Amari and the Night Brothers

Author: B.B. Alston

Publisher: Balzer & Bray

Release Date: January 19/21

Reviewer: Kathie

Thank you to Edelweiss+ and the publisher for an eARC of this book.

The cover of Amari and the Night Brothers is one of my favorites for 2021 so far, and was the first thing that drew me to this book. The second was all the positive buzz I’d heard about it, all of which is deserved. I admit that the 416 page length put me off reading it for a while, but I quickly found myself engaged in the story.

Amari’s brother, Quinton, has been missing, but no one knows what’s happened to him. When she finds a briefcase he left for her in his closet, she discovers that the summer camp he used to attend was a cover for his training at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, and he’s nominated her to try out for a spot there, too. Amari desperately wants to find her brother, but first she has to discover what he was working on, and who might be holding him. She’s thrown into a world of magic, and must compete against other kids who know much more than her in three separate tryouts. On top of that, she has high expectations placed on her, and discovers her supernatural ability is one that’s illegal and makes her even more unpopular. She has to figure out who she can trust, how to get classified information, and battle her own insecurities to save her brother, all while an evil magician is trying to destroy the whole supernatural world.

This high-action story reminded me a lot of Harry Potter, with a main character suddenly thrown into a magical world where many felt she didn’t belong, and with great things expected of her. I loved watching mentors and friends support Amari while she grew in confidence and ability, and the unexpected twists kept me wondering what was coming next. I really loved seeing a female Black character develop her own power, and despite its length, I will definitely by purchasing it to add to my library’s collection.

This is the author’s debut novel, but I’m so glad this is the start of a new series. The second book is slated for release in 2022, with the third following in 2023.

Recommended: Gr. 5-8

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