Today I am pleased to share my review as part of the Ultimate Blog Tour for the book Amari and the Night Brothers the first in a magical middle grade series for children. 🙂  A big thank you to the publisher and The Write Reads for the opportunity to read this amazing book.  It’s a very unique and wonderful magical adventure and I hope that if you get the chance to read it you’ll all love it! 😀  Do check out the other stops on the tour and without further ado, here’s my review…

Title: Amari and the Night Brothers
Author: B. B. Alston
Cover Illustrator: Brittany Jackson
Publisher: Egmont Books
Genre: Older children’s/middle grade, Fantasy
Book format: Pre-publication proof
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Description:  Amari Peters knows three things.
Her brother Quinton has gone missing.
No one will talk about it.
His mysterious job holds a clue …
When Amari gets an invitation to the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she’s certain this is her chance to find her brother. 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 an 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 …

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review: This is such a fun, interesting and imaginative story. Amari Peters has never felt like she fitted in at the school she goes to, being the only poor girl from what’s considered the wrong part of town. To add to her worries her older brother Quinton has gone missing and the police have no idea what has happened to him. But one day Amari finds a suitcase that her brother has left to her, and inside it is an invitation to the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, and with it she decides to find out what happened to her brother, a journey which will lead her into a very different world, one filled with magic.

I really enjoyed reading this magical adventure. Amari is a great character and one I liked straight away. Amari’s background, coming from a poor area of town and feeling out of place because of where she comes from and what she looks like is something which I’m sure many children can relate to and instantly made her feel quite relatable to me and easy to like.  The story begins with Amari facing a difficult day at school having gotten into some trouble with some of the richer girls there.  While grounded at home, she comes across the suitcase that Quinton has left for her and with it she soon starts to see an amazing and new magical world.  I love how this story unfolds at the start, especially when Amari begins seeing all the supernatural beings in the every day world.  And when Amari visits the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs she’s thrown into a whole new and magical realm where she has to start learning how to deal with all the magic around her and the special skills she possesses.

I really like the way this story continues, it reminds me a little of Harry Potter.  At first Amari is introduced to this new world of magic where she and lots of other kids have to train in various fields and get to know and understand their new abilities.  Although reminiscent of Harry Potter this story is very different and I love how unique everything felt.  As she and the other kids all begin their training it’s interesting to see all the different abilities and magic that everyone possesses. As the story moves on we’re introduced to a whole host of different characters and I just love how interesting and different all of the magic is in this world.

The magical abilities characters possess feels very different from any magic based story I’ve read before. It almost reminded me of superhero powers with some of the characters, like Agent Magnus, and I like just how different this book felt to so many that feature magic.  There’s somethig so unique about this story and it sucked me in with all the different things that exist within the Bureau’s walls.  As Amari learns more about this magic and what happened to her brother we find out more about the illegal magic that exists. I don’t want to give away what happens but not all magical people are good and Amari is thrown into the deep end when she finds out about this illegal magic and the connections with some characters.

I love how this story goes and everyone involved. While at the Bureau Amari suffers from the same feelings of not fitting in that she felt at her school.  The way this is portrayed is done really well and it reminded me of some the feelings I had when bullied at school.  However I love what happens to Amari and how she ends up dealing with this and how it resolves.  Some of the other characters were interesting and I especially love Amari’s roommate Elsie and what happens to her towards the end of the story.  The plot kept me guessing throughout and I really love how it kept me so engrossed and interested to keep reading on.  Although towards the end I did guess something about one of the characters, in fact it had been something I had guessed a while before it was revealed which is a shame, this still didn’t detract from the overall story and there was still so much I still didn’t expect.

I love the fact that this story really put a whole new perspective on what magic can be, how different and imaginative. The ending was satisfying and finishes well although it does leave you wanting to read the next book in the series to see what happens to everyone.  And although the story itself had a good pace I did feel that it was a little rushed towards the ending.  I also felt that there could have been more there too, rather than expecting some characters to just be okay with all the magic.

Overall I have really enjoyed this story and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. This plot is just so imaginative, I especially love how creative the ideas of the magical abilities of different characters are as well as the whole Bureau with its many floors and the different things happening on those floors.  I also love the creatures mentioned and one part I especially loved was the clever use of the phoenixes! 😀 This really is a lovely story and one I think a lot of children and even adults will enjoy and I can’t wait to see more of what happens to Amari and her friends.

Amari and the Night Brothers is published on the 21st January 2021!

What do you think of this book?  Do you like books with magical stories?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