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Review: Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston

February 8, 2021

About the Book:

A 12-year-old girl from the housing projects discovers her brother was more than he seemed … And so is she.

Quinton Peters was the golden boy of the Rosewood City low-income housing projects, receiving full scholarship offers to two different Ivy League schools. When he mysteriously goes missing, his little sister, 12-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 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, dwarfs, aliens 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 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 for Amari, with signs like Department of Hidden Places this way, or is it? If all that wasn’t enough, every Bureau trainee has a talent that is enhanced to supernatural levels to help them do their jobs – but Amari’s talent, when it’s revealed, is illegal. As if she needed something else to make her stand out.  

With an evil magician 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.

My Thoughts:

Just get it and read it. Immediately. This is a fabulously glorious magical book.

Amari’s brother Quinton has disappeared. Amari, who has been constantly harassed by bullies at her scholarship school, has been kicked out – not her fault – but still, kicked out and doesn’t know what she is going to do next. All she knows is that she wants to find her brother. Then she finds a strange ticking suitcase. The suitcase contains – well – something surprising. And it’s the biggest clue she has to finding Quinton. It’s an invitation to summer school. Her mom, overworked and exhausted, jumps at the chance for Amari.

But this school is like no other. Amari is introduced to wonders aplenty. And learns about a hidden world. A world hidden right in plain sight – yet completely unseen. A world of magic. A world where her brother Quinton was a star Supernatural Agent. If Amari can get pass the trials and become a junior agent, she can finally look into Quinton’s disappearance properly. But there are bullies here too. And amazing new friends. Amari has found a place where she can belong… Until she touches the crystal ball and her powers are revealed.

This is an amazingly inventive world, a fun and glorious main character, and a mystery within a deadly dangerous mystery. There is a dragon, magical enhanced abilities, a hidden festival, talent tryouts, and illusions galore. There is betrayal and love and heartbreak. There is destiny and determination, intelligence and clever tricks. A super fun story. Amari is a hero for all ages. B.B. Alston’s debut is a brilliant novel. If you love Morrigan Crow in Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend then you will simply love Amari and the Night Brothers. Young teens will love it, as will many many adults.

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