By Caileb Ellison.
Brandon Mull, the author of Beyonders: A World Without Heroes, is a wizard with words. With Beyonders, he created one of the most original fantasies I’ve read in years.
The book starts with the main character, Jason Walker, tumbling into a hippo tank in the zoo. He was swallowed, and just before being digested, a portal opens to a place called Lyrian. Not long after, he found a library and was forced into a quest to find a special word that could unmake the evil sorcerer Maldor. Maldor was a wizard. Being one of the only wizards left in Lyrian, he took advantage of it to become a king. But all wizards had to be taught. So their masters would usually make a word, a sort of trigger so that if their students went out of control or were insubordinate the Word would utterly destroy them. That word was lost throughout the years so recovering it was believed to be the only way of stopping him. Later, Jason meets another person from Earth named Rachel, and they set off hoping the quest will somehow lead them home.
I loved the book’s flair and the fact that it drew me in to feel the anticipation and danger that each character in the book feels. I liked how reasonable and likable the characters in the book are. The action scenes could be improved, however, because the main characters are always running away or cowering. But the author made up for it with Jason’s craftiness and wit. Like the time Jason beat Coppernum to a battle of wits on a question that anyone could have answered. I also like Beyonders because of the positive message it gives about personal sacrifice for a greater cause.
All things accounted for, I give this book four out of five stars for an outstanding plot and characters. So take it from me – you won’t regret picking up a copy of Beyonders: A World Without Heroes.