Friday, July 8, 2011

Book Review: Beyonders, A World Without Heros

Published by Aladdin
Released On March 15th, 2011
Ages 8-12
Source: Bought
4.5 stars - A Fantastic Adventure

Jason Walker has often wished his life could be less predictable—until a routine day at the zoo ends with Jason suddenly transporting from the hippo tank into a strange, imperiled world. Lyrian holds dangers and challenges unlike anyplace Jason has ever known. The people all live in fear of their malicious wizard emperor, Maldor. The brave resistors who once opposed the emperor have been bought off or broken, leaving a realm where fear and suspicion prevail.

In his search for a way home, Jason meets Rachel, who was also mysteriously drawn to Lyrian from our world. With the help of a few scattered rebels, Jason and Rachel become entangled in a quest to piece together the word of power that can destroy the emperor and learn that their best hope to find a way home will be to save this world without heroes (quoted from Brandon's Site).

A World Without Heroes takes readers to an incredible, mesmerizing world for an epic adventure and introduces them to some fantastic, unforgettable characters.

I wish I had a fraction of the imagination talent Brandon Mull has. Beyonders takes world building to a whole new level. I've not read anything quite like this before. It's world full of possibilities, danger, adventure and a place where choices determine your outcome. Aside from the characters, one of things I really enjoyed about this story was how the character's choices always have consequences and impact their journey. Coming from an outside world, the story's main characters Jason and Rachel are bit naive to the new world they've accidentally come into, but smart enough to withstand some of the temptations that come their way. In an unfamiliar place full of strong, indepth characters it's hard to decide who they should trust.

I really like Jason and Rachel. They are true heros and characters readers will be able to relate to. They're brave, they both of an inner strength I admire, they're smart and courageous, but at the same time they make mistakes, which makes them feel realistic. I also really enjoyed their sense of humor and snarkiness. That's one of the things I felt really drew me to their characters. There are a lot of characters Brandon introduces into the story, and normally I find it hard to follow along when this happens, but I felt it really worked for A World Without Heros and the journey Jason and Rachel are on. The other thing I liked about some of the creative characters Brandon comes up with is how he allowed me as a reader to imagine what they looked like.

With it's unforgettable adventure, and unlikely heros, A World Without Heros is a magical story that will appeal to not just middle grade readers, but readers of all ages. There's something for everyone to enjoy and take away from the story. I love that Brandon introduces not one, but two strong characters that both boys and girls will admire. I really liked where this first story ended and I can't wait to pick up the sequel, Seeds of Rebellion.

You can read our interview about Beyonders with Brandon Mull here.

I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~