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The Initiation

Review

The Initiation

After a superbug, overpopulation, inequality and cyberterrorism destroyed the world as we know it in an event known as the Confluence, a New America arose. In what was formerly known as Manhattan, the quarantined New America is run on the fundamental idea of equality, separated by walls from the rest of the world. Yet beneath the veneer of equality, New America is hiding something dark behind its walls.

When Drayden’s mother is exiled from New America to face the destruction outside its walls, he is determined to find out the truth behind her exile. As a math geek about to graduate from the lowly Zone D known as the Dorms, Drayden tries to find out more about the secret that could destroy the society as they know it the only way he can --- by entering the Initiation.

"From the first page, Babu writes with action-packed ferocity, never stopping for a second."

A challenge of bravery, intelligence and teamwork, the Initiation could lead Drayden to a better life outside of the Dorms. And if he succeeds, it could guide him to discovering the truth about what really happened to his mother, and what’s really going on in New America.

Fans of Joelle Charbonneau’s THE TESTING will love THE INITIATION. From the first page, Babu writes with action-packed ferocity, never stopping for a second. Despite a few simple analogies and clichés, I could not stop turning the page. Everybody wonders what an “equal” society would look like and THE INITIATION gives us the right idea of the grim future that would be.

Without fail, Drayden is a geek. His brains have carried him this far in life, and he doesn’t stop throughout the whole novel. Despite his true fear throughout the Initiation, he never stops moving. His compassion for others and determination to keep going even when his terror seemed unbeatable made him impossible to not love. Accompanying Drayden is his best friend TIm. With undying loyalty, an easy going manner and a flirty aura, Tim is the perfect companion to Drayden’s clumsy and nerdy self. The pair and the rest of the group in the Initiation provide a chemistry that sometimes works wonderfully, but sometimes throws off crazy sparks, in the way all groups do.

My favorite part about THE INITIATION was The Initiation itself. While a set of challenges in a time limit can seem like a cliché part of a dystopian novel, Babu consistently adds a twist, always keeping me on my toes. Each new challenge is more creative, terrifying and grotesque than the last, until I could not put it down.

In a series of challenges meant to break them, Drayden and his team must go through the most trying time of their lives, if they want to survive. Even when their bodies fail, and their minds start to unravel, they cannot stop for anything. Imagine trying to find a better life for yourself, and facing death as a penalty. Welcome to The Initiation.

Reviewed by Caitlyn K., Teen Board Member on June 28, 2018

The Initiation
by Chris Babu