Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy Fiction
Similar to: The One With The Boy Wizard That We Don’t Talk About Any More – but better!
Could be enjoyed by: Literally everyone
Publication date: 21st January 2021
“So this is Christmas
And what have you done…”
Well John Lennon, I have yet again overloaded myself with stress as Christmas looms large and as usual I am thoroughly unprepared. Between work/volunteering/shopping/house renovation/looking after one broken boyfriend etc. I also found myself helping to coordinate the Book Blogger Novel of the Year Awards, being a judge myself aaaaand I signed up to a blog tour without looking at the date and then realised my spot was less then a week before Christmas Day. So, I am hurridly trying to navigate this God-awful block editor thingy whilst trying to do justice to one of the best books I’ve read in quite some time.
(Thank goodness it’s a good one!)
You see, Amari and the Night Brothers is just SO AMAZING that I even finished reading it during the tail end of a migraine. It is fun and exciting and has great representation and it’s fast paced and inventive and clever and thoroughly, utterly engaging. It’s the story of Amari Peters, a young black girl living with her mum who is struggling to make ends meet. She’s a misfit – bullied at school, trying to be good for her overworked, underpaid mother and worried about her brother Quinton who has recently gone missing. However, a super-weird, mysterious event leads her to discover a whole world that she didn’t know about – full of magical encounters, mysterious beasts and a terrifying battle for power that Amari ends up being right at the heart of. But as a total outsider, how will Amari cope? Is she always destined to be a misfit?
Answer: you’ll have to read the book to find out. This is a spoiler free zone!
I will say though that it’s not always easy for Amari for numerous reasons but with some great friends and family she goes on one hell of an adventure. I loved the way that despite all of the obstacles, there was always someone there to help her out and this led to some fantastic representations of female friendship, male/female friendship WITHOUT falling in love, family bonds, sibling love, community… I could go on. There’s lots of staying true to yourself even though everyone else thinks you’re weird, finding your tribe (turns out that’s with a dragon) and choosing between good and evil. However, the book is never moralistic or preachy. Amari is such a likeable, realistic individual that her choices seem completely believable and true to her nature.
I loved that Amari was a black female character and there’s a really lovely foreward from the author explaining why her chose to represent her in that way. I noticed that in one chapter, a new character was introduced as being white and I found that slightly jarring – then I realised that’s because it hardly ever happens. So often, white is seen as the default so I loved seeing that assumption challenged. It was a tiny thing but it really hit home for me.
I thought that B. B. Alston did a fantastic job of world building – it must be so complicated to have to write about a magical alternate reality without doing a massive info dump but it was handled really well. So often, I read fantasy where creatures – and trust me, this book has a lot of ’em – are either over depicted, with paragraphs of descriptions that are too complicated to imagine or you’re not given enough detail, leaving you with a bit of a blank. However, I thought the characterisation was spot on. The pacing was great – ranging from fast to full throttle as the storyline progressed – and I was fully invested from start to finish.
Amari and the Night Brothers was a wonderful, inventive, fantastical journey with brilliant representation, fabulous characters and I was so engrossed in its magical spell that I simply couldn’t put down – even with a killer headache!
Five “where’s the paracetamol, I need another chapter!” out of five.
Amazing. Magical. Awesome. Real. Inspiring.
(See what I did there?)
Please note that I read this book for free in exchange for an honest review courtesy of Dave at The Write Reads and Egmont Books UK. Thanks everyone!
4 thoughts on “Blog Tour! Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B. Alston”
Fab review! I thought the world-building was great too. I loved that Alston went into just enough detail for the image to come to life and really, everything came to life in this book! It was so easy to picture everything unfolding before me. It was so fun and I can’t wait to read more of Amari 😃
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Me either – glad you enjoyed it too! 😊
Amazing review Lucinda, I’m so so glad you liked this book!
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Thanks Ellie! ❤️
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