Book: Seeds of Rebellion

"Seeds of Rebellion"

Jason Walker needs to find a way back to Lyrian. Rachel remains stranded there, and Jason has precious information that the friends he left behind must learn in order to have any hope of surviving and defeating the evil emperor Maldor.

When he finally succeeds in returning to the strange and imperiled world, Jason immediately finds himself in more danger than ever as the most wanted fugitive on the continent. Meanwhile, Rachel has begun to discover new abilities of her own that may prove vital against Maldor’s tyranny.

In the aftermath of a failed quest, a new mission arises–to assemble the remaining heroes of Lyrian. Can the necessary allies be convinced before the emperor crushes the young uprising? Jason, Rachel, and their band of battered heroes will face new enemies and demanding obstacles as they strive to launch a desperate rebellion.

Look, I know  “to assemble the remaing heroes of Lyrian” sounds better than “to assemble the remaining unconquered people of Lyrian,” but talk about misleading information! Number one, the first book of the Beyonders trilogy is entitled A World Without Heroes. Meaning there are no heroes left, save for Jason and Rachel who come from the Beyond. Number two, even within the book itself, there are no “battered heroes,” just a group of unlikely individuals who have to band together for a common goal.

Sure, we can argue that Galloran, the Blind King, is a hero. And almost all of the characters we meet have heroic qualities–to a fault, actually. But to call them “a band of battered heroes” is too much, I think.

That said, I didn’t enjoy this second book as much as I did the first one. The characters have a tendency to sound the same, and the new parts of Lyrian that our protagonists are exploring doesn’t seem all that original. Which is odd, because I thought the first book had a good handle on originality–and on separating the characters.

To be clear, none of the characters are the same. They all have their own personalities. My only problem with them is how they talk. If you pull a quote from the book, you would have no inkling as to which character could have said it. There were no “we could all have been killed – or worse, expelled” dialogue in this particular book. Or in the series, for that matter.

And I’m not talking about having memorable lines, just to clear that up. I’m talking about distinct dialogue that you can attribute to a single character. Jason, Drake, Ferrin and the Blind King have a tendency to have the same manner of speaking. The only thing that sets Jason apart from the three are the doubts (which Ferrin also exhibits in one of the chapters), and the our-universe lingo that Rachel–and even Nia–employs. The only thing that sets Corinne apart from Rachel is the fact that she’s seeing everything for the first time–and even those dialogue echo the ones Rachel exhibited in the first book. And let’s not even start on the seedpeople. The only one whose dialogue is really distinct from the others is Nollin–and that’s because he’s the only coward in the group.

Which, brings me to my next problem with the book. Inconsistency of character. Nollin is the perfect example, actually. He’s set up as a former chief military advisor of the seedpeople, and yet he’s played off as a cowardly comic relief during the adventures. The seedpeople are characterized to be very smart people, and the author does a good job setting up the opposing views on war with a lot of smart arguments from both sides in one of the chapters. If Nollin is as comically cowardly as he is characterized, how in the world was he allowed to be a military advisor? And if the author didn’t intend for Nollin to be comically cowardly–why did he come off as such?

Seeds of Rebellion is a good adventure book: the action scenes are solid, the journeys are well-plotted, and it doesn’t forget the events of the first book. But as far as young adult fiction go, it’s definitely not one of the best. Character is key, and none of the characters seem to be lovable, or at the least, relatable. Quite a far fall from the first novel where you were rooting for both Jason and Rachel to succeed, so they could go back home.

I still plan on reading the last book from the trilogy though. Out of goodwill for the first Beyonders novel. I’m hoping the third book would be more like A World Without Heroes and less like Seeds of Rebellion.

Still, these are just my thoughts on the book. Other people have also given their views, and it also helps to seek other opinions on things. So check these reviews on Seeds of Rebellion out:
Icey Books
Guys Lit Wire
Books for YAs

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