Wednesday 3 February 2021

New release: Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B Alston


Published by: Egmont, January 2021


Welcome to Amari and the Night Brothers - a new supernatural adventure series that sparkles as brightly as its glittery, silver-sprayed edges. I'd heard a lot about this book and it is a CRACKER of a read; magical, enthralling and riddled with twists and turns...

When she is invited to join the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, Amari Peters has a lot to prove. Not only is she a black girl from the Projects, she is also an magician - and magicians are the enemy of the supernatural world. 
But Amari Peters has a purpose. Her brother, Quinton, is missing and, if she doesn't find a way to pass three try-outs and get the bureau to accept her, then she may never find out what has happened to him...

Amari and the Night Brothers crackles with magic and supernatural energy. B.B Alston brings to life a fully imagined world of hidden cities, danger, wonder and every supernatural creature you can think of. As we follow Amari-a wonderful main character whose determination and strength grows with every page turn-into the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, we are taken into a summer camp that we'll never forget. 

For a 'chosen one' fantasy novel, this book has familiarities with the big names that have come before it; Amari is different to everyone else, hardly anyone wants her to succeed and the bureau is a place filled with fear and prejudice. However, despite having seen all these elements before, B.B Alston makes Amari's story feel fresh and unique. There truly is a magical quality to it that I just couldn't put my finger on and I think it is bound up in the feelings it evoked in me. 

Amari is a special character. Her love for her brother, Quinton, gives her a strong and powerful motivation but many readers will be able to relate to her alienation. A big theme in the novel is illusion - the idea that we can be fooled and manipulated into believing different realities. Despite Amari learning she is an illusionist herself, it is interesting to see how much her character falls foul of illusion. There are lots of sharp turns in this plot!

Friendship is another theme which features strongly in this novel. I loved Amari's friendship with Elsie and there are a whole host of fabulous characters to discover - the talking lifts were a real high point for me. There is bags of high octane action and a villain who will send chills down your spine. There is a real sense of danger and threat-the hybrids are terrifying-but also some wonderfully endearing moments too! (Look out for Jayden.)

This series is going to be big! There's a film already on the way and it is thoroughly deserved. Amari and the Night Brothers is a spectacular debut and I can't wait for more...

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