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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2014
I LOVED this book. I am not necessarily a fantasy fan but this book was unusual and interesting enough to hold my attention. I read it in 24 hours and I could have read it in less if I hadn't had other obligations. I was a huge Fablehaven fan but I wasn't as much into the Beyonders because I am not a real epic Lord of the Rings sort of fantasy kind of person. I was a little skeptical when 5 Kingdoms came out because it sort of sounded more Beyonderesque to me. However I was wrong. It was a very healthy mix between Fablehaven and Beyonders. It had the more laid back element of Fablehaven and also some of the other worldness of Beyonders. I feel fans of either books would really enjoy this book. I instantly was pulled into this book. If at times you felt like the first Fablehaven and Beyonders books were a little slow with trying to explain things you will not have the same problem with this book. It was very quick and after reading the first chapter I refused to put it down although another member of my family was in the middle of it . This book has a very broad appeal (like Fablehaven). Family members of varied ages have read it and they all agree with a 5 star rating. Other reviews have said that Brandon Mull is not doing the quality he once did, but I have to disagree. This is the best first book I have read by him and I think it might be my new favorite of all his books! Keep the good work up Brandon!
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 14, 2014
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I got this book through Amazon vine with every intention of reading it myself and then passing it on to my 14 yr old son because he loves just about every other book Brandon Mull has written. BUT, he would not let me read it first--he has taken it and won't give it back because he could not wait to read it. But time is running out and the review is due soon, so I told him he will need to write the review himself if he's not going to let me have a turn now. He agreed:

"Five Kingdoms is a good book. There is a group of kids going to a haunted house on Halloween, They thought it would be fun, but it turned out to be full of slavers from a different dimension. They take kids to their dimension (called the Outskirts) and sell them into slavery. Cole (the main character) manages to not get captured. He followed them to their dimension to save his friends. He was captured and sold to the Sky Raiders. The Outskirts is also made up of five kingdoms.

This book is full of action and adventure, which I love. The world is really cool and the place where the Sky Raiders work is really cool, too. The Sky Raiders have a dangerous job, they have to raid castles in the sky and steal treasure. The sky castles are full of random creatures, either good or bad, you never know. I think it is a great book. It's really fun to read and I have always like Brandon Mull's writing."

(He is the one who picked the star rating, btw. I think it's only four instead of five because the reading level is a little lower than Mull's other books, and he's likely comparing it to Beyonders, which was his favorite book series ever.)

Two things I must add: He's been busy reading this at night before bed (he's nearly done) instead of playing games on his tablet, which I think speaks volumes. Second, I have every intention of sneaking this book and reading it myself when he's totally finished...shhhhh....
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 27, 2014
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My kids absolutely love Brandon Mull books. Our most recent find was the first book of Spirit animals, and now this one. My oldest son, age 11, couldn't put it down He loved it. I will mention that my boys didn't love the Beyonders series. They were a little too violent, and hard to follow. This particular book is more in line with the fablehaven books.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2014
I have been a huge fan of Brandon Mull since Fablehaven. That said, I am also getting older- after reading another one of his recent books and not being as enthusiastic about it, I was afraid that I may have outgrown his writing style and I would no longer be able to enjoy his books as much.
This book proved me wrong- after the first couple chapters, I was hooked. I can barely wait for the second in the series to come out, because I want to know what happens next. If you have read Fablehaven and you especially liked Seth's character, then you will definitely enjoy this book. I found that the main character in this book, Cole, was very similar to Seth in how they acted and the style of writing Brandon Mull used when writing from their point of view.
This book is great for anybody age 8 or older- a younger kid definitely could read the book, but Brandon Mull's writing style might be too sophisticated for them to enjoy the book much. However, I think that this book would be great to read aloud in an elementary school classroom where foreign words could be explained by a teacher. I would definitely recommend this book!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was already a fan of Brandon Mull and his Fablehaven and Beyonders series so I knew there was a good chance I'd enjoy this book as well--and I did. It took me a couple chapters to really get into the book but after that I looked for every moment that I could to go back to reading it.

