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 was, simply put, brilliant! I would have loved this book as a teen, and luckily enjoyed it just as much as an adult. It was magical and fun whilst still bringing to light some social commentary but in a way it relates to it’s target audience and it was that good, I read it in one sitting.
If Amari Peters knows one thing it’s that her brother Quentin is still alive, despite what the police are saying. So when a random package appears and she gets an invitation to the summer camp her brother Quentin went too, Amari has questions. Questions that triple when she realises that the summer camp is actually a training academy for the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs and not only has her brother nominated her for the programme, but he was their golden boy. Amari knows that if she is ever to find out the truth of what has happened to Quentin she has to join this programme and investigate from the inside. But she is a fish out of water, she is competing against kids who have known about the supernatural world all their lives, and she finds that the prejudices she had to deal with in the outside world are just as prevalent here. She will have to overcome a multitude of difficulties, and make sure she puts her trust in the right people if she is to find her brother, and leave the programme alive.
Amari is such a brilliantly written character. She is unbelievably resilient, even in the face of the police telling her that Quentin must have been involved with illegal activities and that’s why he’s disappeared. She is loyal to her family, and anyone she classes as a friend and she is fierce and unbelievably strong for someone who has been bullied and told she is lesser most of her life. She finds it hard to believe she is special, that she is made for something more, but her time at the Bureau shows her that maybe there is somewhere out there for her, somewhere were she can excel and live up to the legacy of her brother. What makes this extra special is the author talks about how long it took him to be able to write Amari’s story and how once he gave himself the chance it just flew from him. It’s amazing seeing more and more books out there with POC main characters, dealing with the issues they deal with in day to day life and exploring their culture.
As well as Amari we are treated to a wealth of well built side characters, my favourites being Elsie, Amari’s roommate and best friend at the Bureau and Agent Magnus, one of her supervisors at the Bureau. It was such a treat seeing Amari building relationships throughout the book, we have Elsie and Dylan, her two friends. They are very different relationships with Elsie and Amari both knowing what it’s like to be an outcast, whereas Dylan is the golden boy with a secret that he feels only Amari can understand. And then there is the relationship between Amari and Agent Magnus, he fears for her, not wanting her to get hurt looking for her brother, but seeing the same drive in her he saw in Quentin and knowing that there is very little he can do to stop her.
There will be the usual comparisons to the likes of Harry Potter, and whilst there are some similarities, Amari and the Night Brothers is completely its own. The mix of the mundane and the magical is brilliantly done, and boy would I have killed to get a spot at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs. There is everything from a wide variety of magical beings, to talking elevators and its all gets wondrously brought to life as we visit all the different sections alongside Amari. It may not be worldbuilding as we have come to know it, but the author creates an almost ‘mini world’ inside the Bureau and I got absolutely swept away learning about all the different divisions and seeing how they mix the magical creatures and beings into a world that doesn’t know they exist.
Amari and the Night Brothers is action packed to the max. It pretty much sets off from the word go and it isn’t hard to get completely swept away by the story. Amari entering the Bureau sets off a chain of events that no body saw coming and made the magical community start asking questions of itself. I really liked how the author made Amari different, magic wise, and used that to show how archaic the Bureau is. She is the face of change, and though the book doesn’t end on a traditional cliff hanger, it does hint at more potential drama in the next book.
Filled with a wide breadth of characters, plenty of twists and turns and one hell of an ending, you need to get this book for any teen in your life. I can guarantee you and they wont be disappointed. One of the easiest 5* I’ve given all year and a new firm favourite, I am incredibly excited to see where Amari’s story goes next.