Monday, January 2, 2012

The Beyonders: A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull

I have not finished this book, but I am finished with it. I made it 100 pages. As YA fantasy goes, perhaps it is better than most, though I would argue The Bartimaeous Trilogy and the His Dark Materials trilogy are both more inventive and better crafted. I just couldn't get into it. I kept missing major plot points and having to go back and re-read to figure out what was going on. Mull tries to avoid the cliches hurting the genre; for instance, his character enters a portal from one world to another through a hippopotamus's mouth--improbable but at least original, if originality is still a virtue when it goes so far. Even so, I wanted more out of the characters and the situation. As much as Mull tries to deliver, the book just never quite came together for me. Chalk it up to me not being the world's biggest fantasy fan. Chalk it up to me being a picky reader. Chalk it up to me being too steeped in/biased towards literary fiction.  Whatever the cause, as much as I want to like this Utah writer and be able to support his work, I can't honestly do that with this one.

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