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A World Without Heroes | [Brandon Mull]

A World Without Heroes

Jason Walker has often wished his life could be a bit less predictable--until a routine day at the zoo ends with Jason suddenly transporting from the hippo tank to a place unlike anything he's ever seen. In the past, the people of Lyrian welcmoed visitors from the Beyond, but attitudes have changed since the wizard emperor Maldor rose to power. The brave resistors who opposed the emperor have been bought off or broken, leaving a realm where fear and suspicion prevail.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Brandon Mull, best known for his Fablehaven fantasy series, is back with A World Without Heroes, the first in a three-book series called The Beyonders. Mull creates an alternate world, Lyrian, which needs a hero to overturn an evil emperor. Enter Jason, an average 12-year-old Colorado kid, who falls through a hippo’s mouth and ends up in Lyrian and quickly becomes entangled in its intrigue and adventure. Rachel, a gutsy and clever homeschooler, who also unwittingly ends up in Lyrian, joins him in the quest. These two Beyonders (what Lyrians call people from Earth) attempt to find and piece together the syllables that form a secret word that can destroy the evil emperor when uttered in his presence.

Broadway actor and new narrator Jeremy Bobb shines with the varied and numerous characters. He seamlessly switches among the dozens of characters while keeping them distinct and recognizable in the dialogue-heavy scenes. However, Bobb’s performance is too low energy for the material. This flatness emphasizes some stilted writing and undermines the exciting action sequences.

In A World Without Heroes, Mull successfully creates a full, rich fantastical world. In keeping with the fantasy genre, he includes wizards and invents fun creatures, such as displacers, who can remove and reattach body parts. Though the writing is somewhat mediocre and his protagonists not fully developed, the novel is still entertaining. There are several interesting and shocking plot twists and turns that make this better than the average fantasy. Mull knows his audience and the action, humor, and fast pace are perfect for his readership. The content is age-appropriate and, with both male and female protagonists, adults can enjoy listening with their sons and daughters.

A World Without Heroes is a nice addition to the middle school fantasy genre. Mull fans and fantasy fans will love this new series. Listeners who latch onto Bobb’s character interpretation will anxiously await the next Beyonders installment. —Julie MacDonald

Publisher's Summary

Jason Walker has often wished his life could be a bit less predictable - until a routine day at the zoo ends with Jason suddenly transporting from the hippo tank to a place unlike anything he's ever seen. In the past, the people of Lyrian welcmoed visitors from the Beyond, but attitudes have changed since the wizard emperor Maldor rose to power. The brave resistors who 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.

©2011 Brandon Mull (P)2011 Simon & Schuster

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (575 )
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4.3 (469 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Stephanie Meridian, ID, United States 06-21-11
    Stephanie Meridian, ID, United States 06-21-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brandon Mull has won me over again!"

    I loved this authors series "Fablehaven," and I am so happy that he has started another series "Beyonders!" This book was very fun, full of excitement and characters that are humorous and courageous! I can't wait for the next one!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Crystal California 04-08-11
    Crystal California 04-08-11 Member Since 2004

    Avid Customer

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    "Great Read!"

    I wish the next book was available. Brandon Mull is a gifted writer. I really liked his Fablehaven series too.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Valerie United States 05-19-11
    Valerie United States 05-19-11 Member Since 2006

    Voracious reader

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    "A cliff-hanger and entertaining"

    I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would - the writing is a little on the flat side and the narrator is pretty affect-less, however, some of the scenes of danger were well done and there is a lot of imagination and originality. The ending of the book has a good twist and of course, ends with a good cliff-hanger! It does make you want more.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tango Texas 05-13-13
    Tango Texas 05-13-13

    Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.

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    "Great for kids and adults"

    A World Without Heroes is one of those rather rare books that can be enjoyed by both kids and adults. I finished the whole series before writing this review and each of the books is fun and all are mostly G-rated.

