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Sky Raiders (5 Kingdoms #1)

About the book: 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.

My Review: Cole, Dalton and Jenna never imagined that a neighborhood haunted house on Halloween would have been the thing to end their happy existence, but that's just what happened. They went into the house and never came back, instead Jenna and Dalton were forced into a cage with a bunch of other unsuspecting kids and made to jump down a black hole to who knows where all while Cole watched from his hiding place. Cole felt terrible because it was all his idea, so after sending another girl who had been hiding for help, he voluntarily jumped into the hole after everyone else. What he found was an interesting place, the Outskirts a place between 5 kingdoms of another world. He followed the kidnappers and tried to rescue his friends, but doing so only helped him to get caught. Cole is quickly sold to the sky raiders and that's when his real adventure begins, stealing artifacts from castles in the sky by the Brink. But when more adventures come calling, Cole is ready and willing to follow them, and hopefully someday he'll be able to find and save his friends Jenna and Dalton.

Brandon Mull is a master of imagination. I love the way that the kingdoms feel in this book, they are amazing, nothing I could ever think up. I loved Cole, he's the voice for this story and he's a great character, a hero really. He knows that he could get caught and forced into slavery just as he's already seen his friends be, but that doesn't stop him from trying to rescue them. He's also willing to help Mira when he finds that she has a need. I like that he's down to earth, he knows that any second could be his last, but he's completely willing to help in any way that is needful. This book is full of great adventure, great characters, and so much imagination. It's a great book for middle grade boys, but also a fun book for adults, I can't wait for the rest of the series!

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