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Terry Brooks is one of a handful of writers whose work defines modern fantasy fiction. His twenty-three international bestsellers have ranged from the beloved Shannara series to stories that tread a much darker path. Armageddon’s Children is a new creation–the perfect opportunity for readers unfamiliar with Brooks’s previous work to experience an author at the height of hi Terry Brooks is one of a handful of writers whose work defines modern fantasy fiction. His twenty-three international bestsellers have ranged from the beloved Shannara series to stories that tread a much darker path. Armageddon’s Children is a new creation–the perfect opportunity for readers unfamiliar with Brooks’s previous work to experience an author at the height of his considerable storytelling powers. It is a gripping chronicle of a once-familiar world now spun shockingly out of control, in which an extraordinary few struggle to salvage hope in the face of terrifying chaos. Logan Tom is doomed to remember the past and determined to rescue the future. Far behind him lies a boyhood cut violently short by his family’s slaughter, when the forces of madness and hate swept our world after decadent excesses led to civilization’s downfall. Somewhere ahead of him rests the only chance to beat back the minions of evil that are systematically killing and enslaving the last remnants of humanity. Navigating the scarred and poisoned landscape that once was America and guided by a powerful talisman, Logan has sworn an oath to seek out a remarkable being born of magic, possessed of untold abilities, and destined to lead the final fight against darkness. Across the country, Angel Perez, herself a survivor of the malevolent, death-dealing forces combing the land, has also been chosen for an uncanny mission in the name of her ruined world’s salvation. From the devastated streets of Los Angeles, she will journey to find a place–and a people–shrouded in mystery, celebrated in legend, and vital to the cause of humankind . . . even as a relentless foe follows close behind, bent on her extermination. While in the nearly forsaken city of Seattle, a makeshift family of refugees has carved out a tenuous existence among the street gangs, mutants, and marauders fighting to stay alive against mounting odds–and something unspeakable that has come from the shadows in search of prey. In time, all their paths will cross. Their common purpose will draw them together. Their courage and convictions will be tested and their fates will be decided, as their singular crusade begins: to take back, or lose forever, the only world they have. In Armageddon’s Children, Brooks brings his gifts as a mythmaker to the timeless theme of the unending, essential conflict between darkness and light–and carries his unique imaginative vision to a stunning new level. Prepare for a breathtaking tour de force. To those who are new to Terry Brooks, welcome. And to those who have read him for many years: prepare for a dramatic surprise. From the Hardcover edition.


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Terry Brooks is one of a handful of writers whose work defines modern fantasy fiction. His twenty-three international bestsellers have ranged from the beloved Shannara series to stories that tread a much darker path. Armageddon’s Children is a new creation–the perfect opportunity for readers unfamiliar with Brooks’s previous work to experience an author at the height of hi Terry Brooks is one of a handful of writers whose work defines modern fantasy fiction. His twenty-three international bestsellers have ranged from the beloved Shannara series to stories that tread a much darker path. Armageddon’s Children is a new creation–the perfect opportunity for readers unfamiliar with Brooks’s previous work to experience an author at the height of his considerable storytelling powers. It is a gripping chronicle of a once-familiar world now spun shockingly out of control, in which an extraordinary few struggle to salvage hope in the face of terrifying chaos. Logan Tom is doomed to remember the past and determined to rescue the future. Far behind him lies a boyhood cut violently short by his family’s slaughter, when the forces of madness and hate swept our world after decadent excesses led to civilization’s downfall. Somewhere ahead of him rests the only chance to beat back the minions of evil that are systematically killing and enslaving the last remnants of humanity. Navigating the scarred and poisoned landscape that once was America and guided by a powerful talisman, Logan has sworn an oath to seek out a remarkable being born of magic, possessed of untold abilities, and destined to lead the final fight against darkness. Across the country, Angel Perez, herself a survivor of the malevolent, death-dealing forces combing the land, has also been chosen for an uncanny mission in the name of her ruined world’s salvation. From the devastated streets of Los Angeles, she will journey to find a place–and a people–shrouded in mystery, celebrated in legend, and vital to the cause of humankind . . . even as a relentless foe follows close behind, bent on her extermination. While in the nearly forsaken city of Seattle, a makeshift family of refugees has carved out a tenuous existence among the street gangs, mutants, and marauders fighting to stay alive against mounting odds–and something unspeakable that has come from the shadows in search of prey. In time, all their paths will cross. Their common purpose will draw them together. Their courage and convictions will be tested and their fates will be decided, as their singular crusade begins: to take back, or lose forever, the only world they have. In Armageddon’s Children, Brooks brings his gifts as a mythmaker to the timeless theme of the unending, essential conflict between darkness and light–and carries his unique imaginative vision to a stunning new level. Prepare for a breathtaking tour de force. To those who are new to Terry Brooks, welcome. And to those who have read him for many years: prepare for a dramatic surprise. From the Hardcover edition.

