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‘Amari and the Night Brothers’ Is A Stunning Middle-Grade Debut From B.B. Alston – Book Review

Amari and the night Brothers follows 13-year-old Amari Peters who is left devastated after her brother mysteriously goes missing. Quinton Peters is a star and was on his way to attending an Ivy League school on full scholarship when the disappearance happened. It is not a huge story on the news and the police think that Quinton was involved with something illegal (typical). Of course, Amari knows better. Quinton wouldn’t just vanish without so much as a word, so there is more to this entire situation than meets the eye.

However, after finding a ticking briefcase with a nomination for a summer tryout at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, Amari begins to realize there was way more to her brother than she ever really knew. Certain that she will find the answers to Quinton’s disappearance lies somewhere beyond the walls of the Bureau, Amari decides to take a chance and attend the summer tryout to see where any clues may lead.

Amari is now in competition with some of the wealthiest children who have known and been part of this supernatural world their entire lives. Amari must navigate through her entitled peers, mythical creatures, and an evil magician who threatens the supernatural world to figure out the mystery of her brother’s disappearance.

Amari and the Night Brothers - Cover
Cover for Amari and the Night Brothers written by B.B. Alston (Courtesy of Balzer + Bray)

Amari and the Night Brothers is a thrilling debut from B.B. Alston. Not only is the book wonderfully written, but it has so many elements that work so well together – making it hard to put down. Of course, it helps when you have a main character that is as amazing as Amari is. She is a young girl trying to find her place in the world and she finds it in the most unexpected of places. Whether we find ourselves trying to cope with a sudden loss that uproots our world, feeling as if we don’t have a friend in the world while trying to find our footing in new surroundings, or trying to extinguish some kind of nefarious force (literal or otherwise) in our lives, these are things that Amari must deal with.

It is likely that many people have experienced one or more of these elements in their lives and to read a book that not only helps one through it but also shows the reader they are not alone in these experiences, is a true testament to Alston’s writing. Amari is a character who will be relatable to many of the people who read the book and that is one of the best parts of the book. While the odds aren’t in Amari’s favour, her determination is never lost.

In addition to an amazing character, the magic and supernatural within the book are extremely well done. There is always a sense of wonderment whilst reading, not only with the world-building but with the magic itself. All the scenes are beautifully built up and it sets the stage for the different enchantments we see throughout the story. I enjoyed that the magic didn’t just begin and end with things like spells and magicians. It encompassed various places, creatures and more, which added to this new world that Alston created.

The first in a trilogy, I can honestly say I am very excited to see what else happens in Amari’s story. It is a fantastical story that showcases Black girl magic in all its forms. If this sounds like the book for you, then you’re probably right. Amari and the Night Brothers should be added to everyone’s TBR lists immediately! Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Amari and the Night Brothers hits bookstores on January 19th. Be sure to grab yourself a copy!

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