Nic Blake is a Manifestor—which, up until now, hasn’t meant a whole lot other than always needing to move when Unremarkable, non-magical humans figure out that there’s something weird about her and her dad. But today is Nic’s twelfth birthday, and she’s hoping that the hellhound pup her dad gives her isn’t the only present he’s planning. She’s been asking him to teach her how to use her magic for years, and maybe now he’ll deem her old enough.
But before she can start pestering her dad again, Nic’s life is utterly upended when her favorite author and a mysterious women crash into her life—and bring the Remarkable police not far behind them. With her dad imprisoned for a crime Nic’s certain he couldn’t have committed and no idea who to go to, Nic teams up with her Unremarkable best friend and a twin brother she never knew she had to clear her dad’s name the only way she knows how—by finding the weapon the Remarkables think he stole before he's sentenced to a terrible fate.
Pursued by the Remarkable police, Nic and her friends must uncover the truth about everyone from a resentful ex-Chosen One to a group of dangerous, magic-wielding Unremarkables if she wants to save her dad in time—but that might mean learning truths about herself she’d have rather stayed hidden.
Witty, fast-paced, and exciting, Nic Blake and the Remarkables: The Manifestor Prophecy was utterly awesome. Nic is a fiery, fierce, adventurous heroine who I couldn’t help but love; her determination and passion drive the story through all its twists, and I’m so glad I get to follow her through more books in the series! The supporting cast particularly shone as well, especially the adults like Nic’s parents and the ex-Chosen One (one of my personal favorites!), who felt in some ways as fleshed out and vivid as the story’s protagonists. From the first few chapters there was clearly so much depth to their history and stories, and I can’t wait to get to know all of them better in the sequel. As someone who loves subverted tropes, I particularly enjoyed Thomas’s reimagining of the classic Chosen One into something unique and far more interesting, bringing extra depth to a tale that raised interesting questions about the way we tell stories. Indeed, the unexpected depth to what easily could’ve been a straightforward story was part of why I loved it so much; as in Thomas’s other books, she doesn’t shy away from the reality of being a Black kid in America, an honesty seen too rarely in contemporary fantasy novels that only became more powerful through Nic’s indignance that that the Remarkables didn’t use their magic to help Unremarkables in the larger world. Although very different from Angie Thomas’s other books, it shares their self-awareness, powerfully realistic characters, and engrossing writing—all the hallmarks of what make Thomas’s books so amazing. Action-packed and clever, I highly recommend The Manifestor Prophecy to readers ages nine and up.