  I am tempted to classify this novel as a book for ‘bright children’ based on the experimental science and psychological issues presented, but the author seamlessly integrates them in such an unpretentious fashion that the average YA reader can understand the concept in context. 
I highly recommend this book and look forward to the next installment of this trilogy.

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