30 review for Armageddon's Children

  1. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    I read the Shannara books as a young teen and loved them. It was such a letdown when I tried to read them years later and they didn't hold up. Pretty thin, really. But I got suckered in to reading multiple new ones set in that world afterwards. Since I knew the world, they were comfortable and familiar. I kept wanting to recapture the original feeling, but they just weren't very good. This one is the same thing. The concept isn't entirely bad but the mediocre writing continues. There are too man I read the Shannara books as a young teen and loved them. It was such a letdown when I tried to read them years later and they didn't hold up. Pretty thin, really. But I got suckered in to reading multiple new ones set in that world afterwards. Since I knew the world, they were comfortable and familiar. I kept wanting to recapture the original feeling, but they just weren't very good. This one is the same thing. The concept isn't entirely bad but the mediocre writing continues. There are too many offenses to mention, but I'll just cite one to represent the theme of the rest. In describing the appearance of an elf, he describes it as "elven-featured." Come onnn, man. Make an effort, for crying out loud! He is a lazy writer who phones it in and takes glaring shortcuts. No subtlety, no polish. Clumsy, transparent devices, flat, cartoonish characters, storylines drawn in crayon. And really, not a whole lot happens in this book. It's pretty much a setup for the next one. Aaagh. I've finally learned my lesson and won't read any more of his stuff. I think when he wrote the original Shannara books, the reading world was just hungry for anything in the universe that Tolkien had laid out for them. The genre just hadn't been explored very much, so people ate it up. And since people were familiar with the Shannara world, he just kept putting out books set in it. And people kept buying it because they were familiar with it. But when I read a book like this one, I have to think it wouldn't make it past the editor's desk if it were an unknown author's first book. This sounds like something I might write, and I'm not a writer. He's trading on past success at this point. This book and this series are probably just fine for young readers who have yet to be spoiled by better quality writing.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    I listened to this while driving to and from North Texas twice - once for Easter and once for my daughter's college graduation. I had extreme difficulty finding a satisfactory volume level for Dick Hill's voice. He had a tendency to whisper breathily in an overdramatic way for character's dialogue. This contrasted steeply with his narration, which boomed forth, sometimes unexpectedly. Male voices with deep resonance do not a gentle listening experience make. I selected this title to 'fill in the I listened to this while driving to and from North Texas twice - once for Easter and once for my daughter's college graduation. I had extreme difficulty finding a satisfactory volume level for Dick Hill's voice. He had a tendency to whisper breathily in an overdramatic way for character's dialogue. This contrasted steeply with his narration, which boomed forth, sometimes unexpectedly. Male voices with deep resonance do not a gentle listening experience make. I selected this title to 'fill in the blanks' of my Shanarra timeline, as this novel harks back to the very beginning, within twenty years of the apocalypse that wiped out the world as we know it. I also hoped that my husband would enjoy listening with me in the car on the road-trip. He has read other Terry Brooks novels and liked them. He slept through many of the CDs, but due to the slow pace of the novel, had little difficulty 'catching up' when he awoke. Brooks rushed the ending, leaving us hanging, literally, from a cliff. Everything from our protagonists' lives to the fate of humans doomed to oblivion. I won't be continuing with the rest of the Genesis of Shannara series. I don't feel any burning compulsion to find out what happens next, especially if the pace continues to plod slowly into the pit, of what I don't know.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Squire

    #4/29 in my Epic Shannara Quest. Part Mad Max, part Charles Dickens, but definitely all Terry Brooks, Armageddon's Children is a riveting bridge between Brooks' Shannara books and the urban horror of his Word and the Void trilogy. Full of rich characters and storytelling wizardry, this first volume of the Genesis of Shannara series lives up to the promise of the episodic W&V books and will leave the reader craving the next volume. (I'm glad I don't have to wait a year for the next book--but I d #4/29 in my Epic Shannara Quest. Part Mad Max, part Charles Dickens, but definitely all Terry Brooks, Armageddon's Children is a riveting bridge between Brooks' Shannara books and the urban horror of his Word and the Void trilogy. Full of rich characters and storytelling wizardry, this first volume of the Genesis of Shannara series lives up to the promise of the episodic W&V books and will leave the reader craving the next volume. (I'm glad I don't have to wait a year for the next book--but I do have to wait until I get off work to continue my epic Shannara quest of 2016.)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Carole

