Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Book Spotlight/Review: The Beyonders Series by Brandon Mull

A World Without Heroes (Beyonders #1), by Brandon Mull
2011, 457p, Young Adult Fantasy
My Rating=4 Stars
Source: Own a copy

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 welcomed 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.

Seeds of Rebellion (Beyonders #2), by Brandon Mull
2012, 512p, Young Adult Fantasy
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Own a copy

After the cliffhanger ending of A World Without Heroes, Jason is back in the world he’s always known—yet for all his efforts to get home, he finds himself itching to return to Lyrian. Jason knows that the shocking truth he learned from Maldor is precious information that all of his friends in Lyrian, including Rachel, need if they have any hope of surviving and defeating the evil emperor.

Meanwhile, Rachel and the others have discovered new enemies—as well as new abilities that could turn the tide of the entire quest. And as soon as Jason succeeds in crossing over to Lyrian, he’s in more danger than ever. Once the group reunites, they strive to convince their most-needed ally to join the war and form a rebellion strong enough to triumph over Maldor. At the center of it all, Jason and Rachel realize what roles they’re meant to play—and the answers are as surprising as they are gripping.

Chasing the Prophecy (Beyonders #3), by Brandon Mull
2013, 512p, Young Adult Fantasy
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Own a copy

Jason and Rachel were not born in Lyrian. They did not grow up in Lyrian. But after all of the battles and losses, the triumphs and adventures, and most of all, the friendships forged in this fantastical world, Lyrian has become home to them in a way they never could have imagined.

And so, armed now with the prophecy of a dying oracle, they have gone on their separate quests—each surrounded by brave and powerful allies—knowing that the chance for success is slim. But Jason and Rachel are ready at last to become the heroes Lyrian needs, no matter the cost.

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My kids and I have read Fablehaven and The Candy Shop Wars together so we were excited to read this series. It took us a while to get through all three books but we just recently finished reading it and loved it! For me, each book got better and better as the plot thickened and the quest to defeat Maldor ramped up. The characters each learned more about their abilities and their roles to fulfill their objective. 

I enjoyed the humor and the relationships that were formed. Jason and Rachel faced many challenges throughout the series and came to love Lyrian. At first, they were trying all they could to get home and by the end, they both wanted to stay. There was one character in particular that I wasn't sure if he was their friend or not until the very end. 

There is some sadness, too. In the final book, there are casualties and some of them are difficult. When they formed two groups, it was strange to have some of the characters separated from each other, but the roles they each played made a lot of sense as the story came together. I thought it was brilliantly done. There are lots of twists which add to the suspense and kept the story interesting. If you enjoy fantasy and adventure, this is a great series to read!

Brandon Mull's newest series, Five Kingdoms, has just come out and we're looking forward to reading that as well!

Brandon Mull resides in a happy little valley near the mouth of a canyon with his wife and three children. He spent two years living in the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile where he learned Spanish and juggling. He once won a pudding eating contest in the park behind his grandma’s house, earning a gold medal. Brandon is the author of the New York Times bestselling Fablehaven series and The Candy Shop War.


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