Monday, September 19, 2016

A World Without Heroes (Beyonders Book 1)

Like most Brandon Mull books, Beyonders starts out in our world. A boy is studying biology, playing baseball and oggling a girl. He gets hit in the head which at first causes him to doubt what happens next. At the zoo where he works, he hears some music coming from the hippo, he looks and falls through the hippos mouth to another world. There he meats up with people, and sets out on a quest to find the syllables of a word that will defeat the bad guy. He also meets up with a home-schooled girl from earth who joins him on his quest. They also meet up with a "displacer" - a man who can remove and attach limbs at will. (This becomes quite useful for escaping from prison.)

The "Bad Guy" is a "Magician King" that rules over the Kingdom. He prohibits maps and attempts to limit communication among his subjects. He also has a special "feast" to which he invites the most "dangerous" of his subjects. This is an endless feast where the participants have every care in the world taken care of. They do enjoy it, but becomes gluttons that lose any desire of rebellion.

For the more powerful of his opponents, he asks them to partner with him. He will only take on the least powerful opponents in warfare. He desires to set examples of the pitfalls of opposition rather than risk creating martyrs.

The people in the world know of people from the "beyond" (Earth), and seem to have received their language and culture from there, but don't have much of a concept of what they are.

In the end, they complete the quest, but it doesn't end up quite as they anticipated and he ends up in a vast cornfield somewhere back on earth, setting the book up for a sequel.

The story is an engaging read, though not quite up to the quality of Candy Shop War. The alternate world seems interesting, but it could use greater fleshing out of some of the details.

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