by Chris Babu
Genre: YA sci-fi
Release Date: February 27th 2018
Everyone is equal. But no one is safe.
In a ruined world, Manhattan is now New America, a walled-in society based on equality. But the perfect facade hides a dark truth.
A timid math geek, sixteen-year-old Drayden watches his life crumble when his beloved mother is exiled. The mystery of her banishment leads him to a sinister secret: New America is in trouble, and every one of its citizens is in jeopardy.
With time running out, he enters the Initiation. It’s a test within the empty subway tunnels—a perilous journey of puzzles and deadly physical trials. Winners join the ruling Bureau and move to its safe haven. But failure means death. Can Drayden conquer the Initiation, or is salvation out of his grasp?
This is one to remember. Drayden is such a great character to follow. Kind and smart, he tries to do what is best. Though life isn’t easy in New America. Everything he thought he knew starts coming to light with the reality of the world. His mother asks him to take care of the family but not to do the Initiation just to find the truth of her exile. But with mounting stress of their situation and even the encouragement of his brother, he gathers the courage to try. Failure could mean exile and very likely his end.
The book takes off from there. High intensity action and tense moments had me gripping my screen. It was hard to tear myself away as Drayden and the other contestants went through their tests.
Overall chilling was the looming history of how the Confluence happened. All indications we see in our world today. Suddenly this dystopian world just seemed like a glimpse in a not-so-distant future. Then present still in this world were the same disproportionate societies that boasted equality. Ironic considering the names of the Dorms versus the Palace. This book has very intelligent writing, great character growth and can get very emotional. I recommend this one a lot!
About the Author
Chris Babu grew up in North Haven, CT, playing soccer and the violin in his free time. After devouring The Shining under the covers with a flashlight when he was eight, Chris was hooked on fiction. He’s always had a thing for young adult books. But he’s also a major science and math nerd – physics being his favorite – and he has a math degree from MIT.
For nineteen years, he worked as a bond trader on Wall Street, riding the subway to and from work every day. He traded mortgage-backed securities for Bank of America and then Deutsche Bank, where he eventually ran the MBS trading desk. Now Chris writes full-time, always with his trusted assistant Buddy, a 130-pound Great Dane, who can usually be found on his lap. They split their time between New York City and the east end of Long Island. Their omnipresence at home drives his wife Michelle and daughter Lily crazy. The Initiation is his first novel.
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