Jason Walker lives in Colorado with his parents, likes to play baseball with his friends and volunteers at the local zoo. One day, while cleaning the hippopotamus tank, he hears music, which sounds like it's coming from the tank. When he takes a closer look, the sound seems to be coming from the hippo. He falls into the tank and is swallowed by the hippo. The next thing he knows, he is in another world, along a river bank, watching a group of people on a raft floating down the river playing instruments. Jason has arrived in Lyria, another world which is ruled by an evil wizard named Maldor. There is only one way to destroy Maldor. One word said in his presence will destroy him. The syllables to this word are hidden throughout Lyria. Many people have tried to discover this word and failed. All Jason wants to do is find a way home; but he soon finds himself on a quest with another Beyonder named Rachel, looking for the syllables to the word. Will they succeed? Will they destroy Maldor? Will they return to their own world?
Readers who have enjoyed Suzanne Collins Underland Chronicles and Mull's Fablehaven series will also enjoy this series and anticipate the upcoming books in this series. Recommended for readers 9 and up.