I must tell you that there was no doubt of my excitement upon receiving the middle grade book I have to share with you today. My shriek echoed through my neighborhood.
Title: BEYONDERS - Seeds of Rebellion
Author: Brandon Mull
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure; Middle Grade
Release Date: March 20, 2012 - TOMORROW!!
I would like to thank the publisher for supplying me with this ARC for review.
Favorite Passage/Line: A persistent breeze shredded the fog into tattered wisps of vapor. Starlight began to penetrate the murky sky as Aram and Jason journeyed south. Their flight took them across desolate terrain, following overgrown trails through woods and improvising paths over fields and low hills.
Description: After the cliffhanger ending of A World Without Heroes, Jason is back in the world he’s always known—yet for all his efforts to get home, he finds himself itching to return to Lyrian. Jason knows that the shocking truth he learned from Maldor is precious information that all of his friends in Lyrian, including Rachel, need if they have any hope of surviving and defeating the evil emperor.
Meanwhile, Rachel and the others have discovered new enemies—as well as new abilities that could turn the tide of the entire quest. And as soon as Jason succeeds in crossing over to Lyrian, he’s in more danger than ever. Once the group reunites, they strive to convince their most-needed ally to join the war and form a rebellion strong enough to triumph over Maldor. At the center of it all, Jason and Rachel realize what roles they’re meant to play—and the answers are as surprising as they are gripping.
My Splats: Adventure, intrigue, muscle, and poetically-threaded language carry this tale from great to extraordinary.
The mere premise of a Beyonder draws interest. Enchantment abounds when average characters are called from their world to another. Couple that with a marvelously created world brimming with pitfalls, turmoil, fantastic characters, and some of the most intricately created creatures, and you have a winner.
Vivid imagery and concepts set this story apart, yet begin with familiar elements such as a living hand that uses sign language and a human-swallowing hippo that acts as a portal to Lyrian. Both work to connect this sequel to its beginnings. But the subtle ingredient of a shadowy figure appearing and following Jason is what set this story into action--action that continues until the last word.
Along the way, Jason and Rachel are confronted with even more disturbing secrets about this strange world, which brings them front and center with fantastical creatures, even the walking dead. Here, their true roles in this world are exposed and each must decide whether to accept them or not. And when their only way to forge a true rebellion and preserve their freedom is to prove success against Maldor is even a possibility, they must seek the wisdom of an Oracle.
As in every dangerous adventure, the wisdom they seek is more complicated than they'd expected, which might lead to a solution or to more trouble. Readers will have to stay tuned to discover that answer in book III.
I would definitely recommend this book (and the series) to middle graders who love to read, and any young adult or adult. NOTE: my recommendation for the middle grade age is a must, but I would simply caution those whose reading ability is limited. Although I absolutely love the poetic language, some younger children might find it difficult to comprehend. Making this a read-aloud as a group would be a fantastic idea.
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