Angie Thomas’s middle grade debut is just as stunning as her bestselling YA novels.
Nic Blake knows that being a Remarkable in an Unremarkable world isn’t always easy. Every time an Unremarkable sees her dad use the Gift, they have to move. She’s never been to a Remarkable city, and her dad won’t even teach her to use the Gift yet. But Nic’s twelfth birthday brings a lot of change to her life. Some of this change is good, like her new hellhound puppy. But other change brings trouble– big trouble. When her dad is imprisoned by Remarkables for a crime she doesn’t believe he committed, it’s up to her to save him.
Nic Blake and the Remarkables: The Manifestor Prophecy is the first book in Angie Thomas’s new middle grade fantasy trilogy, and it does not disappoint.
From page one, Nic’s voice pulls the reader right in and doesn’t let go. Thomas is a master of tension, keeping me on the edge of my seat and formulating theories the whole time. When I wasn’t reading this book, I was thinking about it. Could it be this or that or ooh, what about… I couldn’t put this book down, and finished it in a matter of days.
Thomas is a master of tension. As soon as the characters and world are established, everything is thrown into chaos. That early groundwork really sets the stage for the rest of the novel. The characters feel real and relatable, making the reader– and me– fully invested in the story.
The characters are so well developed that in quick, banter-filled scenes, dialogue tags are more sparse and they aren’t needed. Each character’s voice is well honed, so that when they are speaking they’re easily identifiable.
The way history and folklore are interwoven into the plot is incredible. Add in the cinematic descriptions and detailed world building, and I just know this is going to get picked up as a TV or film series. The Unremarkable and Remarkable histories are equally important to the plot, both upping the mystery and letting armchair detectives try and deduce where its going (justifying my endless theorizing!).
Thomas is known for not holding back (thank goodness) and Nic Blake is no exception. This fantasy novel incorporates real issues, from family dynamics to racism to really showing how dangerous it is when allegedly good people do nothing when they witness harm being done. But the serious moments and high stakes are offset by plenty of comedy, keeping the tone balanced. There is such humor and joy found throughout this book. Nic Blake really learns who she is in this novel, and she is bright, funny, and capable. She’s the hero we’ve been waiting for.
This series is perfect for fans of Percy Jackson and Upside Down Magic.
Nic Blake and the Remarkables: The Manifestor Prophecy is out now. You can purchase it from Bookshop.org here. Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Bookshop.org. I will earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you click through and make a purchase.
Thank you to author Angie Thomas, NetGalley, and HarperCollins Children’s Books for a digital ARC such that I could share my honest opinions.