Amari is back in the second title in this series. Last year I reviewed AMARI AND THE NIGHT BROTHERS and highly recommended getting to know the engaging protagonist, Amari Peters. The story continues here and I feared there would be a downturn in the likeability of this character and series. Silly me. The continuation of the plot packs the same emotional wallop, and the character arcs for all take some amazing turns.

Readers could sneak into this one without reading the first but you’d miss out having a deeper understanding of each character. References to the first story are many, but it would still be more fulfilling to read them both.

The publisher recommends it for the 8-12 year old. Maybe not every kid in that age group. At over 400 pages Amari is far from light fare for the beginning middle grade reader.

Here’s the Official Synopsis from Harper Collins:

After finding her brother and saving the entire supernatural world, Amari Peters is convinced her first full summer as a Junior Agent will be a breeze.

But between the fearsome new Head Minister’s strict anti-magician agenda, fierce Junior Agent rivalries, and her brother Quinton’s curse steadily worsening, Amari’s plate is full. So when the secretive League of Magicians offers her a chance to stand up for magiciankind as its new leader, she declines. She’s got enough to worry about!

But her refusal allows someone else to step forward, a magician with dangerous plans for the League. This challenge sparks the start of the Great Game, a competition to decide who will become the Night Brothers’ successor and determine the future of magiciankind.

The Great Game is both mysterious and deadly, but among the winner’s magical rewards is Quinton’s last hope—so how can Amari refuse?

Amari’s first person narration is both page turning and full of twists. She’s the type of heroine who could take hold of many more books in the future. In fact the plot here sets up a book three. Fans will be anxiously awaiting.

PAGE COUNT: 432 BOOK BIRTHDAY: August 30, 2022


  1. The magic in the supernatural world is surprising and fresh. You never know what’s coming next.
  2. The plot surprises you in the climatic end. It’s not what I expected, but great writing does that to a reader!
  3. Themes of animosity and hatred parallel with the present world. The emotions of each were handled beautifully here.
  4. The cover. It’s a pick me up vibe that doesn’t disappoint.
  5. The secondary characters shine and continue to grow and reveal more about their personalities. Best friend Elsie is front and center in that assessment.


B. B. Alston is the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Amari and the Night Brothers and Amari and the Great Game. His books have been published in over 30 countries and won numerous awards including being named the Overall Winner of the Barnes & Noble Children’s and YA Book Awards. A major motion picture is currently being developed by Universal.

When not writing, he can be found eating too many sweets and exploring country roads to see where they lead. (For more about the author and his books go here)


Comments are welcome below and be sure to visit all the other posts in today’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in MG Fantasy, Middle Grade Book Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to AMARI and the GREAT GAME

  1. Wow! Greg, you hooked me with your insightful Five More Things in this review!

  2. Really enjoyed this book too, probably even more than the first. Characters, story and world are all super :). My first thought when I finished it was “when can I get book 3!” 🙂

  3. Huh…I tried to leave a comment before but it didn’t work… Anyway, thanks for the series recommendation! I’ll have to find #1.

  4. I loved the first novel and am just starting the second. What makes this fantasy different, is the supernatural spect. I’m glad to know you really enjoyed it and that it lived up to the first novel. With two reviews, I won’t be in a hurry to run my review.

  5. Brenda says:

    I so loved the second book; dare I say more than the first? Happy Halloween

  6. carolbaldwin says:

    Great review. How fun that both you and Valinora featured this book this week!

  7. Your reviews always make me put books on my TBR list. This sounds like one kids will love. Thanks for the post.

  8. you always make your books sound irresistible – what Rosi said! definitely adding it to my list.

  9. I just finished this book. I totally agree with your review. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

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