Book review: Unexpected surprises in 'Beyonders: Seeds of Rebellion'

Published: Saturday, March 10 2012 4:00 p.m. MST

"BEYONDERS: Seeds of Rebellion," by Brandon Mull, Aladdin, $19.99, 483 pages (f) (ages 8 and up)

The second book in Utah author Brandon Mull's "Beyonders" series, "Seeds of Rebellion," will have readers flipping pages as fast as they can to see what happens next.

It picks up where the first book, "A World Without Heroes," leaves off, with protagonists Jason and Rachel separated from each other. Rachel is still in the Beyond after Jason barely escaped back to Earth.

At the beginning, as any reader can predict, Jason makes it back to Lyrian, amusingly through the same venue he did the first time (a hippopotamus mouth) and is thrust back into the struggles of this world. But that is where predictability ends. Jason has to journey solo for quite some time before he reunites with old friends and makes new ones on his journey to divulge the secret to only the right people and find Rachel.

Once the two groups reunite, the story takes off, with old friends like the displacer Ferrin, who keeps everyone in the group on their toes, and new friends like Aram, a towering man with an interesting secret. Now their quest is not to discover the word, but still to defeat Maldor in a different way.

The new races of people Mull introduces are full of unexpected surprises and are one of the many exciting twists. Jason meets a friendly clan of people who invite him to dinner but seem suspicious, and the whole group runs into to forest dwellers and zombies that lead into exciting scenarios that move the book right along.

The characters of Jason and Rachel have matured quite a bit, as both slowly grasp the seriousness of the situation and role they play in the future of this world. Rachel continues to expand her natural talent of Edomic, which saves the group more than once, and Jason reflects on his purpose of coming back to Lyrian.

The book's strength, the diverse peoples and races and locations, also can be its weaknesses, with so many different attributes that readers may find themselves questioning what is what. The strong characters, however, like Galloran, will have readers attaching themselves to, and even Ferrin, the witty deceiver, will have readers rooting for his success.

The "Beyonders" series is dark, and there is an element of pain and untimely death in this book. It is appropriate for ages 8 and up and is definitely a engaging read for even an older crowd.

IF YOU GO ...

What: "Beyonders: Seeds of Rebellion" launch party

When: Tuesday, March 13, 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.)

Where: Cottonwood High School, 5715 S. 1300 East, Murray

Web: brandonmull.com

Also ...

What: Brandon Mull book signing

When: Tuesday, March 13, 3 p.m.

Where: Deseret Book — Sugar House, 2274 S. 1300 East G6, Salt Lake City

Web: deseretbook.com

Also ...

When: Wednesday, March 14, 7 p.m.

Where: Provo City Library, 550 N. University Ave., Provo

Web: www.provolibrary.com

Also ...

When: Thursday, March 15, 6:30 p.m.

Where: Deseret Book, 4151 Riverdale Road, Riverdale

Web: deseretbook.com

Also ...

When: Friday, March 16, 6:30 p.m.

Where: Deseret Book — Southpointe, 10673 S. State St., Sandy

Web: deseretbook.com

Also ...

When: Saturday, March 17, 4:30 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com

Email: tackerman@desnews.com

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