Everyone believes that Quinton Peters is dead, but his younger sister, Amari, has never been convinced. He just disappeared--she's sure he's out there somewhere. So when she discovers a suitcase from Quinton with her name on it--and an invitation inside from somewhere called the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs--she's certain that whatever it means, it holds the key to discovering what really happened to Quinton.
But the Bureau, an organization which keeps magic and the magical world hidden from everyone else, isn't exactly handing out information about the disappearance of one its top agents--even if Amari is his sister. It quickly becomes clear that if Amari is going to learn what really happened to Quinton, she's going to have to compete for a spot in the Bureau against far more experienced candidates--not all of whom think Amari deserves a place here at all.
Amari must forge some unlikely friendships and uncover the plans of one of the most dangerous magicians of all time if she wants to find a place at the Bureau, and learn what really happened to Quinton. But doing so may destroy her tentative acceptance in the Bureau--and keep her from seeing the most perilous deception of all.
I've heard so much about Amari and the Night Brothers, and I'm so glad I finally read it--it not only lived up to my high expectations, but exceeded them. Many of Amari's story elements are familiar, but Alston's strong characters and absorbing world-building make them feel utterly new, creating an exciting page-turner that left me wishing I already had book two. I utterly loved this world--full of small, quirky details and stunning descriptions, I was completely engrossed in the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs. Its flaws and prejudices made it deeper and layered, and helped it feel far more realistic than an idealistically perfect society. Amari's determination and love for Quinton truly drive this story, and I'm glad I'll be able to enjoy more books about her--and the supporting cast (particularly Elsie and Dylan), who are equally awesome! This story had more than one twist that truly surprised me, and I loved how the mystery of what really happened to Quinton unfolds. I highly recommend Amari and the Night Brothers to readers ages ten and up who love fantasy books full of clever plotting and strong characters.