The Beyonders: A Review

Before we start, I’d like to give you a tip on enjoying the book more, if you’re just reading it: Make up your own chapter titles. For example, the first one should be named “How long is your hippo’s esophagus?” It’s fun to do. On with the review.

This post does contain spoilers, since it is a book review of The Beyonders: A World Without Heroes, by Brandon Mull.

After being sucked through the mouth of a hippo Jason Walker finds the world of Lyrian, a world ruled by the wizard Maldor. Since everyone seems to want the wizard dead, Jason embarks on a quest to find all the syllables of the one word that can unmake the wizard and set the land free.

This was a great book. I really enjoyed it, and I think it’s earned Brandon Mull a place in my list of great authors. Original plot and original world. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with remotely the same storyline. Well, actually, Fablehaven (also Brandon Mull) was almost the opposite of this, but that’s okay with me. I liked the displacers and seed people a lot. Unfortunately, I recognized Brandon Mull’s writing through this book. Number one, he’s got a huge vocabulary that every character seems to share. Number two, characters like Ferrin. This is his trademark supporting character: a character who makes friends with the MC’s, then turns out to be evil all along. You can see it in Fablehaven too: Vanessa the blix was a character like that. Even Ferrin’s turn at the end where he tries to help Jason was like Vanessa. So yes, it reeks of Brandon Mull. Not that it was bad.

The characters are all quite cliche. You’ve got the main character, a sporty yet studious boy who has a need to get back home which drives him through the first half of the book, and a sense of honor which drives him through the second half. Then you’ve got the main supporting character, an extremely smart yet extremely athletic girl who can outsmart and outrun the MC at every turn, and who is a distinct feminist. In a world where men rule, that last point is important, and comes up in any story of this kind. Ferrin, as I’ve said, is deceitful and helpful, trademark Brandon Mull. The blind king was probably my favorite character, the way he lives a charade fabricated by his “subjects” and himself. Drake was a good character too, along with Jasher. I like the seed men a lot. Unfortunately, the ages of the main characters, Jason and Rachel, are in question. They’re said to be thirteen years old, but they seem to be 16 through the whole thing. I was wondering…

That place where people are invited but never leave, Haversham or something like that, was a great touch. That was a brilliant part, and it says a lot for Maldor’s genius, as well as the author’s. It’s the perfect jail. And that duel with billiard balls was genius.

The humor was shaky at the beginning, but it got better near the end. Jason is a funny character.

To conclude, this book is really good. The twists and turns all the way through make it seem like a much longer book, and make it much better. Four and a half out of five stars.

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  1. Chasing the Prophecy, a Review | This Page Intentionally Left Blank

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