Book Title: Amari and the Night BrothersAuthor: B.B. Alson
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Source: Blog Tour
Goodreads, Amazon UK
Plot: 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 did I think?
Just look at this gorgeous cover.
This MG novel is incredibly well written and easy to read. Alston nailed Amari's voice and made her an incredibly funny, yet empathic character. He created a magical journey, one that I hope many young readers will embark on.
Amari is a likeable protagonist. Most readers will find something of themselves in her, whether it be her curiosity, her strength, or her determination. She's the kind of protagonist I'd like my son or daughter (if I had any children) to root for. Amari is a fighter, independent, and determined to prove herself.
Elsie, her new best friend, quickly turned into my favourite character. Possibly because she's supposed to turn into a fire-breathing dargon.
The plot is tight and not a word is wasted. And the magic is fun. So much fun and also bizarre in places. Alston shows off his incredible imagination on every page.
The main themes are standing up for yourself (including prejudice) and camaraderie. I really enjoyed the friendships in this book.
The story is filled with twists and surprises and all of them are beautifully foreshadowed. Personally, I did see the big twist coming, but that's hardly a fair comment from a seasoned fantasy reader like myself.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed every minute of this brilliant romp.
To summarise: This explosive start to a new middle grade fantasy series is absolutely action-packed and filled with a cast of brilliant characters. I highly recommend this gem to every MG fan.