As soon as I found out Angie Thomas author of YA books The Hate you Give and On the Come Up was going to be writing a middle grade novel, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. I’ve been waiting for years for my children to be old enough to read her books and while my son is almost there, my daughter is still some way off. So when I found out about the Nic Blake series I was ecstatic!
Nic Blake and The Remarkables is a brand new middle grade fantasy trilogy starting with The Manifestor Prophecy.
Nic lives in the Unremarkable world. A world where people don’t have and can’t see magic but Nic is a Manifestor. Manifestors are Remarkable. They do have magic skills called the Gift and Nic is crying out to learn how to use hers but her over-protective Dad says at 12, she’s too young.
When she discovers a shocking secret about her family and heritage, she is faced with trying to find a magical weapon to clear her Dad’s name or risk losing him forever.
Comparisons to Harry Potter will be everywhere with this book but there are some marked differences. For one Nic, her best friend JP and Alex are very different to the main characters in HP. There is also no boarding school or Quidditch type games, instead the world Angie Thomas has created is vivid, dripping with cultural references, traditions and magical creatures.
Nic is a tenacious character but she still has a lot to learn. I love how the story has room to grow for future books and I’m looking forward to what other adventures she goes on. Her best friend JP is hilarious! I loved his character so much.
Angie Thomas is skillful at weaving in important topics into her books and Nic Blake is no exception. Despite writing for younger readers she artfully touches on topics such as African American history and folklore which give the story added depth and meaning.
Who it’s for
Nic Blake and The Remarkables is perfect for children 10 and up. There may be references younger readers may not understand but this can be used as a way to open up conversations around Black History, slavery and police brutality. Angie Thomas mentions these topics in an age appropriate way and lets the reader bring their knowledge to the story. If your child doesn’t know much about George Floyd for example, the book doesn’t go into graphic detail.
Nic Blake and the Remarkables is a fun, action filled story that I’m hoping gets a movie or tv series because it deserves the cinematic treatment. There were moments when I literally laughed out loud and I could see this being a great book for reading aloud at schools too.
Nic Blake and the Remarkables is out now.
Thank you for Walker Books for sending us an advanced reader copy.