Full of magic, adventure, and characters of deep complexity.
Thank you so much to The Write Reads and B. B. Alston for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary digital copy!
Purchase this book (affiliate link): Amazon
For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.
Premise (from Goodreads)
Quinton Peters was the golden boy of the Rosewood low-income housing projects, receiving full scholarship offers to two different Ivy League schools. When he mysteriously goes missing, his little sister, 13-year-old Amari Peters, can’t understand why it’s not a bigger deal. Why isn’t his story all over the news? And why do the police automatically assume he was into something illegal?
Then Amari discovers a ticking briefcase in her brother’s old closet. A briefcase meant for her eyes only. There was far more to Quinton, it seems, than she ever knew. He’s left her a nomination for a summer tryout at the secretive Bureau of Supernatural Affairs. Amari is certain the answer to finding out what happened to him lies somewhere inside, if only she can get her head around the idea of mermaids, dwarves, yetis and magicians all being real things, something she has to instantly confront when she is given a weredragon as a roommate.
Amari must compete against some of the nation’s wealthiest kids—who’ve known about the supernatural world their whole lives and are able to easily answer questions like which two Great Beasts reside in the Atlantic Ocean and how old is Merlin? Just getting around the Bureau is a lesson alone for Amari with signs like ‘Department of Hidden Places this way, or is it?’ If that all wasn’t enough, every Bureau trainee has a talent enhanced to supernatural levels to help them do their jobs – but Amari is given an illegal ability. As if she needed something else to make her stand out.
With an evil magican threatening the whole supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she is an 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.
Review (No Spoilers)
Now that I’ve copied and pasted the book blurb from Goodreads, I’m shocked at how long it is. If you’ve done what I sometimes do when reading reviews and scrolled past the blurb, just know that Amari and the Night Brothers is an amazing middle grade fantasy novel filled with complex characters, adventure, and a whole lot of magic. That alone should be enough of a reason to give it a try!
After seeing so many 5-star reviews for this book, I could not wait until I finally had the chance to pick it up. My reading schedule is packed this month, so I had to wait a long time before I could actually start it. Now that I’ve finished, I think it’s safe to say the wait was worth it.
Amari and the Night Brothers succeeded in grabbing my attention right off the bat. The story does not shy away from being absolutely bonkers from the get-go, and it had me laughing as early as the second chapter. While I did think the pacing in the middle was a bit slow, the action-packed ending definitely made up for it. There are also a surprising amount of twists that make it a hard book to put down.
My favorite part of this novel would have to be the complexity of the characters. Each person is so beautifully flawed that you can’t help but identify with not only Amari, but everyone around her as well. B.B. Alston has a real talent for writing characters and I’d be curious to see what a YA/Adult novel from him would look like.
As some of you might know, there is a planned film adaptation for this book, and I already know that it’s going to be amazing. I am so so excited for the impact these stories will have on the new generation. I hope you are too.
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