Friday, January 30, 2015

Five Kingdoms: Sky Raiders - Brandon Mull

Summary:  Adventure awaits in the Five Kingdoms; come and claim it in this start to a new series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fablehaven and Beyonders series.

Cole Randolph was just trying to have a fun time with his friends on Halloween (and maybe get to know Jenna Hunt a little better). But when a spooky haunted house turns out to be a portal to something much creepier, Cole finds himself on an adventure on a whole different level. 

After Cole sees his friends whisked away to some mysterious place underneath the haunted house, he dives in after them and ends up in The Outskirts. The Outskirts are made up of five kingdoms that lie between wakefulness and dreaming, reality and imagination, life and death. It's an in-between place. Some people are born there. Some find their way there from our world, or from other worlds. 

And once you come to the Outskirts, it's very hard to leave. 

With the magic of the Outskirts starting to unravel, it's up to Cole and an unusual girl named Mira to rescue his friends, set things right in the Outskirts, and hopefully find his way back home; before his existence is forgotten. (Summary and image from goodreads.com)

My Review: Cole just wanted to go trick-or-treating and impress the cute girl in his class.  He didn't mean to get his friends kidnapped.  Worse, they've been transported somehow to a land he's never heard of -- and told that as they stand there, their families are forgetting them.  Cole may have entered the realm voluntarily to rescue his friends, but is almost immediately captured.  Upon testing, he's told he has no abilities whatever, and is immediately sold to the Sky Raiders.  Slavery is not fun, but he soon discovers that there's much more going on than he originally thought.

I just really like Brandon Mull.  I'm a huge fan of Fablehaven, I love that his books are fast-paced enough to hold my interest, but that I can (for the most part) pass them to my almost-nine year old without fear.  This new series is so intriguing!  I was sucked in from the first couple of chapters, and wasn't disappointed at all.  There was some predictability in the plot, but enough twists and turns that had me pleasantly surprised!

If you're looking for a good series to keep your middle readers occupied, this is definitely one to check out!

My Rating: Four stars

For the sensitive reader:  A little tough language when the kids are kidnapped, and some violence

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