By Terry Brooks
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| Genre: Epic Fantasy
| Content: Mix of Urban, High and Dark Fantasy, 16+
| ISBN-10: 034548410X
| ISBN-13: 9780345484109
| Publisher: Del Rey (July 31, 2007)
| Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
| Source: Author/Publisher
| Read an Excerpt
| Rating: 4/5 Stars
The world as we know it is gone. All that is left is ruin, toxins, poisons, mutants and disease. Nothing is safe. Demons and their minions called Once-men strive to enslave and destroy the remnants of humanity in the name of the Void. Only a very few champions of the Word remain, too few to stop what is coming. But in the midst of all the suffering and misery some hope remains. The two remaining Knights of the Word are given missions, one to find the legendary Gypsy Morph, a mystical being with the power to save a portion of humanity, the other to find the legendary Elf stones, talismans that are the key to that salvation. But the Demons are hot on their trail and time is running out for them all.
Fantasy Series Book Review by Mulluane
I had some reservations when I was asked to review this series. Urban Fantasy just isn't my *thing*. Now I love Terry Brooks, I fondly remember reading his earlier works with great delight, including the Landover series. But Shannara is my *thing*. I'm all about mystical worlds full of wonders with old fashioned values and magical happenings. But I was asked, ever so nicely, to give this a shot, so I did. I'm taking it as a challenge actually. Can I give justice to a review about subject matter I don't really enjoy? Well lets see.....
There are basically four storylines going on in this book. The first involves a group of street kids living hand to mouth in the destroyed remains of Seattle. They are an endearing bunch, brave, resilient, wise beyond their years and yet still holding on to a certain amount of innocence. A wonderful testament to the will of humanity to survive despite all odds and regardless of age. The next storyline revolves around one of the remaining Knights of the Word, Logan Tom, a man devoted to waging war against the demons and their minions, one battle at a time, even knowing that ultimately, its a hopeless task. Angel Perez is the third main character though she doesn't show up until much later. She too is one of the few remaining Knights though she fights her battle against the Void a bit differently. She has chosen to rescue all of the children she can, often just moments before their homes are destroyed, their communities wiped out or enslaved. The last story line is the tie in between Shannara and the Knights of the Word. It involves the remaining elves. Even though they have hidden themselves away from humanity, their world too is threatened and the Ellcrys has warned that they must make plans to flee, and soon.
Well, on the strength of the writing alone, it is a good book. The characters (and if you've read any of my other reviews, you know I love good characters) are vivid and endearing. The world portrayed is a bit too real for my tastes so I'm taking from that that he did a great job there too. Not a book you should read before going to bed at night. My imagination was a bit shaken by the imagery since I can envision the very real possibility of such a place coming into being. The abysmal state of our economy fuels those nightmares. This is why I avoid this type of subject matter, it scares me! There is A LOT of setup and the story does take off very slowly. This was not a bad thing in my case since I've read maybe one Knights of the Word book so I needed the extensive background to get a grasp on where things stood. Those who have read all of the previous books though may find the amount of background to be tedious but never fear, it does pick up in speed later on.
The ending is a definite cliffhanger, in every sense of the word. This is not a stand alone story like many of Terry Brooks' previous books. As intended this book also manages to be a great tie in. I believe that lovers of Urban Fantasy will start to be intrigued by what went on before and seek out the Knights of the Word series while the other side of the coin, the more traditional fantasy lovers like me will become interested in reading the Shannara books, assuming they haven't already. Besides that, I've often wondered how in the world we got from a post-apocalyptic earth to the world of Shannara, and now I'll get to find out!
I'm not sure what audience, if any, Terry Brooks was aiming for here but its a pretty solid mix of YA and adult themes. The tough and yet vulnerable street kids will strike a cord with a younger crowd while the adult Knights with their self doubts and dogged determination will grab the adult sensibilities. There is plenty of violence, but it is a violent world. There is a romance of sorts but no detail and the language is mild. My guess? Lovers of Apocalyptic fantasy will love this book and those of us who love High Fantasy have some enjoyable reading waiting for us right around the corner. I'm off to go read the next book so we will see!
Librarything Rating 3.79/5
Amazon Rating 3.9 out of 5 stars
(155 customer reviews)
What Should I Read Next?
|Kindle: Armageddon's Children
Buy Book: BAM - AbeBooks
Amazon: US - UK - Canada
Epic Fantasy Review of Armageddon's Children (Genesis of Shannara: Book 1) by Terry Brooks - Reviewed by Mulluane - on October 6, 2008 - Rating: of 5 Stars