The Beyonders: A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull
“By reading these words, you have nominated yourself to recover the key word. Move swiftly. The knowledge you now possess marks you for prompt execution. The first syllable is ‘A’.” Congratulations! you’ve been chosen to find the key word. Maldor is looking for you in Lyrian. The main characters, Jason and Rahel, were sent on a quest in A World Without Heroes (by Brandon Mull), to find the Word. The Word consists of six syllables, which help stop the wizard Maldor. In the first book, there was tons of suspense, descriptions, and many more.
Jason Walker was just an average teenager who loved sports and wanted his life to be more on the interesting side. That is, until the hippo swallowed him. Through the hippo’s stomach, there’s a mysterious world. As Jason wanders around aimlessly, he sees a group of musicians on a raft, floating down the waterfalls, ready to die for a prophesied hero. Jason tries his best to save the musicians, but fails. From then on, he blindly searches around for clues about how he came to Lyrian. He finds out that he’s a Beyonder, a person who came from all over–the USA, even England. At one of his temporary houses, he finds a book that talks about the ‘Word.’ The Blind King tells him that since he found the first syllable of the Word, he must finish what he started. Luckily, there’s another Beyonder that’s supposed to accompany him too: Rachel. On the same night he was transported here, she also went through a portal but just a more normal way. From there, they start their quest, and along the way, the two of them uncover more about the history of the Beyonders.
The author Brandon Mull always writes books that I enjoyed. A World without Heroes exceeded my expectations, along with many other books he’s written. I thought that the author had great word choice, because it felt like he chose each word with care. Most of the time, however, his writing is funny, sarcastic, but very descriptive. For example, when at one point, Jason and Rachel meet with one of their rescuers again, he described the scenario with ease. “It was the short, one-armed rescuer from the river. except he now had both arms. Was this possible? Could this be his twin? Jason noticed that one of his eyes was brown, while the other was blue, a detail he had missed when they first met.” Mull talks about every situation that Rachel and Jason go through, and always puts details in. When it feels like there were nothing descriptive enough, he adds in more to help the readers.
What the author does amazing also is his setting description. Again, he describes the place so vividly, that it paints a flowing picture into your mind. For example, Brandon Mull talks about the Blind King’s palace having lots of weapons, yet is very old and in shambles. “Supercool weapons hung on the walls: several swords, a loaded crossbow, a javelin sharpened to the point at both ends, and a pair of bizarre weapons with short wooden handles from which sprouted many sharp, twisting blades of varying length…” Just right after I read that, I immediately imagined what the castle looked like with all those weapons.
Another thing that stood out was the characters. I thought that they were all brave, but with slight flaws in them. But I liked all the unique personalities of Jason, Rachel, Tark, Jasher, and Ferrin. Almost all of them were willing to give up their lives to save Lyrian. But, at first, Jason and Rachel’s personalities were hesitant, confused, and unsure about Lyrian. Little by little however, it changed. Now, just like every other character, they want to save Lyrian. Of course, it’s not their home world, but they still chose to help out. I really liked that both Jason and Rachel made their decision of rescuing Lyrian on their own will, not by anybody else. It made me feel like they were brave enough to face the dangers for people they don’t even know.
Brandon Mull is a great author, who always fills his books with detail about the characters or setting, and has thought out characters. The Beyonders is a trilogy, so you’d want to read them all, and keep them on your bookshelves. Who knows? Maybe one day, you’ll find the trilogy again, and enter the world of Lyrian once again…