    If you’ve never read a Terry Brooks novel, then I don’t advise you start here. That’s not to say I don’t recommend reading it because I do, you just have to read some other books first. Armageddon’s Children is set some time after The Word & The Void Trilogy and sometime before The Sword of Shannara. The Word & The Void Trilogy was set in, for want of a better term, the real world, in present day. The Shannara series was set in a traditional fantasy land. You know the type, elves, dwarves, magic If you’ve never read a Terry Brooks novel, then I don’t advise you start here. That’s not to say I don’t recommend reading it because I do, you just have to read some other books first. Armageddon’s Children is set some time after The Word & The Void Trilogy and sometime before The Sword of Shannara. The Word & The Void Trilogy was set in, for want of a better term, the real world, in present day. The Shannara series was set in a traditional fantasy land. You know the type, elves, dwarves, magic etc. But those of you paying attention would have noticed this “fantasy” world was also the real world a long time after humans destroyed it through war etc. Enter Armageddon’s Children to begin to bridge the gap and show us how these two series are connected. It’s set in post-apocalyptic America where civilization is all but destroyed and the remnants of civilization struggle to survive. The story follows two Knights of the Word (You’ll remember Knights of the Word from The Word and The Void Trilogy) one whose job it is to find the Gypsy Morph who has a destiny to save the world, the other has the task of finding the Elves and saving them. That’s when it got a bit strange, I mean, I’m reading a story about survival post apocalypse then the next chapter it’s about Elves and the Ellcrys (yes, the same one from The Elfstones of Shannara). However I got over the strangeness quickly and actually found the book really enjoyable. Again, those of you paying attention in the Shannara series would have known the Elves have always been there so I guess it wasn't that strange after all. There are some recognisable references from the Shannara series and The Word and The Void Trilogy and if you haven’t read those then you won’t really get this book. That being said it is definitely worth a read. I recommend reading it after you have read the others.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tandra

    I've never seen an author go quite as in-depth with a world as Terry Brooks has with Shannara, and it's only been for good. Since Sword of Shannara was published forty years ago, Brooks's world has only gotten deeper and richer, and we can see how it began with Armageddon's Children. Armageddon's Children picks up about 100 years from our here-and-now, after the world has been virtually destroyed and the only survivors are scattered, hunted, and often mutated. It, like most of Brooks's work, has I've never seen an author go quite as in-depth with a world as Terry Brooks has with Shannara, and it's only been for good. Since Sword of Shannara was published forty years ago, Brooks's world has only gotten deeper and richer, and we can see how it began with Armageddon's Children. Armageddon's Children picks up about 100 years from our here-and-now, after the world has been virtually destroyed and the only survivors are scattered, hunted, and often mutated. It, like most of Brooks's work, has a wonderful cast of characters, from the boy Hawk and his children to the brooding Knight of the Word Logan Tom and the eager and principled Elven boy Kirisin. All these characters have different stories, different lives, and different perspectives, but they're all interwoven into one complex and riveting story that I couldn't put down. If you enjoy dystopian fiction, high fantasy, and/or urban fantasy, you'll love the Genesis of Shannara series. It manages to blend all these subgenres into one excellent tale and I now rank it among some of my favorites.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I've loved Brooks' writing for many years now and this new series continues his great tradition of excellent stories with great thoughts and values. With this novel, Terry begins to bridge the gap between two of his main story threads...that of the world of Shannara and that of the world in the "Word and Void" series. The characters are approachable and each filled with their own strengths and flaws. As readers, we are taken on a voyage of self discovery along with the characters as they interact I've loved Brooks' writing for many years now and this new series continues his great tradition of excellent stories with great thoughts and values. With this novel, Terry begins to bridge the gap between two of his main story threads...that of the world of Shannara and that of the world in the "Word and Void" series. The characters are approachable and each filled with their own strengths and flaws. As readers, we are taken on a voyage of self discovery along with the characters as they interact with the struggle between good and evil in the post-apocalyptic society. You can certainly approach this story without having read Brooks before, but it would be advisable to have at least read the Word and Void series before starting on this journey. Even though set a hundred years or so beyond the first Word/Void book (Running with the Demon), it builds on the framework created there and your understanding will be greatly enhanced by starting with Word/Void and working your way into this novel. Reading the various Shannara series before this one are unnecessary and it could be argued that you should wait for this series to be done before you start Shannara, just to keep the chronology right...but then you're just depriving yourself of other fabulous works while you wait for this series to complete.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dean liapis

