Friday, September 29, 2023

Book Review ~ NEVERWRAITH by Shakir Rashaan

by: Shakir Rashaan
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
Release Date: August 29, 2023
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Bel-Air meets Cloak & Dagger in this explosive and innovative paranormal debut…

Being the new kid is always gonna land you in it.

Yasir Salah isn’t like the other guys in his new suburban Georgia high school. Lately, he can feel something shifting in his body. Raw. Edgy. Volatile. Like his eyes changing colors and heat on his skin when some alpha bro comes for him…or how just a grin from the gorgeous, untouchable girl at school sends vibrations shooting through his entire body.

Only it’s not just being at a new school. It’s a new town. New rules. New flow. And everything feels way smaller than his ex-life in Atlanta. All he can do is what he’s been keep a low profile and try to not be noticed…and keep his anger under control.

But they never warned him.
They never told him what he is.
And they sure as hell didn’t tell him that the world is gonna need him.

“You will need every resource at your disposal to get you through. But make no mistake, before this is all over…it may take a monster to save us all.”

It was announced Shakir Rashaan’s Neverwraith was being published about a year before it actually was. When that announcement was made, I knew I had to read the book. At the time, the teaser blurb was imagining The Incredible Hulk in high school. I so wanted to read that story. Throughout the writing process, the story changed and readers are now being asked to picture a mashup of Bel-Air and Cloak & Dagger. I personally think Neverwraith encompasses the Hulk, Bel-Air, Cloak & Dagger, as well as several other superhero-type stories.

Fearing for his life, seventeen-year-old Yasir Salah’s grandmother sends him from their home in Atlanta, Georgia to stay with his uncle Xavion in Oakwood Grove, a suburb of Savannah. Being the new kid is tough, but for Yasir his first day is downright awful, when the self-proclaimed resident king of Oakwood Grove High School, Ian Lance, makes it a point to harass him for no reason. This sets off a frenemies relationship that continues throughout the book. For Yasir, affectionately known as Ya-Ya, the highlight of his day is meeting Zahra Assante. Zahra introduces Yasir to her friends, who quickly become his friends and the two eventually become a couple. While Yasir appears to be settling in, something inside of him is growing and coming to life. Something Yasir doesn’t understand or can control. All he knows is that what’s inside of him is strong and full of rage.

Shakir’s creativity definitely shines through in his storytelling of Neverwraith. The world-building is phenomenal, with characters who can be relatable. The urban vibe is strong. In fact, all the characters are black and have a very rich history that hasn’t fully been revealed yet. Shakir’s writing allows you to be immersed in the story.

To say Neverwraith was an amazingly frustrating story would be the understatement of the year. Shakir doesn’t lay everything out for you. He slowly gives you small pieces of the overall big picture. He makes you think and guess as to what is happening. If I have to be honest with myself (because I really don’t want to), I really love that I have all of these thoughts about what’s happening with no signs that my assumptions are right. What I know is: Neverwraith is a violent story, Yasir has been pushed to his limit and is scared (he totally should be), events that have happened so far will not come close to the events yet to come, and the next book in this series is going to be epic, while answering some questions but potentially revealing more questions.

I’m excited for what’s to come and can’t wait to read the next book in this series. I can not stress enough what a brilliant writer and storyteller Shakir Rashaan is. Neverwraith is definitely a story I will read again. I know there are little details I missed, which will help with the overall puzzle that is Yasir and his life.

~ Favorite Quotes ~

“I don’t break easy.”

“Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.”

“Whatever energy you give, I’m returning it, with interest. It’s up to you to figure out how I treat you.”

“Things have a way of working themselves out.”

“You have more power than you realize.”

“I’m not anyone special. I’m simply doing me.”

“If a person can’t embrace their past, they can’t possibly have a future.”

“We all try to figure out how to fit in.”

“Quitting is not an option.”

“Questions deserve answers.”

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

“No one can handle anything alone.”

“Every day might not always be good, but there is always something good in every day.”

“If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

**Received a copy from the publisher and voluntarily reviewed it. Also personally purchased a paperback copy of the book**

Rating: 5

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Good morning, good day, good evening, or whenever you have stopped by to see about me and my corner of the Internet, I just wanted to greet you properly as best as I could!

Thank you for stopping by and finding out a little more about me. I’ll do my level best to try to not make it sound boring for you. Once you’ve gotten a chance to get to know me, perhaps we’ll have the chance to further that connection in the future. Sounds like a winner, yeah?

Cool, so, let’s get started, shall we?

I know we’re supposed to have a “formal biography” so you can see what I’ve accomplished, the things I’m planning to do, blah, blah, blah, but let’s be real: you might be interested in that, and you might not be interested in that, but what we’re not gonna do is pretend that that is ALL you want to read about.

Now, to get through some of the particulars (this will more than likely evolve over time, so, bear with me, this is my bragging moment).

I’m a married father of two; Beloved and I have been together for almost twenty years, soon to be married for almost eighteen. We have two children; our oldest is currently a soldier in the US Army, serving overseas, and our youngest is soon to be finishing high school AND college (thanks to dual enrollment programs that will save us a boatload of money in the long run) in the Summer of 2021. Thankfully, they are on solid footing in what they would like to do when they really get away from school and the military. (Yes, this is an official proud parent moment)

Now, when we aren’t being parents and productive citizens and all that good stuff, we do indulge in a few proclivities that most people would attribute to a wildly popular book series that tripped the world fantastic almost a decade ago. But I’ll let you in on a little secret: I was writing about that world years before that book made it to the light of day. Hell, we’ve been living and doing it longer.

Am I bragging? Perhaps, but more than anything, I’m irritated. This world is not some dalliance for us. This. Is. Life. In that vein, I follow that time-honored tradition that writers come to embrace: I write what I know. I write what I know because I live that life.

Anywho, that’s me in a nutshell, in a manner of speaking. I’m trying to keep it short, especially when I still have to give you the “formal” spiel, too. LOL! So, take a look around, and if you’re so inclined, subscribe to my Secret Society and request to become a member of NEBU. I’m ramping things up here, so it should be a fun ride coming.

Places to find Shakir Rashaan:

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