I’m back from my very quick Christmas hiatus to bring you my review for the absolutely incredible Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B.Alston! I am of course on the blog tour that is being run by the wonderful TheWriteReads over on twitter and I was so excited when this sparkly proof came through my letter box (it is actually stunning – there is a picture of it over on my instagram if you want to go take a look), and that excitement only grew as I read through it.
Before we get started I want to say a massive thank you to Dave and Egmont Books for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
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.
summary from goodreads
ESCAPE score: 52
OK, so I read this book a little while ago in an attempt to get on top of my vast TBR which means that I have been able to fully process this awesome book and that this review will hopefully not be just me gushing for the rest of this.
Let me get started by saying that this magical books is actually stunning and I loved learning more about the world as Amari did as it really helped me as a reader feel connected to her given that I was able to share in her admiration and wonder. I was just taken aback by the skill that B.B Alston had in creating such a wonderful world for the plot to take part in. The fact that it started because of Amari’s desire to find her brother and developed beyond that as the world expanded too was just chefs kiss. The actually over arching plot leading to the next book was very interesting and I really enjoyed the final fight which felt a little bit rushed but I loved the final reveals that took place. Simply magical.
The characters too were so incredible. Amari is by far one of the best MG protagonist that I have seen and I can see the younger audience falling in love with her as much as I did. She just wants to fit into to this crazy world that she stumbled upon and prove herself to those who live in it (as a people pleaser I felt heard) whilst facing levels of discrimination that I know POC readers will be able to identify with, something which I loved to see. She is just incredible and I can’t wait to see what happens to her next. The other characters were awesome too, all the teachers were wonderful as were the other kids, all of them. very diverse in personality too. Elise, Amari’s friend, is just awesome too and I want her to be my best friend too!
So, I know I promised that I would try and not gush but I just couldn’t help myself. It was just such an amazing book and I am so thankful to Dave and the publisher for allowing me a chance to experience it and be part of this ultimate blog tour.
If you want to find this book online you can do so here (some links are affiliate)
B.B. Alston started writing in middle school, entertaining his classmates with horror stories starring the whole class where not everyone survived! After several years of trying to break into publishing, he had just been accepted into a biomedical graduate program when a chance entry into a twitter pitch contest led to his signing with TBA, 20+ book deals worldwide, and even a film deal. When not writing, he can be found eating too many sweets and exploring country roads to see where they lead.
BB was inspired to write AMARI AND THE NIGHT BROTHERS because he couldn’t find any fantasy stories featuring Black kids when he was growing up. He hopes to show kids that though you might look different, or feel different, whatever the reason, your uniqueness needn’t only be a source of fear and insecurity. There is great strength and joy to be found in simply accepting yourself for who you are. Because once you do so, you’ll be unstoppable.
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