    Wow. Hate to give a book 1 star without finishing it, but I had to put it down. As i get older I'm finally breaking myself of the mentality that I "have to read a book all the way to the finish". So admittedly I haven't finished it, so take this review with that in mind. With that said: Boring characters. My main problem is none of them seem fresh at all. Headstrong, young leader taking care of a pack of headstrong young kids...sighh. But SOME have special needs. For example, one likes to wander Wow. Hate to give a book 1 star without finishing it, but I had to put it down. As i get older I'm finally breaking myself of the mentality that I "have to read a book all the way to the finish". So admittedly I haven't finished it, so take this review with that in mind. With that said: Boring characters. My main problem is none of them seem fresh at all. Headstrong, young leader taking care of a pack of headstrong young kids...sighh. But SOME have special needs. For example, one likes to wander off! One is skilled, but VERY shy. One gets real angry, and has trouble connecting with others. And one may hold the secret to their survival! How many times has this been done? There is no spark to the characters at all, nothing to set them apart from anything else you've ever read. But wait! The young leader is uncommonly brave! Yawn. Oh, but did I mention he is in love with a young (possible) princess? AND the love is forbidden. YAAAWWWWWN. It's been so long since Brooks innovated anything, every book of his I pick up seems like old news. I read a little over half and put it down. No action, slow story, boring, nonthreatening drab world. How many times is he going to do the "surviving in a post apocalyptic world?" I'm not going to wait around until they find the magic talisman whatever, and the leader "struggles to harness the power inside of him". Skip it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Max

    This book takes place about 100 years after the Word & Void series. The world is getting more apocalyptic after demon attacks and climate change. I really enjoyed the Word & Void series, and this one ties them to the Shannara world, which I liked as well. It's a little hard to put my finger on why exactly, but I liked this one a lot less than the previous books. Maybe because the previous were so good? The first part in the book dragged on, and I'm not sure how I feel about the characters. Logan This book takes place about 100 years after the Word & Void series. The world is getting more apocalyptic after demon attacks and climate change. I really enjoyed the Word & Void series, and this one ties them to the Shannara world, which I liked as well. It's a little hard to put my finger on why exactly, but I liked this one a lot less than the previous books. Maybe because the previous were so good? The first part in the book dragged on, and I'm not sure how I feel about the characters. Logan Tom makes an okay Knight of the Word I think, but compared to John Ross he's too perfect. Angel Perez can turn out to be a fun character, but we don't see too much of her yet. The street kids are annoying to be honest. The final few chapters picked up the pace and made sure I started in part two right away, so that's a good thing!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tomer

    It was nice to see the linkage to the previous series of The Word & the Void. In addition there are some initial threads leading to what I know of the main Shannara series. As with previous books there are some gaps and moments, which left me scratching my head, but on the other hand there are moments of pure clarity where the readers are introduced to a pure narrative explaining elements of the world's history. As a whole, I found most of the characters quite relatable and interesting to follow It was nice to see the linkage to the previous series of The Word & the Void. In addition there are some initial threads leading to what I know of the main Shannara series. As with previous books there are some gaps and moments, which left me scratching my head, but on the other hand there are moments of pure clarity where the readers are introduced to a pure narrative explaining elements of the world's history. As a whole, I found most of the characters quite relatable and interesting to follow in the aftermath of the old era, now mostly forgotten after a few generations and this will only intensify.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Morrell

    Reading chronologically, I have now reached the second Shannara trilogy. Where The Word and the Void books were all set more or less in the world we have now, these are in the after, almost a century later. After world wars and climate changes and disasters and plagues wiped through humanity, after the demons saw their chance and declared war on what was left, this is a bleak environment of struggle and fear. But still, through it all there is family and selflessness and love. Following street k Reading chronologically, I have now reached the second Shannara trilogy. Where The Word and the Void books were all set more or less in the world we have now, these are in the after, almost a century later. After world wars and climate changes and disasters and plagues wiped through humanity, after the demons saw their chance and declared war on what was left, this is a bleak environment of struggle and fear. But still, through it all there is family and selflessness and love. Following street kid Hawk and his band of kids as well as two Knights of the Word and hey, look, elves, we see first hand how terrible things are becoming. And now there is a prophecy. Things aren't even close to as bad as they will get, in order to save even a remnant of humanity some things must be done: foremost among them, find the gypsy morph. I loved all the references back to the first trilogy, this is absolutely directly connected. I also totally enjoyed the post-apocalyptic Seattle. I went down to Pike's Place yesterday, actually, and made sure to drive back through Pioneer Square and follow the route from street kid hideout to the giant stadium "sanctuary" that I had read just that same morning. The next book is queued up and ready to go.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Hunter

