An epic middle-grade supernatural adventure series.
WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT
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 . . .
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!
WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK
Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston is a rip-roaring read, full of magic and adventure. Further, it champions the triumph of the underdog.
Amari is a black girl from the poorer side of the town. She has always been treated as an outcast in the posh Jefferson Academy where she studies on a scholarship. However, the disappearance of her older brother, Quinton, whom Amari loved so much plunges her world into sadness. Then, Amari discovers a ticking briefcase in Quinton’s closet which starts her journey into the hidden supernatural world.
To find out, why Quinton went missing, she will have to first make her way into the secretive Bureau of Supernatural Affairs. Will she survive the try-outs for her entry into this world?
In both worlds, Amari is treated as an outcast. In the normal world, she has to endure the prejudice against her skin color while in the supernatural world, she has to fight the prejudice against her “illegal” ability. In both cases, she was born with the characteristics and abilities on which the others so easily put a label. And in both cases, she must fight against these prejudices and work harder to prove herself. Alston poignantly portrays Amari’s anguish and anger at this injustice.
The book has a stellar beginning and is engaging throughout. It is fast-paced. A lot happens in this book, yet the author provides enough details of the supernatural world to immerse me. Sure, I was left wanting more. But the later books should fill in the gaps.
The book features an academy/Bureau which trains the kids with supernatural abilities to reach their full potential. Thus, comparisons with similar novels are bound to crop up. The book does have similarities with such novels, but it is also unique in many ways.
Alston’s imagination runs wild. Listing out all the wonderfully weird things he has crafted will result in spoilers. So, I advise you to grab the book and start reading.
Moreover, I loved the vivid conjuring of the different illusions by Amari. There is a scene in the book in which Amari travels with a teacher on none other than a magic carpet to know her future. It is beautifully written and is easily the best scene in the book.
Alston is a gifted writer. Some of the chapters drop small cliffhanger-bombs, so, I had no choice but to continue reading. Overall, I had a good time reading the novel.
However, I do have quibbles with the book. I was not convinced by the events at the very last (cue: in a log cabin at the forest.) More explanation would mean spoilers. I did not anticipate the identity of the bad guy, but I also could not digest the fact that that person could wreak havoc to such an extent.
Nevertheless, Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston is an excellent middle-grade novel. Highly recommended.
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Many thanks to Dave @ The Write Reads for organizing this blog tour. Many thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion on the book. I opted to provide an honest review on my blog.
B. B. Alston lives in Lexington, SC. Amari and the Night Brothers is his debut middle grade novel. When not writing, he can be found eating too many sweets and exploring country roads to see where they lead.