The story should appeal to readers of all ages who like fantasy and adventure. The story's main character is a 6th grader which seemed a bit young to me--but I think his young age will appeal to young readers--and after all, that is the target audience for this book.

The only downside to this book is that, like another reviewer has indicated, I have to wait until the next book in the series comes out to find out what happens next! According to Amazon that book will be realized in October of this year (2014).

Another of Brandon's books that I really enjoyed reading to my son, and he enjoyed it as well was "The Candy Shop War."
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2014
Great book. This is a fun book for any age. If you loved fablehaven you will probably love this. The beyonders is a little more for adults where this is pretty kid friendly.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2014
I really liked the book. Great adventure book with moral character. Can't wait to read what will happen in the next adventure.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2014
I enjoyed reading this book in the beginning because I was especially interested in the missions that the main character Cole would need to embark on in order to get out of slavery. When everything changed after meeting Lyrus I wasn't as satisfied with the story as in the beginning. Generally speaking, after getting to know the characters I felt that Liam, Cole and Lyrus are probably the best characters in the book. While Asia and Jace are the worst characters and should be written out to improve the story. I found it boring, how long it took for Mira to "reveal" herself because we could all guess the "princess" thing once we knew about her bedroom. The worst part of the story in whole is that she literally asks the people traveling with her if they want to accompany her over three times, that means somewhere between 9-12 pages are dedicated to "Are you sure you want to follow me into this adventure?" And we have to wait for Cole to "think it over" before we can return to the adventure. I believe all of that nonsense could be skipped. In fact, that is not usually how Mull handles things. In Mull's best adventure (Fablehaven) the characters have no choice but to continue, they don't have an option to break off because they have all invested something or need each other to reach something. I was expecting that kind of action in this tale too. Finally, hands down, the worst character is Jace, he's too immature and unpredictable for a life and death mission. Also, Mull has not done any foreshadowing for Jace as a needed character, where as Twitch seems to be mystical or royal to his people in Elloweer, so he needs to stay. Mira should have simply told Jace to leave, instead of having a 3 page discussion about his behavior. I should add that Asia is also a bad character because she spends too much time getting the "last word" in for someone that is strict, hard mannered, etc. Usually people like that are also quiet to a certain extent and make faces, they don't waste time making little comments. So, overall I have to give the book 3 stars, which means I'll have to sell it. I usually collect all of Mull's books, but this isn't something I want to reread, so I won't be keeping it. I think people should borrow it from the library so they can follow the adventure, but if the second book is similar to this one, I won't continue with the adventure at all. In addition, I would suggest reading Orson Scott Card's Pathfinder, for a more well rounded adventure that includes a lot of danger, time travel and deception. I can't wait to read the last book in that adventure!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2014
What a fun book! Here's what it rocked: world building, plot, humor, creativity, imagination, and fun. Cole is our main character, who was nearly kidnapped with his friends on Halloween and taken to the Outskirts, an "in between" world where there are five kingdoms, and evil king, a magic system called "shaping," and a whole lotta crazy. Cole follows his friends to try and rescue them, ends up being made a slave himself, and has an epic adventure trying to get back to them to bring them all home. I can imagine a lot of 8-12 year olds really liking this book for its humor and adventure.

There is one element that really didn't ring true to me. That is, how little Cole thought about his family after he came to Outskirts. Except for a few times sprinkled through the book, he didn't worry much about them. I think most 11 year olds who are sold into slavery and face death nearly all the time would at least be a bit homesick. Supposedly his family loses all memory of him, but he remembers them... barely. I think it would have added some depth to his character if there had been more elements of this. Overall I think that each of the characters were pretty well developed but could have used a bit more depth.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2014
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My eleven year-old and I both read the book and it had enough action to make it interesting and was easy enough to follow for her. She in the past has enjoyed the Percy Jackson series so this type of book was right up her alley.
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