Book Review: Beyonders by Brandon Mull

[simpleazon-image align=”left” asin=”1442485930″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51VycrDmzmL._SL160_.jpg” width=”128″][simpleazon-link asin=”1416997938″ locale=”us”]A World Without Heroes (Beyonders)[/simpleazon-link] by Brandon Mull

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fabulously entertaining! As I did with my daughter when she was a teenager, I am trying to read books with my son. This goal is challenging and growing me as a reader. In other words, I’m trying a new genre: Sci-fi/Fantasy. To pursue this goal, I bought the well-reviewed boxed set of the Beyonders trilogy by NY Times best-selling author Brandon Mull. My son read through it so quickly that he finished the entire trilogy before I even began the first book. That’s how much he loved it. He’s a sixteen-year- old obsessive gamer who took time away from his games to read this series.

The main character, Jason Walker, is an average teenage kid who falls into a hippo tank at his volunteer job and is magically transported to the world of Lyrian. The jaws of a hippo serve as the magic portal. Quite funny, right off the bat. Then there are riddles to be solved, dangerous characters to avoid, the appearance of another Beyonder (people from Earth)in the form of a teenage home-schooled girl named Rachel and a heroic quest.

One of the first people that he meets is the Loremaster (a librarian). Then there is the displacer, one of a breed of characters that can attach and unattach his head, hands, and other parts at will. Disgusting but also handy. Edomic is the language of creation spoken only by the wizards (of which there is apparently only one left and he is evil).

Vocabulary words:

Traversing
Auditory
Aperture
Frieze

Funny quote: Jason was “relieved to have found an actual, non-furious person” (p. 35).

Interesting image: “It looked ready to topple at a cough from a butterfly” (p. 77).

Philosophy: “People find meaning where they can” (p. 82).

For discussion: What makes a hero? Why does the world need heroes?

“Heroism means doing the right thing regardless of the consequences” (p. 110).

“For each of us destiny is a blend of potential, circumstances, and choices. You could flee and hide. You could bargain with Maldor. You have chosen a heroic path. Walk it without apology” (p. 326).

“Yet here you are, toiling in the wilderness,”…”the two of you picked the right road, even though it is the most difficult. This is the essence of heroism” (p. 326).

This is one of those books that may have been written for children and teens but will appeal to adults as well. Perfect for reading together as a family.

[simpleazon-image align=”left” asin=”1416997954″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51DzLMo52JL._SL160_.jpg” width=”106″] [simpleazon-link asin=”1416997954″ locale=”us”]Seeds of Rebellion (Beyonders)[/simpleazon-link] (Beyonders, Book Two) by Brandon Mull

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The quality of this series continues to be very good. My son devoured the trilogy, and I’m reading it now because he enjoyed it so much. It is easy to see why. This series is loaded with adventure, magic, unusual characters with unique abilities, heroes, traitors, and epic battles. Some ideas from book two to discuss are nightmares, quests, loyalty and honor. Cool words were: gibbous; tenebrous and sonorous. Some conversations for a book chat: Would you have returned to Lyrian? Why or why not? If you could be told one thing about the future, what would it be? I highly recommend this read for sci-fi/fantasy lovers from middle grade to adult.

Philosophy of book two: “When a government becomes unjust, honor is often found among the lawless (p.116).”

[simpleazon-image align=”left” asin=”1416997962″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51iAKCfnWoL._SL160_.jpg” width=”107″][simpleazon-link asin=”1416997962″ locale=”us”]Chasing the Prophecy (Beyonders)[/simpleazon-link] by Brandon Mull
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Chasing the Prophecy was a well-plotted and exciting ending to a very enjoyable trilogy. The sacrifices and the faith in the face of seemingly impossible obstacles with little chance of success draw the reader into the battle and create a desire to fight right along these amazing characters. “A small chance beats no chance every time” (p. 253).

Favorite words:

Conciliatory
Prodigious
Retinue
Fealty

Favorite similes:

“The vast library possessed little symmetry, hugging the sloped terrain like packages artfully arranged on a stairway” (p. 213).

“I like to imagine flattering words as a noose being tied round my neck” (p. 108).

Favorite quote:

“Nobody can accept the truth while hiding from it. When a decision matters, we have to stare at the truth unflinchingly. Only then can we find peace in our choices (p. 170).

Although this trilogy is written for middle grade readers and young teens, I recommend it for all ages. Like other well-designed and executed fantasies, it can be appreciated by the entire family. In short, I loved the books!

View all my reviews