The Manifestor Prophecy (Nic Blake and the Remarkables #1)

The Manifestor Prophecy (Nic Blake and the Remarkables #1)
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Release Date
April 04, 2023
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It’s not easy being a Remarkable in the Unremarkable world. Some things are cool—like getting a pet hellhound for your twelfth birthday. Others, not so much—like not being trusted to learn magic because you might use it to take revenge on an annoying neighbor.

All Nic Blake wants is to be a powerful Manifestor like her dad. But before she has a chance to convince him to teach her the gift, a series of shocking revelations and terrifying events launch Nic and two friends on a hunt for a powerful magic tool she’s never heard save her father from imprisonment for a crime she refuses to believe he committed.

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Doing what it takes for family
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What worked:
Remarkables have endless powers unlike limited Unremarkable magic that uses wands and there’s a bit of animosity between the two groups. Nic desperately wants to learn to use her Gift but her father keeps saying he’ll train her to use it next year. However, strange things happen when she touches two other Remarkables as she drains their powers and temporarily knocks them unconscious. Her father has no idea what’s happening so it sounds hollow when he says everything will be alright.
Nic doesn’t remember her mother and she’s been told her mother left for some unknown reason. This establishes a conflict for readers to consider as they try to figure out why the woman’s not around. Nic’s father isn’t fully open about why they left her mother and it’s clear there’s something unusual about Nic. Nic realizes she knows a lot more about the Remarkables than she thought when she finds out the books she loves to read are based on true events. Stories of Roho being the Manowari, prophesized to bring down the Remarkable world, and the disappearance of the missing Msaidizi are mostly true. It turns out Roho may not have been the Manowari and the actual destroyer of Remarkables will arise soon.
Black history is mentioned throughout the book to enhance the story without moving it into historical fiction. Past injustices spanning decades are woven into the plot as memories or motivations for current events. Nic and her friends experience suspicion in a store and with the police simply due to their skin color. Slavery led to an awakening of Remarkable powers that had been quashed by slave traders and owners. An actual Underground Railroad for Unremarkables fleeing to freedom gave rise to the Underground Railroad we know from stories of Harriet Tubman. Racism and violence cause the Remarkable community to live segregated from Unremarkables although some wonder why they can’t use their powers to help those in danger.
What didn’t work as well:
Nic receives a hellhound puppy on her birthday but it’s participation in the story is less than expected. I mean, hellhounds are supposed to be terrifying creatures that burst into flames and Cocoa only manages to bite ankles and puff smoke. I assume she’ll become a bigger factor in the future and evolve into more than an adorable pet.
The Final Verdict:
The author provides readers with many chances to wonder how the plot will unfold. It’s reasonable to assume the identity of the Manowari will be revealed but the events leading up to that moment will be surprising. Overall, this book is an entertaining start to a new series and I anxiously await the publishing of its sequel.
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