At first, I was comparing this to something akin to lord of the rings, or Wizard of Oz, but by the end I must say that Brandon mall has concocted original characters and the plot worthy of having his own recognition.
Its up there with some good ones.
The notion of the plot, and gathering up components of a word to destroy the wizard. Pretty cool.
The scenes with the lore master.
Beyonders: A World Without Heroes Book Review
I give this book 4 out of 5 Bubblefruits.
By Brandon Mull
I'm listening to the end of this book on audio as I begin to write this review. The first book of the Beyonders series is a good story. Brandon Mull certainly has a very creative mind, and that shows through brilliantly in this novel.
From a pacing perspective, this book starts slow. I remember trying to listen to the audiobook version before, months ago in fact, and after falling in love with the prologue and getting excited for the rest of the story, I ran into chapter 1. I got so bored that I stopped listening to it. It was all kids, baseball, and look, those girls are cute. I'm not sure what finally brought me back to the book again, but I am glad that I gave it another chance. Once the main character, Jason, gets into the other world, and on with his quest, the book takes off nicely. (Yes, you'll come to find out that baseball actually matters later.)
From a world-building perspective, Brandon Mull leverages his wild imagination to create a fascinating environment with crazy creatures, strange food customs, and shifty characters. This world is devoid of heroes, which is by the villain, Maldor's design. As the main characters from our world visit that one, Jason and Rachel fumble their way through distraught cities, questionable taverns, and the open road.
The plot is fantastic. The world has no heroes, and there is an evil emperor that rules the land through fear, control, and manipulation. The Emporer also happens to be a wizard, but a wizard with one serious flaw—there is a magic word, that, if spoken will be his instant demise. Jason comes across this information, and the first clue to learning the word. This starts his quest.
The one thing I struggle with in Brandon Mull books is his characters' dialogue. Sometimes it just doesn't sound right. In some cases it's related to diction, and in other cases its just the way it flows and how it sounds. I suppose this is a minor thing, but I thought I'd call it out.
If you are looking for a fun summertime read that can help you escape reality a little bit. This book can definitely fit the bill. Check it out. It's a fun read.
I've been a fan of the Beyonders series ever since it came out, and I've read it dozens of times, so I was excited to hear the audiobook. I'm afraid I was rather disappointed by the performance. The odd and unexpected accents for some of the characters were very distracting and honestly sounded quite silly. I'm also perplexed by why it seemed that accents were necessary. For the character of Jasher, perhaps it was justified, since the book specifically states that he has one, but why in all the world was Ferrin Irish? None of the voices attempted worked for me, and I really would have preferred he not try. I also felt that often the wrong tone or inflection was used, particularly for dialogue, which made it even more distracting and irritating. That without the accents might have been passable, but with them it was unbearable. Of course, I had already formed my own idea of what all these characters sounded like, so maybe this is all personal preference. All in all it was a bit of a struggle to get through this one. Anyone who is interested in the story will find an absolutely worthwhile tale, but I might recommend reading it on your own first.
We have spent a lot of time together in the car as a family this summer. We have enjoyed listening to this book. My kids quietly listen and it is equally entertaining to me as well. I would say it is appealing for about age 6/7 and up.