    This is a fast paced quest type fantasy and unlike many in this vein it is never tedious and includes little graphic violence, no sexual content, and no foul language. The two Beyonders are a little bland as characters, but the inhabitants of Lyrian are universally imaginative and interesting. This would be a great adventure story to share with a child because it is humorous and entertaining enough to engage both kids and adults. The plot is not terribly sophisticated (politics, culture, etc. in Lyrian is fairly minimal) so a child of 8 or 9 is probably old enough to follow the storyline and there are enough twists to keep an older listener engaged as well. Two minor caveats: 1. There are a lot of characters to keep track of and I never found a complete list online like you can for most fantasy novels; 2. A lot of the "good guys" die in the course of completing the quest so this may not be a good choice if you have a very sensitive child.

    Jeremy Bobb has a very nicely modulated voice so he is easy to listen to over a series like this. He is a little rough in the first book, but gets better in the 2nd and 3rd. His character voices get better through the series, but much more character differentiation would have been useful with this series that has a huge cast.

    This is my first Brandon Mull book, but now that I have listened to The Beyonders series, I hope Audible will make his other books available soon. Even if you don't have a kid to share this with, The Beyonders series is a lot of fun.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leilani Kaysville, UT, United States 03-13-12
    Leilani Kaysville, UT, United States 03-13-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Brilliant!"
    Where does A World Without Heroes rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    a World without Heroes is fantastic! Brandon Mull goes to the same trouble as JK Rowling in creating this special world. It is well thought out and delivered. The idea of


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The narrator is fairly average. It isn't difficult to listen to him but it isn't a joy either. He didn't take very much trouble to give different characters their own voice which is something I value.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    oh yes! And I can't wait until the others are published. I've heard he's got the series written already--- waiting is a torture!


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend this book to young adult and adult readers.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alisa Charlottesville, VA, United States 05-30-11
    Alisa Charlottesville, VA, United States 05-30-11 Member Since 2009
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    "More Please!"

    I've been a fan of Brandon Mull's Fablehaven series and after reading his first book of the Beyonders series I'm hooked again. If you are looking for a family friendly fantacy tale to get lost in, then you've found the perfect author. Audible- please add Fablehaven to your repertoire-your listeners won't regret it and neither will you.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan CA, United States 07-03-13
    Ryan CA, United States 07-03-13 Member Since 2007
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    "From the 'Juvenile' library section, but alright"

    This was an okay Narnia-type trope - a moderate fantasy tale with nothing explicit that would make it inappropriate for kids. Imminently forgettable, but not bad.

    I'd recommend it for children listeners. For their adult parents, I'd say give it a listen if you've got nothing else on the ipod and there's a 14 hour road trip in your future.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Plano, TX, United States 04-09-13
    Stephen Plano, TX, United States 04-09-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Found this author, can't stop reading."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I recommend Brandon Mull to everyone I see. The writing is vivid and keeps the reader guessing from beginning to end.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A World Without Heroes?

    I will never forget the ending to this book. It provides the perfect platform for the sequels, but without feeling forced. As I re-read and re-listen to this book, I find the story is even more alive from knowing all the secrets revealed in the ending.


    What about Jeremy Bobb’s performance did you like?

    The characters feel real, and the performance is spectacular throughout.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Lyrian needed a hero. He needed a purpose.


    Any additional comments?

    Brandon Mull is worth reading over and over again. Check out his other series, Fablehaven and Candy Shop War, both spectacular reads!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Basehor, KS, United States 08-02-12
    Ron Basehor, KS, United States 08-02-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Great Series!"

    This is a very entertaining series. You will want to continue on to the next book as soon as this one is over.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janeen Chaplin, CT, United States 08-27-12
    Janeen Chaplin, CT, United States 08-27-12 Member Since 2012
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    "LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS BOOK"
    If you could sum up A World Without Heroes in three words, what would they be?

    exciting, original, well-written


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Jason, Rachel and Ferrin ...really!


    What about Jeremy Bobb’s performance did you like?

    his voices are wide-ranging and excellent!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    travel to a world you would never imagine.


    Any additional comments?

    I can't wait for the third book (on tape)!!!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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