Jason Walker has often wished his life could be a bit less predictable--until a routine day at the zoo ends with Jason transporting from the hippo tank into a strange, imperiled world.
Lyrian is full of dangers and challenges unlike any place Jason has ever known. The people live in fear of their malicious wizard emperor, Maldor. The brave resistors who once opposed Maldor have been bought off or broken, leaving a a realm where fear and suspicion prevail.
In his search for a way home, Jason meets Rachel, who was also mysteriously drawn to Lyrian from our world. Jason and Rachel become entangled in a quest to piece together the word of power that can destroy the emperor, and learn that their best hope to find a way home will be to save this world without heroes.
So, I had heard about this book...or maybe it was just the author...from a booktuber, Connor O'Brien. I have been watching his channel for a bit, and as he enjoys fantasy, I try to pay attention to the books he reads. I saw this book discounted at Books A Million and recognized the author's name and nabbed it. This is a middle grade fantasy novel that starts out in our world and then takes an unexpected turn.
I thought the start of this book was super boring...it was sooooooooooooooo slow! The author described EVERYTHING!! I was like "...dude...it's Colorado...I think we can figure out what it looks like..." Then I felt like things just kind of happened. I mean...yeah...it's middle grade...but seriously...it needed something more. Once Jason gets to the beyond and meets Rachel, the book picks up and gets interesting. They meet oddball characters, learn about this strange new world, and try to evade all the creatures and things trying to kill them.
This book is VERY linear. They did this, then they did this, then they went there and talked to this person. No real twists. The end is a bit twisty, which I actually really appreciated. Also, I felt that things just kind of seemed to work in their favor. I also felt that Rachel's character wasn't very important to this story. I mean, she did a few things Jason couldn't, but because she was a female in a world that didn't really value females, (it was kind of middle age-y-ish??) she really didn't do anything (though I feel her character might become more important in the second book). Character wise, they weren't very deep.
Although I didn't rave about this book, I actually did enjoy this book. The way the book ended made me really curious as to what is going to happen in the second book and even the third. Brandon Mull is a very good author and I loved the language he used. He integrated some more difficult vocabulary into the book that would make the reader think a bit (not so much if you are older..maybe?). I think he made a very interesting world and some very interesting creatures and characters.
If you are into middle grade fantasy, I would give this book a shot!~ Also this is book 6/10 for my 2014 bookish resolution!~ I might be changing my resolution up a bit just because of how things are going, but we'll see!
Until next time my sweet little duckies!~
Connor's channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/NodinBookinIt