The Manifestor prophecy

Angie Thomas

Book - 2023

"It's not easy being a Remarkable in the Unremarkable world. Some things are cool--like getting a pet hellhound for your twelfth birthday. Others, not so much--like not being trusted to learn magic because you might use it to take revenge on an annoying neighbor. All Nic Blake wants is to be a powerful Manifestor like her dad. But before she has a chance to convince him to teach her the gift, a series of shocking revelations and terrifying events launch Nic and two friends on a hunt for a powerful magic tool she's never heard of...to save her father from imprisonment for a crime she refuses to believe he committed."--

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Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In Jackson, Miss., homeschooled Nichole Blake is hoping that her single father will finally train her in her Gift as a Manifestor--the most powerful tier of the supernaturally gifted Remarkables, whose innate abilities originate with Africa's Wallinzi tribe. After another Remarkable summons a vision for Nic's 12th birthday--one that turns quickly terrifying--Nic's deeply wary dad forbids her from attending a high-profile book signing. But when Nic goes against his wishes, she discovers something extraordinary: world-famous children's book author TJ Retro is not only also a Manifestor, he's her godfather, and the books she's obsessed with are based in truth. As Nic's developing Gift begins to wreak havoc, and the family secrets her father has kept catch up with them, Nic encounters a prophecy that promises the destruction of the Remarkable world unless a Chosen One can intervene. Thomas (Concrete Rose) brings her trademark voice to an action-packed series kickoff rooted in a mixture of African diasporic myth, biblical references, and U.S. history. Imbuing characters both brave and sweetly vulnerable with unflappable senses of humor amid harrowing circumstances, Thomas creates an elaborate supernatural mythology that boldly confronts fantasy tropes and questions of forgiveness. B&w art by Fiadzigbey (Bunheads) appears throughout. Protagonists are Black. Ages 8--12. Agent: Molly Ker Hawn, Bent Agency. (Apr.)

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Review by Horn Book Review

Acclaimed for her young adult realistic fiction, Thomas (The Hate U Give, rev. 3/17) has taken on a new venture with this middle-grade fantasy. It's Nichole "Nic" Blake's twelfth birthday, and her father is going to "teach me how to use the Gift so I can finally be a real Manifestor." Belonging to a group of people known as the Remarkables, Nic and her father carry a power much stronger than magic -- and once a Remarkable is taught to use their gifts, they can do all manner of wondrous things. Nic is also looking forward to hanging out with her nerdy (and Unremarkable) best friend, JP, to get a book signed by their favorite fantasy author (think the Tristan Strong books). This encounter sets off a fast-paced, intense, mystical adventure for the duo. Sure, there are hellhounds, vampires, merfolk, and an encounter with the devil, but even more shocking for Nic are the revelations about her family, her powers, her past -- and the predictions for her future. Thomas skillfully incorporates folktales from the African diaspora and infuses her story with the energy and emotional nuance of a pre-teen in this tale of intrigue, loyalty, identity, and courage -- the first book in a projected trilogy. (c) Copyright 2023. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

A girl discovers the truth behind her favorite book series--and her destiny. On her 12th birthday, Nichole Blake's disappointed that her father still won't teach her how to use the Gift. They are Manifestors, the most powerful of the supernatural Remarkables, and they keep their powers secret from the Unremarkables they live among in Jackson, Mississippi. But TJ Retro, Nic's favorite fantasy author, is in town for a book signing--where she learns that not only is he a Manifestor, too, but that he knows her father. Mr. Retro reveals that his books are a fictionalized version of their childhood war against an evil villain. Before Nic can get answers, her father's secrets catch up to him. To prove his innocence, Nic--with the help of a long-lost twin brother and her Unremarkable best friend--must navigate the fantastical secret world of the Remarkables to find a powerful stolen artifact. The first act relies on the narrator's humor and charm to carry the heavy amounts of exposition and to set up familiar fantasy tropes so that stock concepts (like the chosen one) can later be subverted and interrogated in entertaining, thoughtful ways. The Manifestor mythology combines African and African American folklore and Biblical stories, and the book explores Black Americans' historical and present-day traumas alongside a fast-paced adventure and inventive worldbuilding. The ending teases more threats to come. All major characters are Black. Readers will eagerly await the unearthing of more secrets in the next installment. (Fantasy. 8-12) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.