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Title: Amari and the Night Brothers (#1)
Author: B.B. Alston
Published: 21st of January 2021 – Egmont Books
Format: eARC (NetGalley) – 384 pages
Hello Hello! How are you?
I am so thrilled to be bringing you this review today as it’s my spot on the #UltimateBlogTour organised by the amazing Dave from The Write Reads. Well, he did it again, and I loved Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston SO MUCH, it was absolutely amazing and I just can’t stop thinking about it. This is definitely a book to add to your list right now, and I’m going to try to do my best to tell you why you need this fabulous story in your life!
Thank you so much to Dave, the author and the publisher for letting me be part of this tour, and thank you so much to Egmont Books and NetGalley for providing me with a free eARC of this book to read and review for free, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I’m so very glad and grateful that this book entered my life!
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 . . .
Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston is the first book in the middle grade fantasy series of the same name, and a book that I adored from start to finish. This is going to be one of those messy reviews because I adored it so much and I am just really struggling to get my thoughts in order. It’s one of those books you just want to chuck a people screaming “READ IT – please” aha!
I am so grateful to Dave for telling me about this tour. I automatically sign up to all the tours he offers because I know I will adore each book, but I knew this one was going to be special, and it definitely met my expectations and much more! I even have a little secret to tell you, but you’ll have to get to the end of this review first!
This book is set in the world that we know, only it’s a little bit more special than that! And I don’t want to say too much about this wonderful setting because you need to read it for yourself!
Amari Peters lives in a poor neighbourhood, that everyone refers to as the “Hood”. But she goes to Jefferson Academy on a scholarship, her mother works at the hospital day in and day out, and her brother has a “secret job”! But Amari’s life is suddenly turned upside down and she finds herself in the Bureau – but I won’t say of what!!
The first bit of the book really helped to put Amari and her life into context, this reminded me a lot of The Hate U Give because of the setting, but also because of Amari’s feelings. She feels like an outsider at school, like she doesn’t belong even though her mum tries her best to give her the opportunities for a great future. This was so vivid and real, and we need more truthful books and settings like this one, it tore my heart out.
When Amari gets to the Bureau, she is still an outsider, even more so in a certain way (I’ll not tell you why though, you have to read it!!), but she blossoms in this new place, even though it takes time. There is so much magic and special things going on in the Bureau, and I absolutely loved seeing Amari learn about her new surroundings, see her grow, see her want to change things. The Bureau is such a fun, vivid setting and I loved learning about it through Amari!
I’m only going to go over my favourites quickly because there were loads of characters in this book and I don’t want to bore you too much!
Amari: Amari is now one of my new favourite best friends. Wow, this girl is something! She has struggled her whole life, her dad left when she and her brother were very young, she lives in a poor neighbourhood, she goes to a posh school on a scholarship and she is bullied and belittled every day of her life. My heart hurt for Amari, but as she goes through life at the Bureau, her already amazing personality shines. She has always been strong-willed, courageous and she just wants to prove that she is a good person, that it’s not because of where she comes from or what she looks like that people can treat her bad. You’ll have to read this book to know what I mean, but Amari, you have my whole heart and soul.
Quinton: I’m just going to say a quick word about Amari’s brother because even though he isn’t very present (I can’t say anything), he is such a massive presence in this book, did that make sense? The first time Amari talked about him, I already loved him. He is also very brave, protective, loyal, always there for people and so many more things that you’ll just have to find out by reading the book, but I promise you’ll love it!
Elsie: I wasn’t sure about Elsie right at the start, but as the book went on and Amari started trusting her, their friendship blossomed and I loved her! Elsie is a very peculiar kind of character, but she is the best friend we all need, keeping you out of trouble or wreaking havoc alongside you, telling you frankly what she thinks, and always there to catch you. She is very unique and I need more from this duo.
Dylan and Lara: They are also important people in the Bureau and in Amari’s life, but I want to keep it a secret for you. The only thing I will say is that you’re never going to expect anything, so just go along for the ride!
