Nic Blake is Remarkable in an Unremarkable World. It has its perks, like the pet hellhound she was given for her twelfth birthday, but it has its downfalls too – like not being trusted with magic because you might use it against an annoying neighbor. Nic wants to follow in her father’s footsteps and become a powerful Manifestor, but before she can convince him to show her how, he is being accused of crimes she refuses to believe he committed. Now, she must embark on a quest with two of her friends to find a magical tool she’s never heard of to save her father from imprisonment.


Not only is Nic Blake remarkable but so is this first book in this new contemporary fantasy trilogy. Nic narrates her story that unfolds over 24 chapters. In the real world the engaging tale is set in Jackson, Mississippi with a side trip to New Orleans and a mysterious underground world.

Best friend JP and Alex (a possible new friend), join Nic as she searches for an unknown item called the Msaidixi. Dad has been arrested for allegedly stealing the artifact along with kidnapping Nic 10 years prior. Her only way of getting him released is finding the Msaidixi and returning it to the authorities.

It would have helped her quest if Dad had showed Nic how to use The Gift–something all Manifestors (the most powerful of the super natural Remarkables) have the ability to use. She could sure use it now as her life begins to unravel.

Tension filled, the writing is still full of timely humor and action throughout. The 368 pages zip by as readers are introduced to new creepy characters and a world like none other.

The ending leaves us wanting more as a few plot points tease with anticipation. It’s bound to be a series middle graders will love as much as this adult did.


  1. A great bonus was having the history and present day treatment of Black Americans woven into the story. Great discussion starter.
  2. Nic, JP, and Alex are the same age but each have distinct personalities. They are the perfect threesome to make this plot believable and entertaining.
  3. Her Uncle Ty writes a popular series that kids are always reading and anticipating the next book.. The plot of that series parallels what happens to Nic and friends. It’s a nice surprise as to why it turns out this way.
  4. One would think Nic’s pet, known as a hellhound, would be a vicious creature, but one look at the creature on the cover hints that it will be a charming companion. Cocoa is all that and more.
  5. Everyone needs a friend like JP. His introspective character shined and it will be a pleasure seeing where it goes next.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR (from Angie’s website)

Angie Thomas was born and raised in Mississippi, but now calls Atlanta her home. A former teen rapper, she holds a BFA in creative writing from Belhaven University. Her award-winning, acclaimed debut novel, The Hate U Give, is a #1 New York Times bestseller and major motion picture from Fox 2000, starring Amandla Stenberg and directed by George Tillman, Jr. Her second novel, On the Come Up, is on sale now.


Comment below then be sure to visit all the other bloggers participating in this week’s edition of 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.


  1. I really enjoy contemporary fantasy, and this is on the top of my TBR list. You’ve made me even more excited to read it.

  2. carolbaldwin says:

    I’m not a huge fan of fantasy, but I like how this author weaves history into the story too. Thanks for the recommendation.

  3. Sounds really good, I like the idea of the books paralleling the story, and I am very intrigued to see why that is! Thanks for sharing!

  4. oooh! This looks wonderful! definitely going to get me a copy.

  5. Linda Browne says:

    What?! Angie Thomas has written a MG fantasy? I’m in!

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