From Goodreads: Jason Walker has often wished his life could be a bit less predictable--until a routine day at the zoo ends with Jason suddenly transporting from the hippo tank to a place unlike anything he's ever seen. In the past, the people of Lyrian welcomed visitors from the Beyond, but attitudes have changed since the wizard emperor Maldor rose to power. The brave resistors who opposed the emperor have been bought off or broken, leaving 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. With the help of a few scattered rebels, 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.
Brandon Mull delivers. I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. I loved all the Fablehaven books, but sometimes when an author switches to a new world/new series the magic can get lost. I loved A World Without Heroes. It is intense, ultra-exciting, and very quickly paced. I only gave it four out of five stars on goodreads, though, for several reasons. First, it's not quite as much fun as Fablehaven. Much more violent and scary. I'm fine with that, and I think it would have worked with just a bit more comic relief. I think the world Mull has created is awesome and very fleshed-out; I just wish the characters had been as fully drawn. I didn't get to know Rachel (or anybody else besides Jason) as well as I wanted to. That, and I really didn't think Rachel and Jason acted like any thirteen year-olds I've ever known. I would say 17-18 yrs. is a better bet. My other complaint is that I got a little bored with the sequence of events: must find and retrieve object - encounter big hurdle in the way - get past problem easily with little help where legions of others (mainly adults) have failed - repeat. Over and over. It just felt a little linear to me.
Now, I've spent most of this review complaining, which really isn't fair because I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. There were some very unexpected and exciting twists, turns, and betrayals. The cliff-hanger really left me wanting more, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing what happens next in this series (should be a trilogy).