    Now that's what I call mass death! Plagues, demons, nukes, chemical weapons and things like giant centipedes mow down humankind at a level seldom seen since the time of Noah and the Great Flood. There's no "post" about this apocalyptic tale. The Void continues to knock the snot out of the Word. The Word's retreating, but Knights of the Word and a wild card - a Gypsy Morph - continue to stand against the darkness. It appears Brooks is going the "salvation through a remnant" route. I'm all for it! Now that's what I call mass death! Plagues, demons, nukes, chemical weapons and things like giant centipedes mow down humankind at a level seldom seen since the time of Noah and the Great Flood. There's no "post" about this apocalyptic tale. The Void continues to knock the snot out of the Word. The Word's retreating, but Knights of the Word and a wild card - a Gypsy Morph - continue to stand against the darkness. It appears Brooks is going the "salvation through a remnant" route. I'm all for it! And to top it off, elves make their first appearance in the series. For me, Armageddon's Children's the best of the lot so far. I'll forgive Brooks the sinister cliffhanger.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Yargeau

    Having never read Terry Brooks before, I was not sure what to expect from this book. It begins in a post apocolyptic world, where humans are shutting themselves into compounds to save themselves from a world run amok by demons, mutants, and something called once-men, who seek only to destroy and follow orders from the demons not caring if they live or die. The book follows three separate people with the promise that they will all be brought together. (However, they are not, you got to go to the Having never read Terry Brooks before, I was not sure what to expect from this book. It begins in a post apocolyptic world, where humans are shutting themselves into compounds to save themselves from a world run amok by demons, mutants, and something called once-men, who seek only to destroy and follow orders from the demons not caring if they live or die. The book follows three separate people with the promise that they will all be brought together. (However, they are not, you got to go to the next book I guess.) Two of them are called Knights of the Word, a mystic order following the "Lady" to try to save humanity. The third is a boy named Hawk, probably somewhere in his teens, who is the leader of a bunch of street kids who call themselves Ghosts. I enjoyed the character development, sometimes told in flashbacks, and the pacing is steady. My only disappointment is its cliffhanger ending. The bookjacket sounded like this would be a stand alone type of read- even recommending it for someone who has never read Terry Brooks before, but I guess all fantasy novelists write in trilogies (and then some.) There is also a trilogy that is obviously a prequel to this book, mentioning the Knights of the Word and Hawk's mother, Nest Freemark. It does make sense even if you aren't familiar with any of Brooks' works, but I really don't want to have to read 3 or more books to get to the end of a story. So that is probably why I rated it four stars instead of five.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Paul Weiss

