Today I am absolutely delighted to be reviewing Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston as part The Write Reads Blog Tour, and I hope that you will check out both the book and author and the other blogs participating in the tour. This was a book that intrigued me from the moment I had heard about it, so I was overjoyed to get the chance to read it, and all I can say is that I cannot recommend it highly enough!
*Disclaimer: I received an arc in return for an honest review,.*
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 . . .
What a fantastic book! I don’t read a lot of middle-grade, but from the start, there was something about Amari and the Night Brothers that had me intrigued from the start, and I was delighted to get the chance to participate in the tour, and I am so glad that I did because it has shot straight into being one of my favourites reads for the year.
I’ve seen some comparisons to Harry Potter, and for me, this one blows HP completely out of the water, both in terms of sheer imagination but also in terms of characterisation.
Alston has created one of the most fantastical worlds that sweeps you away from the moment Amari opens that email. The first few pages and lulled me, and then the magic arrived and didn’t stop, and there were so much depth and breadth to the world, and this was just the first book. Also, I was sold at Weredragons… we need more Weredragons in the world. The Bureau of Supernatural Affairs was intriguing from the moment it was introduced, and as we delved deeper into its world, it just got more and more fascinating, and I just wanted more and more of it. I particularly enjoyed how the magical elements were interwoven with the real world and the methods to keep them hidden. Opening Amari and the Night Brothers were like opening the door to Narnia, but better, and I can’t wait to see what else the author will do with this world.
Amari is an amazing protagonist, with one of the most distinct voices I’ve ever read, and you can’t help but be invested in her story from the moment we meet her sat outside the headteacher’s office. I love how Amari came about, and this book would have been very different (and I feel less stunning ) without her because she is the voice of the book, and she brings it all together with her personality and strength, her determination to be herself, and not to be stopped by expectations or events despite doubts and obstacles. Amari draws all eyes, but the rest of the cast are just as well written and developed and so believable as characters, and all are essential to the narrative in some way or the other.
The writing was engaging, fun with humour and emotion, and some truly beautiful descriptions, which really brought this stunning story to life. There were twists and surprises that pulled you further and further in, the mystery element and the search for Amari’s brother just as well-written and engaging as the magical world that they’re set in. The ending was surprising but so satisfying – although I was left wanting more because I was ready for this book to end. Amari and the Night Brothers has more than proven that there are new heights to explore in fantasy, and more than that, it doesn’t shy away from confronting real-life problems – bullying, assumptions based on who you are and where you’re from, and doing them in a way that is poignant and adds so much to the story, and is essential to the story – and this is a book that many younger readers will see themselves in, and Amari gives them a voice.
This is a must-have addition to anyone’s bookcase, whether you’re an adult or a child because everyone needs the magic contained in these pages. A fun, magical adventure that will sweep you away from start to finish, and one that will make you think and feel and linger even after that last page, and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead with this series.
Amari and the Nightbrothers (Amari and the Night brothers #1) – B. B. Alston – ***** (5/5 Stars)
If you’ve read it, or read it in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book.