Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston
Releases: January 19, 2021
“An enchanting fantasy adventure filled with heart and soul. Amari is magical!”
-- Angie Thomas
#1 New York Times bestselling author of THE HATE U GIVE
Amari and the Night Brothers was such a fun, magical read!
Amari believes her brother, Quinton, is still alive--even if everyone else has given up on his missing person's case. As if a missing brother wasn't enough, she gets kicked out of school all because she was defending herself. Just when she thinks she'll be spending her summer skulking around, looking for information on her missing brother, everything changes. Amari is swept up into a magical world adjacent our own, thanks to her brother who was a member of the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs--and he's selected her to join the Bureau's summer program. Amari accepts this strange invitation, hoping to get closer to this secret world her brother was a part of and find him in the process. With an evil magician on the loose, Amari must uncover the truth about what happened to her brother, while juggling becoming a member of the bureau herself--oh, and staying alive.
Amari is such a real character, she felt very genuine to her age through her thoughts and dialogue, and I think kids are going to love her. The other characters are fun editions to her story and offer a wide variety of backstories that readers are really going to enjoy. I mean, a roommate who could turn into a dragon at anytime??
The story reminded me of Men in Black (so many funky aliens live among us, in case you didn't know), but for kids, with the magical feeling of Harry Potter (everyone in the Bureau gets their own 'special power'? Sign me up)! It was so fun and I think it's set up perfectly for an amazing series.
There were so many fun twists and turns, I found myself wondering what was going to happen next! I love that Alston does such a wonderful job at keeping readers guessing--most of the time, it's so easy to figure out the big twist, but this time I stumbled right into without knowing.
Alston does a great job of seamlessly intertwining societal and cultural problems with the magical world of Amari. I think she is a character that so many kids will be able to relate to, and that's so important. For too long, so many people couldn't see themselves in the books they read. Thankfully, that is beginning to change, and Amari is such a wonderful protagonist for young readers to see themselves in.
I love that this book really highlights the importance of family and friends, and being more than the color of your skin or where you come from.
This is quite the fast paced journey that MG readers won't be able to put down from start to finish. By the end, they'll be wanting to join the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs! I can't wait to see what happens next.