Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Beyonders by Brandon Mull Review and Giveaway

From Goodreads: 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.

My take:  The ARC arrived two weeks ago.  The moment it dropped out of the envelope it disappeared into the dark abyss of a certain teenage daughter's room.  I had to go dig it up.  She was enjoying it immensely.

This is an action packed book that keeps the reader turning pages as fast as she can.  I loved that the protagonist is a 13 year old boy with a 13 year old girl sidekick.  She is none too happy to play second fiddle but that is her role in this world.

Jason is a normal boy who loves baseball, animals, books, and yes, he likes girls.  One day he slips into the hippo's tank and the hippo eats him.  No, really.  Except rather than being in the hippo's innards, he goes down a slide and lands in a tree.  It sounds bizarre but it works.  But it gets much more bizarre.  And disturbing.

Jason arrives in this world just as a musical group is playing their own dirge for their suicide over the waterfall.  And the disturbing images continue with Jason's adventures including a displacer (a person who can pull off his head or arm then reattach it), cutting someone's Achilles tendon, shooting an arrow into a citizen, the demise of a boarhound, and the list goes on. You may be asking, "Why would you continue reading it, Nancy?"  The answer is simple.  I don't know.  I just couldn't stop.  It was riveting.

Bottom line is that Brandon Mull is clearly in close contact with his inner child.  This book will absolutely delight a latency age boy.  This is the boy who thrills when he farts, burps, or creates arm farts.  He talks about disgusting things and laughs with his friends while his mother cringes.  But deep down in his mother's superego, her own ID is making a resurgence.  She is stifling her own laugh and she wants to tell her own gross stories.

This is why the book appeals to the inner child of mothers.

Since I received an advanced reader's copy, it would be inappropriate to quote Galloran's thoughts on heroism.  But if I lacked scruples, I might say that he said something like this:

"So many misconceptions surround the notion of heroism.  Far too many categorize a hero as a champion on the battlefield, a commander of legions, a master of rare talent or ability.  Granted, there have been heroes who fit those descriptions.  But many men of great evil as well.  Heed me.  A hero sacrifices for the greater good.  A hero is true to his or her conscience.  In short, heroism means doing the right thing regardless of the consequences.  Although any person could fit that description, few do.  Choose this day to be one of them."

Thanks to Dawn at Simon & Schuster, I have two copies to offer.  Details below.


Kate Evangelista said...

Hi Nancy,

I'm Kate Evangelista, author of Taste, and I just wanted to take this time to introduce myself. If you have the time, please stop by The Coffee Bar by using the link below:


I hope to see you there.


Lilly Bear ♡ said...

Wow, this sounds like such an interesting (if not disturbing) read! I think I like it :) Great review. Thank you for sharing!

Oh, and my favorite hero? That's really a tough one. I don't know that I have a favorite. I'm a huge LOTR nerd - I mean, err, fan. So maybe I would say Samwise Gamgee? He's heroic and faithful and loyal and just so, so wonderful. I don't know, though. I'm not good at picking favorites!

Thanks for the giveaway :)

CountessLaurie said...

You are my hero.
You and Obi Wan Kenobi.

Michelle @ The True Book Addict said...

Favorite hero? Many would see him as an anti-hero, but I view him as a hero. Drumroll please....The Vampire Lestat!

Thanks for the giveaway!

kellyhashway said...

My favorite hero has to be Percy Jackson.

Taffy said...

I'm finishing Fablehaven #5 today. I like Brandon's style.

I like James Bond, especially Daniel Craig style. He's a hero right?
Okay. I also like Mulan!

SusieBookworm said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I LOVED the Fablehaven series.

I don't really have a favorite hero; I prefer looking at the lives of characters that are more ordinary.

Laura H. said...

Thanks for the giveaway! My favorite hero is Jack Dawson from "Titanic".


Rebekah said...

Glad you liked it. I have an e-ARC of this that is expiring in 4 days and I don't think I'm going to be able to get to it before then, but I so want to read it.

Hero: Probably my brother!

rebekah at roscoehill dot org

Rebekah said...

Ok, I'm retarded and I'm pretty sure I entered the wrong address. ( I just moved!) Please email me if I win so I can correct. Thanks!

Lisa said...

New follower thanks Lisa I hope I win!

Brenda said...

Sounds like an interesting read. My nephew would love to read it!

A hero, my husband! He's gotten me through 8 surgerys and bacterial spinal meningitis!

Yes I follow and subscribe!

dancealert at aol dot com

Shooting Stars Mag said...

This sounds like a lot of fun. I different types of heroes. I think Matthew Shepard is a hero, I think my mom is one, I think Harry Potter is a hero, and I also believe that Jonathan Larson was one.

lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

Sakura Sandra said...

Thanks for hosting the giveaway! I really enjoy Brandon Mull's writing, so this would be great to win.

My hero is my mom who bravely battled breast cancer and didn't show fear in the face of death. I'll always miss her and I'll always admire her strength, because I don't think I would've been that composed in her situation.

-Sandra @ http://sandrathenookworm.blogspot.com

kallosmango123 said...

My favorite super hero has got to be Super man!

Only because I love the smallville show though.

Scoot said...

Ok, choosing a favorite hero is hard! I recently read the Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher so I am going to go with Tavi!

Katy said...

my geek is showing...but Captain Kirk :D