Move over Twilight and The Hunger Games: there’s a new teen fantasy series on the scene. Picture a world where the sun never sets, the landscape is as
Move over Twilight and The Hunger Games: there’s a new teen fantasy series on the scene. Picture a world where the sun never sets, the landscape is as alive as its inhabitants and every person is unique.
This is the mystical world of Innovera Yakov, the creation of author Kia Garriques. Innovera Yakov is the setting for a series of novels that capture the lives of Ayana and her friends. In the first installment, The Journey of a Thousand Eyes, we see the Innoverans adapt and discover their powers as they prepare to make a pilgrimage from their home world to an unknown, prophesised place.
The Journey of a Thousand Eyes
“The Journey of a Thousand Eyes explores the desire for acceptance, the need to belong, the importance of self-belief, the danger of secrets, the pain of betrayal and the power of love,” explains Kia.
“The concept of Innovera Yakov originated from my dreams, coupled with the fact that I was so enthusiastic about science, evolution and the possibility of realities and forms of life that might exist outside of what we know. Innovera Yakov addresses many of the questions I have about earth and the universe in general.”
The relationships between the characters in the novel are particularly significant. Our heroine, Ayana, is an underdog who detaches herself from the group due to the shame she feels from the scar that spans the right side of her face. Like most teen novel protagonists, she experiences unrequited love, the trials of friendship and the pains of growing and changing.
But that is where the similarities to a standard teen novel end. While the characters may possess human-like qualities, they are certainly not from our world. They have no parents or relations, except for the twins Gamma and Blue Tara, who are an oddity in their world.
Everyone lives in a bubble pod, which regenerates them. Births and deaths do not really happen as we know it: the characters simply exist and when they ‘die’, all traces of them disappear from the memories of those who knew them.
Kia explains why she created such an unconventional world for her story. She says: “Innovera Yakov was my opportunity to create an intelligent read that questioned reality, normality and existence. I love to create mystery and to do the unexpected.
“Innovera Yakov is so original that it would be wrong to create my characters using the same principles governing life on Earth.”
But our world does feature in the novel. Ayana has flashbacks to a time when she had a mother and a brother. What happened to them? Could Innovera Yakov be closer to our reality than it seems?
The Power of Self-Belief
“I will always have an emotional bond with Ayana as it alsotook me a long time to start to believe in myself,” states Kia. “The day I started doing that, I realised that I had the power to transform my life and be the person I hope to be.
“I also feel a connection with Taqua and Shay who are the quieter characters but their presence is felt at extremely important points in the novel. Often, when I was younger, I felt invisible but eventually I learned how to shake off my fears and become prominent in my own little way.”
Getting a book published these days with the oversaturation of novels in bookshops is no mean feat. It took Kia years to write Innovera Yakov and have the confidence to send it to publishers.
“When I first started to approach publishing houses, I faced a lot of rejection. So, one day, I decided to get this book there by myself with a little team of people and since then I have never looked back.”
Kia advises any hopeful writers to chase their dreams.
“Work for what you want and even in the depths of despair or fading confidence never give up. It is important to believe in yourself because not everyone is going to believe in you. Embrace your gifts. Learn what they are and use them for good.
“Cherish what you are and don’t let go of that.”
Innovera Yakov is available now on Amazon in paperback and Kindle edition.
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