Parents' Guide to

Time Jumpers: Five Kingdoms, Book 5

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Series finale loses momentum but ends in heroic flourish.

Book Brandon Mull Fantasy 2018
Time Jumpers: Five Kingdoms, Book 5 Poster Image

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Kids say (8):

Great elements of fantasy quest tales coalesce in this series finale -- a nearly unbeatable foe, no conceivable way home again, cool magic -- but the story's momentum is too often interrupted. Time Jumpers starts out promisingly. The main character wakes up tied up in the back of a truck with two princesses and is interrogated by the king's turncoat advisor. In just a few pages, there's a rescue, a prison cell, an audience with the king and queen, and the introduction of the fastest way to get around: via Wayfinder. Cole is given his own assistant, Violet, who can open portals all over the kingdom, one after another, with a boost from Cole's power. But, oddly, when we start jumping around to gather allies, the story really stalls. Author Brandon Mull has a habit of making the reader sit through multiple retellings of what's happening in the story every time Cole gathers up another helper on his quest. That would be a great time-jumping opportunity right there to keep us moving. We also don't need to know the whole history of Wayminders and other magical disciplines as part of the main event, though it'd be great in a glossary.

Still, fans of Mull, and there are many, are used to his propensity to overexplain his worlds. And pushing through to the finale is as rewarding as always. Big-hearted Cole really brings the story home with his selfless heroism.

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