Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B. Alston

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Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B. Alston

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New York Times bestseller! Artemis Fowl meets Men in Black in this exhilarating debut middle grade fantasy, the first in a trilogy filled with #blackgirlmagic. Perfect for fans of Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, the Percy Jackson series, and Nevermoor. Amari Peters has never stopped believing her missing brother, Quinton, is alive. Not even when the police told her otherwise, or when she got in trouble for standing up to bullies who said he was gone for good. So when she finds a ticking briefcase in his closet, containing a nomination for a summer tryout at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she's certain the secretive organization holds the key to locating Quinton-if only she can wrap her head around the idea of magicians, fairies, aliens, and other supernatural creatures all being real. Now she must compete for a spot against kids who've known about magic their whole lives. No matter how hard she tries, Amari can't seem to escape their intense doubt and scrutiny-especially once her supernaturally enhanced talent is deemed "illegal." With an evil magician threatening the supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she's an enemy, Amari has never felt more alone. But if she doesn't stick it out and pass the tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton. Plus don't miss the thrilling sequel, Amari and the Great Game!

  • Author - B. B. Alston
  • Publisher - HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication Date - 01-04-2022
  • Page Count - 432
  • Paperback
  • Age Range - 8-12 Years
  • Juv Young Readers
  • Product Dimensions - 7.5 H x 5 W x 1 D
  • ISBN-13 - 9780062975171

Web ID: 14352350

Customer reviews

6 Reviews
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    Stacy Renee
    Aug 27, 2022
    from Florida
    A fantastic mystery-fantasy for MG readers!

    Amari Peters desperately misses her brilliant older brother, Quinton, who had gone off to pursue a confidential career and mysteriously disappeared in the process. Things at her school aren't going so well thanks to bullies so when she gets an acceptance letter to a special summer camp that her brother had preemptively nominated her for, she jumps at the chance, knowing that it's her best chance at finding out what happened to him. Thanks to her brother's nomination, Amari becomes an initiate at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs and is introduced to the secret world of the supernatural. Determined to become a Junior Agent like her brother before her, Amari prepares and competes for a career at the Bureau while also trying to solve the mystery of her missing brother. This is a really fun read filled with magic, mystery, supernatural beings, and creatures such as were-dragons, trolls, phoenixes, and more. There's an underlying mystery that motivates the main character throughout the book. Great character development. I can't wait for the sequel!

    Customer review from
    Jul 13, 2022
    from Dallas, TX

    Thank you for writing this book! I really enjoyed reading it! I loved it because it was so interesting and it made me want to keep reading. This book has taught me that no matter what circumstances you are in you are still strong within you. This book has also taught me to never give up in any situations. Amari & the Night Brothers is a great book for readers who love fantasy! Great pairings- A Tale of Magic by Chris Colfer, Rise of the School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani, Ali Cross by James Patterson, Thirteen Witches the Memory Thief by Jodi Lynn Anderson, The House at the Edge of Magic by Amy Sparkles, Where the Sky Lives by Margaret Dilloway, and Wilderlore the Accidental Apprentice by Amanda Foody

    Customer review from
    May 14, 2022
    A Major Disappointment

    I love both fantasy and mystery novels, so when I heard about this book, I was interested and excited to read it. However, I was very quickly disappointed. First of all, the characters. Amari was rather rude throughout the book, and she ultimately became an extremely annoying character who failed to accept her mistakes. She constantly used her race as an excuse, and often accused people of being racist. For example, I nearly stopped reading the book after the opening scene. When Amari shoved a student in the school hallway, she was angry that she was being punished. It was implied that this was not the first time she had physically attacked another student, so I thought that having her scholarship taken away was a suitable punishment, especially since the principal said that she would typically have been expelled. Amari thought otherwise. A few of the other characters felt a bit flat, but there were a few that stood out to me as decent characters. For example, Elsie, Amari's roommate and an amazing scientist, and Dylan, a magician boy who helped Amari strengthen her powers. Elsie was very kind, which was nice to see after having encountered countless rude characters. Dylan was very helpful and understanding, and he grew to become my favorite character... which led to a very disappointing ending. When he turned into a villain at the end, I wasn't surprised (it had been foreshadowed earlier in the book) but I was angry. It felt rushed, out of character, and insignificant to the plot. The ending would have worked just as well if he had betrayed the antagonists and realized the good he could do with the protagonists. (He was also the one to defeat the main villains, but Amari received the credit for it at the end.) In terms of other characters, I really enjoyed the talking elevators. Most of them had more personality than the human characters, and they always made me smile or laugh. I won't hesitate to say that they were one of the best parts of the book. Second of all, the plot. I already mentioned the strange, out-of-place ending and the angering opening scene, but there was another major part of the plot that made this book a disappointment. I found myself getting bored throughout the story. There were often large amounts of information given all at once. I've seen this done well in other books, but in this one it was boring and often unimportant to the main storyline. Finally, the message. This book talked a lot about race and racism. Throughout the novel, I found myself becoming either angry, upset, or insulted by some of the things that happened. I was mad that Amari used her race as an excuse. I was upset that the message of racism seemed to take over certain parts of the plot. Most of all, I was insulted by the fact that most of the white characters were portrayed as either rude, racist, or evil. This book fought racism with racism, and it disgusts me. Overall, I give this book two stars for the humor, the parts of the plot that were actually decent, and the few tolerable characters. I would not recommend this book. However, I would be willing to read the second book to see if the series can redeem itself.

