Amari Peters lives in the Projects and attends a posh school where she doesn’t fit in. Add to that her despair over her brother Quinton having gone missing six months earlier and you have a girl struggling to find her way in the world. But she is ambitious and bright and determined to succeed like Quinton did before he went missing. When she finds that Quinton has nominated her for the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs she sets off on a journey of self-discovery and adventure which is extraordinary in its invention and humour.
When Amari gets to the Bureau she finds that her brother was a member too, involved in the fight against evil supernatural forces. Then, when she is tested for her gift, she discovers she is a magician. This sounds so far so usual, right? But in B.B. Alston’s world, magicians are evil and have always been banned from the Bureau for that reason. So, Amari must battle prejudice and assumptions from within the very place that she hopes to find herself and her brother. She shows her resilience and fighting spirit, and also proves to the whole Bureau that just because she is a Magician, doesn’t mean she is bad.
A mix of M.I.B. and Harry Potter and the Avengers, this is a stand-out, individual world in which a fantastic and deftly drawn character shows her mettle. B.B. Alston manages to make a fresh world and also weaves in the parallels with Amari’s normal life at home extremely well. I loved the brilliant little touches like the elevators with personalities, and Amari’s best friend Elsie, a nerd-slash-dragon, is a fantastic sidekick. It reminded me of the Nevermoor series and will appeal to anyone who loves a good adventure, magical or not. Amari-amazing!