Title: Amari and the Night Brothers
Author: B.B. Alston
Series: Amari and the Night Brothers #1
Release Date: 21/1/21
I received a free ARC copy from Egmont , via the Write Reads in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
An epic middle grade supernatural adventure series, soon to be a major movie starring Marsai Martin. Perfect for readers aged 8+ and fans of Percy Jackson, Nevermoor and Men in Black!
Amari Peters knows three things.
Her big brother Quinton has gone missing. No one will talk about it. His mysterious job holds the secret . . .
So when Amari gets an invitation to the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she’s certain this is her chance to find Quinton. But first she has to get her head around the new world of the Bureau, where mermaids, aliens and magicians are real, and her roommate is a weredragon.
Amari must compete against kids who’ve known about the supernatural world their whole lives, and when each trainee is awarded a special supernatural talent, Amari is given an illegal talent – one that the Bureau views as dangerous.
With an evil magician threatening the whole supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she is the enemy, Amari has never felt more alone. But if she doesn’t pass the three tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton . . .
This book is Magical! I have struggled writing this review as I know I am just going to gush. I can completely see why this book already has a movie deal. I just flew through it. It’s one of those books that pulls you into a fantastically detailed magical world that its so full of wonder and mystery. I loved the combination of the magical school trope with the men in black secret government agency. It made the reveal of the background supernatural world feel fresh and interesting. I can see everyone that reads this choosing there own favourite department that they would want to be a part of. Everything we learn is also integral to the plot. It is such a beautifully constructed plot that leads us through the mystery of Quinton’s disappearance perfectly, revealing bits of information, foreshadowing and twists all come at the most impactful moments to keep you turning the pages. There is nothing in the world building just thrown in for fun we get to explore all the elements, and I can’t wait to discover even more as the series continues. There were also some amazing plot twists that totally caught me off guard!
Amari is a kick ass main character, so strong and confident but also is allowed to have moments where she needs to ask for help, where she is allowed to be unsure of her self but also showing her working through that self doubt. The supporting cast was great. Even the villains were complex and interesting. Also finally a character named Fiona! I might be bias but I really did love Agent Fiona’s character. In fact I really loved all the characters, there was so much going on with all of them and I am looking forward learning more and more as the books go on.
This book also really highlights how much representation matters and it does an amazing job of it. What is particularly poignant is how Amari is treated at her school in the real world vs the supernatural and how she has had to build defences for that. How her brother is perceived by the police investigating his disappearance all because of the colour of his skin and the area in which he grew up. It made me pause and think, as someone who will never experience those prejudices, they are woven into to story so expertly and we need more of these voices breaking through.
All in all this book is a fresh take on the thrown into a brand new magical world, that all fantasy fans love. It has a solid and well constructed plot with pliantly of action, loveable characters, excellent villains and enough room for the stories to spiral out into a completely magical universe, not just from B.B Alston himself but form the fans that find a new place to fit in. Its truly magical.
There is a tradition in my household that in mid January when Christmas is a distant memory but the weather is still dark and cold, work is back in full swing and the January blues are kicking in, that we buy small gifts to lift those blues. This book is released that week, do yourself a favour and pre-order, escape into this beautifully magical world that all ages can explore. It is worth it. I see this being a big highlight of next year for most people. I loved every moment and can see myself re-reading it very shortly.