Amari and the Night Brothers

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Amari and the Night Brothers
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
8+
Release Date
January 19, 2021
ISBN
978-0062975164
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Amari Peters has never stopped believing her missing brother, Quinton, is alive. Not even when the police told her otherwise, or when she got in trouble for standing up to bullies who said he was gone for good.

So when she finds a ticking briefcase in his closet, containing a nomination for a summer tryout at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she’s certain the secretive organization holds the key to locating Quinton—if only she can wrap her head around the idea of magicians, fairies, aliens, and other supernatural creatures all being real.

Now she must compete for a spot against kids who’ve known about magic their whole lives. No matter how hard she tries, Amari can’t seem to escape their intense doubt and scrutiny—especially once her supernaturally enhanced talent is deemed “illegal.” With an evil magician threatening the supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she’s an enemy, Amari has never felt more alone. But if she doesn’t stick it out and pass the tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton.

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2 reviews
Amari and the Night Brothers Review
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
This was such a fun story. I’m really glad that it didn’t take long for Amari to get into the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs. Alston did the right amount of background story before Amari ended up there and it worked perfectly. I absolutely loved the flow of this story and it held my interest right from the beginning. I thought that everything was very well thought out and planned. Amari and the Night Brothers is meant for Middle Grade readers and it fits this audience amazingly. I really wish I had a book like this growing up. It was so much fun and it was really easy to follow along. Alston blended the real and supernatural world in such a unique way, I loved learning which supernaturals made the story! I think my favorite was about the Boogey’s. And then the ending?! I can honestly say that I was not expecting that and it was such a great twist. Even though it made me a little sad, it was very well orchestrated.

Even though this was such a fun story to read, it really was the characters that captured this story. I think for a Middle Grade book, having a character to really stand behind is what connects to the readers. I know I’m personally a more character driven reader, and this hit the spot. Amari was such an easy character to get behind and root for her. All she wants is to find Quinton and she’ll stop at nothing to find out what has happened to him. What I liked most about Amari’s character, and made it really easy to relate to her, is that she never really didn’t do anything extraordinary. She didn’t automatically become smarter or stronger just because she was the heroine of our story, but she worked hard and all the choices she made was within her reach. I loved this because it made me root for her even more to succeed. Ellie was such a great roommate and I’m so glad that Amari had someone like her on her side. Laura was a bit obvious of how she was going to end up, which in an adult novel would have bothered me, but her villainess was perfect for this story.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Overall, Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B. Alston was a great Middle Grade read! Even as an adult, I thoroughly enjoyed this adventure of Amari’s and how it’s just the beginning. For the intended audience, it is definitely a must read. If I had something like this at that age, I would have been all over it. The story is fun and super easy to engage in. Amari is such a fantastic main character and I know that the audience will fall in love with her and root endlessly for her victory. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy fantasy and the supernatural world. Even as an adult, you’ll enjoy what this story has to bring. I know I’ll be following along and seeing what else Amari has to offer.
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New fantasy series
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Amari has struggled in the private school she attends on scholarship because the other students are mean to her, and since her brother Quinton's disappearance, things have gotten worse. She ends up pushing another student, and due to the school's zero tolerance policy, she looses her scholarship. Her mother, a hard working single mother and nurse, doesn't know how to help Amari, so she is thrilled when Amari gets a scholarship to the same leadership camp that Quinton attended. The only catch-- Quinton has left a briefcase for Amari showing her the magical organization he was really part of, and Amari is following in his footsteps. The front for the school is the Vanderbilt Hotel, but behind the facade there is the school associate with the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs. Amari's roommate, Elise is nice to her, since she (as the last weredragon in existence) knows what it is like to be singled out because you are different. However, the other students at the Bureau are mainly legacies, and their families have been attached to the organization for generations. Amari finds out that her brother was a celebrity, and along with Maria VanHelsing, was part of team VanQuish. Maria has gone missing as well, and her brother, Dylan, is a student in Amari's class. Amari also finds out that she is assigned the highest badge level, but doesn't have a talent-- she is a magician. Magicians are illegal. At first, Amari thinks Dylan hates her as much as his twin sister, Lara, does, but the two soon team up to try to find out what happened to their siblings. They are also paired as a team in the elimination exams, and Dylan shares some of the same secrets that Amari has. Will they be able to pass their exams, find their siblings, and vanguish the evil powers threatening the entire bureau? The scene has been set for book two, with Jayden, a friend of Quinton's, being recommended for the Bureau's summer program.
Good Points
Like Black and Clare's The Magisterium series, this has many elements that make it similar to the now much maligned Harry Potter. (Adults are unhappy because of Rowling's inability to keep her opinions to herself, although most tweens are blissfully unaware of this.) There are stun sticks and flying shoes, a school staff with their own secret pasts, tasty magical treats, a sorting ceremony, an underdog main character, and forces of evil trying to take over the world that can only be fought by Amari. There are also timely racial issues. I can see this acquiring a solid fan base.

Students who like "academy" books like Harry Potter will be glad to join Amari on her academic adventures. Readers who like Nimmo's Charlie Bone, Horowitz's Groosham Grange, and Walden's H.I.V.E. will want to pack their bags and join the classes at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs.
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