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Editorial 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 Ratings

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pass on this one

story was flat, ridiculous and contrived and the ending was terrible and didn't resolve a single thing

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  • Robert
  • GRANTS PASS, OR, United States
  • 02-06-17

Beyonders

Read the book and loved it. Liked the audible version and I would listen to it again. Mull is a very fun and imaginative writer. I liked the reader too, his voices seemed to fit the characters and were not distracting from the story.

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amazing

the plot is very good and it is action pack and puts pictures in your head.

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highly entertaining!

This was a little slow to begin with. but once the pace picked up it was very intriguing. We listen to this in the car most times and found ourselves staying in the car even after getting to our desitination. A few parts were maybe
too discriptive and therefore lagged a little, but were eclipsed by the adventure that followed soon after. Recommend fir sure! We love Brandon Mull books and this one is no exception!

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A Classic...

Engaging the imagination without being overbearing, A World without Heroes is truly amazing! Can't wait to get the next book.

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Great for the family

I loved listening, narrator is great and enjoyed all of his accents and voices. Fun captivating story and was enjoyed by our whole family.

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  • Doug L
  • Nashua, NH United States
  • 06-16-16

best trilogy ever

I loved the story. It is one of the most creative stories I have read. I read the books and loved them so much I got the audio books to listen on my commute. The performance is good, the story is the best. Have I mentioned I love this story.

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Amazing book!

The narrator was very good. very unique story. I can hardly wait to finish the whole series!

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AWESOME!!

It was one of the best books I've ever listen too! It's the best!
Kate

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Excellent story!

The beginning of the book was so interesting that I found the next few chapters rather slow but by the time I reached the Blind King I couldn't get enough of the story!