Jason Walker is going about his job at the local zoo when he hears music. Following the music, he is led to the hippo tank. It sounds like the music is coming from inside the hippo--but that's not possible, is it? Leaning over to figure out what he's hearing, Jason falls straight into the hippo's mouth and comes out in another world.
He finds out that he is a "Beyonder" in this other world, and he eventually meets Rachel, another Beyonder. Jason accidentally stumbles on a quest to set right all that is wrong. To do that, he must defeat the evil wizard Maldor.
I haven't read Fablehaven yet, so I can't compare this book to that series. I can say that I enjoyed this high fantasy novel written for middle graders.
Jason is pretty much just an average guy. He's got a crush on one of the girls in his class; he loves animals; he wants to be a vet when he grows up, but his family is pressuring him to be a dentist; and he's an amazing baseball player. He's also the youngest in the family by a lot of years. No one really has a lot of time for him.
He proves that there doesn't necessarily have to be anything special about heroes. A hero is someone who does his or her best in the face of danger or against impossible odds.
Rachel is the smart girl who keeps Jason straight and helps him out on his quest. I liked her a lot too.
This world is a lot of fun. I want to know more about what's going on with The Blind King. I'm curious about the Displacers. (Displacers were created by wizards and can pop body parts off at will but still control the parts with their minds. Very creepy but very cool.)
I was not happy with the ending at all. There is very little closure to anything.
Middle grade readers, both girls and boys, are sure to enjoy the start of this new fantasy series.
Beyonders: A World Without Heroes is on sale today!
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