    Customer review from
    Miss Print
    Apr 22, 2022
    a great adventure for all ages

    Amari Peters knows she can never measure up to her older brother Quinton. But with Quinton missing and the police no longer even pretending to look for him, Amari is all their single mother has left. So Amari tries her best even if Quinton left big shoes to fill with an outstanding academic career and a mysterious job that left no way to trace him after the disappearance. When the latest round of bullying by the rich, white girls at her fancy private school ends with Amari's suspension, Amari knows she's in big trouble. She also knows being home alone is a great opportunity to continue her search for Quinton. Instead of finding a clue to where Quinton is, Amari finds an invitation that's been waiting for her. Turns out Quinton's job was a bigger deal than anyone realized and, now that she's thirteen, Amari has a chance to follow in her brother's footsteps by joining the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs. Amari is certain that learning the truth about Quinton's life will help her find him, but being in the Bureau also feels right. Even when Amari's ceremony to receive her trainee shield goes very wrong. Turns out Amari is a promising trainee--even more promising than her brother, for once. Unfortunately, Amari's supernatural level talent is also illegal because she's a magician. Amari has one chance to make it as a trainee and one chance to try and find her brother--she'll have to make the most of both as she survives her rigorous trainee schedule, more mean girls, and tries to make new friends all while trying to understand her magic--and find out what really happened to her brother in Amari and the Night Brothers (2021) by B.B. Alston. Amari and the Night Brothers is Alston's debut novel and the start of a series. Amari and her family are Black. Secondary characters are varied including Amari's new roommate Elsie who is a dragon (and my favorite). The audiobook is a fun and fast listen as narrated by Imani Parks but you will catch more of Alston's punny name choices in print. Amari is a fantastic protagonist. She is street smart and savvy after growing up poor and living in the projects but she is also still open to wonder as she explores more of the supernatural world. Most importantly, she is still hopeful and has unflagging faith that she will find Quinton again and reunite her family. Alston's writing is top notch as he weaves the supernatural world into a modern urban setting with a similar sensbility to the Men in Black films. Strong world building, authentic characters, and a really fun magic system make Amari and the Night Brothers a great adventure for readers of all ages; a more enjoyable and more inclusive alternative to Harry Potter. Possible Pairings: The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani, The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer, Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer, Shadow Weaver by MarcyKate Connolly, Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor, Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

    Customer review from
    Mar 11, 2022

    this is the best book i have ever read it feels like your watching the mvie while your reading it

    Customer review from
    Jan 29, 2022
    Magical, action packed, inspirational fantasy

    Amari Peters is a young black girl living with her mom in lower-income housing; a scholarship student at a mostly white school. She’s never really felt like she’s “fit in”, and her issues are magnified by the disappearance of her golden child brother Quinton. Despite everyone saying otherwise, Amari knows her brother is not dead and is determined to find him. When she receives a mysterious package from him, she discovers a part of Quinton’s life that he had previously hidden: Quinton worked as an investigator for a secret society, and he’s nominated Amari to try out for her own spot. If Amari can survive the rigorous summer training, she’ll be that much closer to finding out what actually happened to her brother but things will be much more challenging and complicated than she might have hoped. Unlike many other middle-grade books, B.B. Alston does address issues like racism, class differences, and prejudice in this book. Amari deals with being looked down on in both her “normal” school and when she’s in training to become a junior agent in the Bureau of Supernatural Investigations. It doesn’t matter the reason - her brother’s success being a fluke, her home being in the ghetto instead of some rich people community, her simply being black - everyone seems determined to see Amari fail but that only gives her more of a drive to succeed and prove them wrong. I loved that, and I was rooting for Amari to kick all of their butts the whole time! The fact that these issues didn’t disappear once she was introduced to the world of magic was particularly poignant for me. I appreciated that there were multiple figures in Amari’s journey who were supportive, like Agent Fiona and Elsie. The worldbuilding was imaginative and beautiful. I was immersed in it while reading and didn’t want to leave. I was reminded of movies like Men in Black, The Hunger Games, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians. There’s a whole host of creatures Amari has to learn about in a very short time, the other trainees look down on her because of where she’s from (akin to tributes in The Hunger Games looking down on Katniss because she is from District 12), and Amari ends up being more unique and powerful than anyone could have ever anticipated. It was so much fun to learn about the different abilities possessed by the trainees. It was also interesting to learn about the different departments housed within the Bureau of Supernatural Investigations. I would recommend this book to middle-grade readers who would love a fantasy tale full of diversity, lovable characters, and magic. Despite being aimed at kids, I think it would be equally suitable for young adults and adults as well. Readers of all ages will be able to take something away from reading Amari and the Night Brothers. I’m eager to see what’s next when the sequel, Amari and the Great Game, comes out in August 2022.

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