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A World Without Heroes (Beyonders) Paperback – February 14, 2012

Book 1 of 3 in the Beyonders Series

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: Beyonders (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin; Reprint edition (February 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416997938
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416997931
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.5 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, March 2011: The first book in a new series (Beyonders), A World Without Heroes is an addictive blend of fantasy, humor, and heroic quest. Jason is an ordinary 13-year-old involuntarily transported to Lyrian, a world ruled by the evil wizard Maldor. Jason stumbles across a book bound with human skin and learns of a secret word with the power to unmake Maldor--knowledge that puts Jason in grave danger. Galloran, a blind king who once searched for the word himself, introduces Jason to Rachel, another Beyonder (as people from Earth are called) who had appeared in Lyrian at the same time. Jason and Rachel set out to retrieve the word, and the resulting pages are filled with adventure, drama, loyalty and betrayal—a treat for fans of Mull’s Fablehaven series or those discovering this bestselling author for the first time.--Seira Wilson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Best known as the author of the popular Fablehaven series, Mull offers a new fantasy adventure, in which Jason and Rachel, two American kids, are separately drawn into an alternate world called Lyrian. They want to return home, but they don't know how. Aided by Rachel, the Blind King, and other allies, 13-year-old Jason undertakes a quest to discover the magical word needed to overthrow Maldor, Lyrian's evil emperor. The two teens set out to find the word's closely guarded syllables while thwarting the maneuvers of Maldor's crafty, vicious minions. Headlong adventure scenes, inventively conceived creatures, and surprising plot twists all figure into the mix as Jason and Rachel make their way through this treacherous world. The book's conclusion is not so much an ending as a respite before the beginning of the sequel. Readers seeking character-driven fiction should look elsewhere, but those drawn to long, action-filled fantasies may want to try Mull's latest. Grades 4-7. --Carolyn Phelan --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

Mull uses these characters to bring in humor -- and a lot of great plot twists.
S. Stevenson
I didn't know what to expect from this book I just read the description and found it interesting, well I have to say this was a good find.
Anthony A.
Many of the books concepts are very good, but the personality execution of the main character annoyed me at times.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Books31 on March 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I hadn't read any of Brandon Mull's previous books when I picked this up. Someone recommended it to me and asked if I would review it, and so I said sure I'd be happy to take a look at it. From the first page I was riveted by the dark and powerful opening that propels the reader into the world of the Lyrian.

Of course the book seemed to change from the type of storytelling seen in the introduction to the first few chapters. Characters are given quests, they must overtake a sitting evil ruler, and they are the only hope as this is a land ruled by fear and corruption. This whole setup seemed a little simplistic and the quest reminded me very much of an old math adventure computer game from JumpStart that you travel around and solve riddles and math puzzles to help beat the game.

Of course there is a reason that those games were as popular as they were, and everyone my age played them at some point in time. Because they were incredibly well targeted for that age group. This is exactly what Mull has done with the Beyonders series, by targeting a specific age group that will be sure to respond to his writing.

What Mull really adds to the story is his ability to create inventive and interesting magics and creatures. My personal favorites were the characters/creatures Jasher, a seed person, and Ferrin, a displacer. I found both of these wizardborn (I assume the seed people of Amar Kabal were wizardborn because of there rebirth through seeds but I don't believe it was actually stated that they were so I might be wrong) characters fascinating. The ability to detach one's body and survive is a fascinating (and useful) ability that I felt was both unique and interesting to read about.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By penname on March 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Honestly I didn't read much of what Beyonders was going to be about- I knew BM wrote it, and for me that's good enough, so I ordered it. I jumped up and down incessantly when I received it in a mail and settled in for a good read- not disappointed. Good good stuff. Definitely had a different feel from Fablehaven and The Candy Shop War, which I liked. It felt like home but it still had its twists and turns and all kinds of new & crazy creatures and ideas; it's so very Brandon Mull. I can't help but vocalize what I'm feeling as I read, loudly- so much so that people stare at me- and I have to go read in private. It's nice to read a book and truly have no idea what will be thrown in next.
I like Jason- he reminds me a little of Seth (from Fablehaven- which is always a plus. I appreciate his valor, that's what really made me like him. The way he values life, even in a different world, where people are trying to kill him.
Rachel is also an enjoyable character, her stubbornness amused me.
That was some good stuff and I cannot wait to read what else is in store.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By S. Goodman on September 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I'm a fan of Brandon Mull's Fablehaven series so I was excited to see this at the library last week. It starts slowly, but give it time and you'll be rewarded. I hope to read this to my sons in the future.
It's appropriate for older children, I'd say middle school age or older. There are some upsetting scenes, including one where a group of musicians purposefully commits suicide by going over a waterfall. The hero, Jason, gets beaten up and captured on a regular basis and everyone suffers in some way during their quest to undo the evil Emperor Maldor.
Fablehaven taught its lessons with a bit more subtlety and had more character growth than Beyonders. This book is more of a straightforward quest story, although Jason does have to make a conscious decision to be a hero even when the odds are stacked sky-high against him.
There are crosses and double crosses, betrayals and rescues, escapes and near misses, lots of action and adventure. I think boys would love this book but hey, I'm a grown-up girl and I thought it was great!Jason's traveling companion, Rachel, is a smart and competent homeschooled student and I really appreciated that Mull didn't go in for the stereotyping of homeschoolers as socially awkward and weird. :)
The Displacers are one of the most interesting creations I've read in any kids' book, ever. I'll let you discover who and what they are for yourself!
I can't wait to see where this series goes. I was really happy with this book and will be reading the rest of the series.
*Review courtesy of [...]
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Scaper11 on June 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book because I enjoyed the Fablehaven series so much, I couldn't put them down. I agree with other readers that this one took a while to get moving. I read somewhere that most people give books a hundred pages or so to hook them before they put them down for good. This one cut it close but i stuck with it because I knew that some of the Fablehaven books also took a little while to get started but were worth it in the end.

I liked the interesting concepts in the book, the idea of the Eternal Feast and how the author explored what an effective way that would be for an evil emperor to control his adversaries. I thought the wizard-born races were also interesting, the notion of many lives for the Aman Kabul and the detachable parts of the displacers were also neat. The alternate world the characters arrive in was fun and i liked all of the detail that the author gave us about it.

I have to admit I kind of lost track of who the supporting cast were, the Drakes and Tarks and others started to run together for me. Not a big deal, but I felt like i missed something because I couldn't remember who was who a lot of the time. In the author's defense, I'm a grown up so i have to put the book down sometimes for days at a time. This may not have been an issue for the target age group who can probably read the whole book in a week or two.

My biggest complaint with this book was the ending--or lack of one. In the Fablehaven series each book had a quest and a complete story that tied to the other ones. The first book in the Beyonders series is just the first third of a story. It just stops abruptly in the middle of a chapter and the next thing you know you are reading acknowledgements.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Brandon Mull no longer lives on the side of a mountain above a prison. He now resides in a happy little valley near the mouth of a canyon with his wife and three children. Since the arrival of his new daughter, he is more the golem of the household than ever, following whatever orders trickle down the chain of command. Brandon is the author of the New York Times bestselling Fablehaven books and The Candy Shop War.

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