Sunday, February 27, 2011

A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull

Title/Author: A World Without Heroes (Beyonders #1) by Brandon Mull
Publisher/Date published: March 15th 2011 by Simon and Schuster
How I got this book: received it through Simon and Schuster's Galleygrab programme.
Why I read this book: I've been meaning to read Mull's Fablehaven series, because I heard good things about his writing, so when I received this one I was excited to get to know a new to me author.

Goodreads 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 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."

Let me start by saying this book is MG (you probably catch that bit from reading the summary, but still). I don't normally read MG and while I do think a book should be judged on its writing and not the age-category, it's good to keep in mind while reading something who it was meant for originally.

This book took me back to my 9-year-old self, I think I would have loved reading this book at that age. I still really enjoyed it now, but it would probably have been my new best friend back then. I did think some of the violence in the books would be shocking to MG readers, but the overall feel of the book is magical. Right at the start Mull had me smiling at Jason entering Lyrian by getting swallowed by a hippo. You don't get that in YA or adult fantasy!

Jason is a likeable boy and while what he really wants is to find a way home, he's not a reluctant hero. He and Rachel team up to try and free Lyrian from the tyrannical king. The king is a wizard and every wizard, no matter how powerful, can be destroyed using one word of power. So Jason and Rachel set off to gather the 6 pieces of this word, hidden throughout Lyrian. They make friends who help them and land in all kinds of trouble along the way.

I though Brandon Mull painted the picture of a truly magical world, the different races he created were really interesting and unlike anything I've encountered before. Though some parts were a bit predictable, I really enjoyed the story. I just wished I would have read this as a kid, so I could have really appreciated it the way it's meant to.

My rating: 3 stars


  1. When I saw the cover of this I immediately thought of the Redwall series; from your review, though, it sounds like this doesn't quite measure up to the depth of those books.


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