Agent Magnus and Agent Fiona: These are two of the agents from within the Bureau and as soon as Amari rocked up, they had her back. They knew Quinton and they make sure that Amari gets a fair shot at things, which is all she has ever wanted, so I was so glad when they helped out subtly. I thought that Fiona was so sweet and lovely, probably a bit cliché because she is a redhead Scottish woman (I got that right didn’t I?), but she is kind and she does everything she can to help Amari. Magnus on the other hand is tough, he is the guy you want in your corner and I thought that these two worked so well together, I can wait to see more of them!
I really don’t want to go too far and say anything that might spoil you, and seeing as I adored this book and am just gushing over it, it’s going to be hard. I’m not going to do the usual set up with titles cause that would be cheating and spoiling you!
There is a big sense of camaraderie in this book, and although Amari struggles because of what people think of her and prejudice, she finds that with Elsie and a few others. I loved seeing friendships be born, see Elsie and Amari share secrets and work together with someone else (I can’t say who)!! I love the relationship that Amari has with her mother, she is doing her best to help her daughter get a better life and I just want to give her a great big hug.
There is also a strong message of right and wrong, although for the Bureau it is very different to what Amari thinks and I couldn’t agree more with her. She is so determined to prove herself, and even though people have basically given up hope on her, she keeps fighting. She takes a breath, has a break, brushes herself off and comes back fighting even harder.
But there is also magic in this book, and one of my favourite themes ever! This book is kind of a mix of magic, mystery, missions, mayhem; it is such a great combination and I’m literally reliving every moment while I’m writing this review. I’m going to keep this book in my heart for a very long time and you can bet that I’ll be getting myself a physical copy as soon as I can so I can reread it endlessly until the sequel comes out.
I think I have said enough, at least I hope I have said enough to entice you, there are so many others things going on in this book, important, sweet, funny, but you need to live those things yourselves!
Trigger Warnings: death, abandonment, disappearance, bullying/abuse, racism. There are probably some more, but I can’t think about them off the top of my head, do head over to BookTriggerWarnings once Jenny from JenJen Reviews has posted on her spot!
MY THOUGHTS AND RATING
Wow, this was such a hard review to write and I’m still not convinced I did this book justice, I feel like I’ve just been waffling for ages, sorry!
Well, I think you have guessed it, I loved this book so, so much, and my little secret is that I loved this book so much, once I got to the end I had a little bit of a happy cry. It’s been a while since I have read a book that has made me so happy I was emotional, but this one did and I’m so grateful to it. The letter at the start was just amazing, and all the messages throughout, the ending, it all came together and I was a bit overwhelmed, to tell the truth!
The writing style was fantastic, I was immersed from the very first word! B.B. Alston has created such a marvellous world, with realistic, believable and multi-faceted characters that you don’t want to leave when the book is over. The pacing was also great, I never got bored, and had I not had so much university work to do, I would have read this in one sitting. I just can’t keep the smile off my face while I’m talking about this book, haha! I also really loved the plot, it was so unique, so well thought out and I have to say that I never, ever, in my wildest dreams could have worked out the truth, that ending kind of slapped me in the face and I couldn’t believe it!! You won’t either, I guarantee that.
I gave this book 5 stars, I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this book, it was just amazing, and I can’t find enough synonyms to keep gushing about it! it was fun, fast-paced, beautiful, meaningful, heart-warming, action-packed, beautifully crafted and guess what? It’s up in the Top 5 for Favourite book of the year, so you’ll just have to check back here at the end of December to see if it becomes my favourite book of 2020!
If you love middle grade, fantasy, supernatural, friendship, strong characters, fast-paced action and missions, family, then you are in for a wild ride and this is the book for you! It was incredible and I highly, highly recommend it!
Thank you so much once again to Dave, Egmont, B.B Alston and NetGalley for giving me the chance to read this book early and gush about it, I’m ever so grateful and I can’t wait for the sequel!
That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed this post, see you soon, stay safe,
Atmosphere – 9
Start – 8
Pacing – 9
Ending – 10
Characters – 8.5
Theme – 9.5
Style – 9.5
Total = 63.5
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – B.B. ALSTON
B. B. Alston lives in Lexington, SC. Amari and the Night Brothers is his debut middle grade novel. When not writing, he can be found eating too many sweets and exploring country roads to see where they lead.
Author Links: Twitter
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