I almost didn’t read Beyonders by Brandon Mull. After I had read several recommendations for his book Fablehaven and found I didn’t care for it, I hadn’t planned to pick up another book by the same author. However, one of my readers encouraged me to try the Beyonders series. Her daughter had my same reaction to Fablehaven, but she loved Beyonders. So, I gave it a try.
I’m so glad I did.
Fablehaven was Mull’s first published novel, and his writing and characters have matured greatly. I didn’t find any of the same issues which bothered me in Fablehaven present in Beyonders. In fact, I liked it so much that I bought the series for my daughter last Christmas. (To be fair, I’ve heard the Fablehaven series gets better as it goes. I’ve only read the first book).
After falling into another world, Jason wants nothing more than to get home. The best way to do this seems to be to join the fight against the evil Maldor. Together with his new friend Rachel, a girl from his world, he quests to find a way to defeat him. Along the way, he comes to care about the people he is fighting to save, and he’ll do whatever it takes to help them.
What I Loved About Beyonders
- Hero Training--I love books that help shape my kid’s will to stand up for the right thing, no matter how difficult that is. Jason and Rachel are great role models in this respect. (See my favorite quotes below).
- Homeschooler–I love it when a book character is homeschooled. There aren’t many, so they stand out to me as someone my kids will relate to. Rachel is homeschooled (when she’s in our world, that is).
- Audiobooks–I’m a huge fan of well-done audiobooks, and these are wonderful.
What Parent’s Should Know
- Romance–It’s minimal, but there are some hints at it, really just in the third book. There was nothing I found inappropriate, but if that’s on your radar to avoid, you should know it’s there.
- Gore–There are numerous battles, explosions, and a person who can remove and replace his body parts at will. Definitely not for your sensitive reader. To me, it puts the book solidly in the 10 plus age group, maybe a little older.
- Magic–If you are concerned about books where positive characters use magic, this is one.
Beyonders was one of those book series that made me want to stop and write down quotes. Here are a few of my favorites.
“A hero sacrifices for the greater good. A hero is true his or her conscience. In short, heroism means doing the right thing regardless of the consequence.”
“The two of you picked the right road even though it is the most difficult. This is the essence of heroism.”
“Sacrifice means trading something good for something better.”
And, just for fun, let’s do a GIVEAWAY! Enter below for a chance to win book one of the Beyonders series, A World Without Heroes. Giveaway closes on January 31, 2018 at midnight central time.