    A stunning new fantasy series! In a horrifying blend of post-apocalyptic terror and new age urban fantasy, Armageddon's Children describes a world ravaged by nuclear war, plague, pestilence, famine, mindless zombie-like creatures, demons and terrifying creatures born out of devastating mutations. Deaths have numbered in the billions and humanity teeters on the very brink of extinction. Most of those few humans who have survived have reverted to a dark age in which they remain walled up in fortifi A stunning new fantasy series! In a horrifying blend of post-apocalyptic terror and new age urban fantasy, Armageddon's Children describes a world ravaged by nuclear war, plague, pestilence, famine, mindless zombie-like creatures, demons and terrifying creatures born out of devastating mutations. Deaths have numbered in the billions and humanity teeters on the very brink of extinction. Most of those few humans who have survived have reverted to a dark age in which they remain walled up in fortified compounds brutally scavenging from one another and scratching out a mean subsistence life in much the same fashion as tribes would have done during the earliest periods of mankind's existence. The power and excitement of this debut novel of Terry Brooks' latest series rests in his convincing blend of the reality of a burnt-out destroyed human landscape with the beguiling and utterly fascinating mythological beginnings of the fantasy world that was born in full bloom in his earlier Shannara stories. Long, long ago in a place that was definitely not far, far away, the Elves conquered the demon hordes wandering Earth and sealed them away in a bleak existence called "the Forbidding". A biblical scholar might have suggested that "The Word" ruled over the Earth and the Earth was good - a kindly, warm and benevolent place to live. But current events on the earth - the wars, the nuclear radiation, the burgeoning evil that mankind is both experiencing and causing - are weakening the walls between Earth and the Forbidding. As evil's grip on the earth tightens, its defence has been reduced to the last two remaining Knights of the Word - Angel Perez and Logan Tom - two warriors carefully chosen by the Word for their indomitable spirit who have been given a magical staff and special powers to be used in the fight against demons and "The Void". Perez and Tom have been charged by the Elven nation with finding a talisman called the Loden Lodestone and a magical young child called "The Gypsy Morph". Without the magic of the Lodestone and the power of the Gypsy Morph whose destiny is critical to the survival of humankind, earth is doomed. Goodness and "The Word" will disappear forever and the world will become the dominion of the demons and their dark lord, Findo Gask. "The Void" will rule forevermore. "Armageddon's Children" is powerful indeed. Far more than a simple story of the unending and timeless conflict between good and evil, it tells a story of love, commitment, honour, dedication, trust and so much more. For example, the tale of orphaned children attempting to raise themselves in a bleak, nuclear-blasted world without reference to parental guidance, while astonishingly reminiscent of Golding's "Lord of the Flies", is fresh, exciting, heart-wrenching and most definitely not derivative in any way. Brooks' descriptions of a troubled world are graphic and breathtaking. His character building is deep, complex and utterly convincing. On the dust jacket of the novel, Christopher Paolini, author of the young adult fantasy, "Eragon", was quoted as saying, "If you haven't read Terry Brooks, you haven't read fantasy"! Quite a compliment coming from a fellow author who might well be assumed to be in competition with Terry Brooks for the same audience. I have to agree with Mr Paolini's ebullient assessment. I waited a long time for this one and, I think you'll agree. "Armageddon's Children" combines the earlier "Shannara" and "Knight of the Word" series in a stunning, entirely innovative new series that fantasy fans are going to eat up. Highly recommended. Paul Weiss

  14. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    Halfway through and I'm honestly not sure this is a book I'm going to be able to finish. The intermingling of the "fantasty" and "post-apocalyptic" genres was something I was initially really excited about. But here, it's done in such a ... confusing way? Like, I was very firmly planted in a normal, post-apocalyptic world (albeit one with some magical realist twists) for the first 166 pages. And then all of a sudden here are a bunch of Elves and the world tree, out of nowhere. I hope/ imagine al Halfway through and I'm honestly not sure this is a book I'm going to be able to finish. The intermingling of the "fantasty" and "post-apocalyptic" genres was something I was initially really excited about. But here, it's done in such a ... confusing way? Like, I was very firmly planted in a normal, post-apocalyptic world (albeit one with some magical realist twists) for the first 166 pages. And then all of a sudden here are a bunch of Elves and the world tree, out of nowhere. I hope/ imagine all the various plotlines come together in the end, but so far the writing is just jarring. Also, I literally REFUSE to believe 90% of the post-apocalyptic human population has blue eyes. Why. Just why. And can we leave the term "going native" out of 21st century lit please?

  15. 5 out of 5

    Angela Blount

    Having read the first in the Bearers of the Black Staff series, it was interesting to jump back in the timeline to witness the origin of Hawk and his ragtag band of followers. Although, it also had the effect of semi-spoiling a few things… I never really felt concerned for Hawk, for instance. I know he must survive for the other series to be possible. I had no such reassurances about any of the other children and youth in his band, however. The 3rd-person POV cycles around through several protago Having read the first in the Bearers of the Black Staff series, it was interesting to jump back in the timeline to witness the origin of Hawk and his ragtag band of followers. Although, it also had the effect of semi-spoiling a few things… I never really felt concerned for Hawk, for instance. I know he must survive for the other series to be possible. I had no such reassurances about any of the other children and youth in his band, however. The 3rd-person POV cycles around through several protagonists and antagonists--initially split across events happening on different sides of the former United States. It does gradually become clear how everything is ultimately going to consolidate and tie together. By the end, the overarching plot is poised to become a clearly cohesive thing for the next installment. Most of this book has a distinctly post-apocalyptic feel rather than fantasy, despite the demonic hoards, bits of magic interspersed, elves… and something about a gypsy morph. >.> So much of the central worldbuilding involved scraping, scavenging, and reflecting on all that had been lost in the collapse of civilization. I didn’t care at all for Tessa for some reason. She seemed annoyingly dithering, and I never got much sense for her personality. As a result, the romantic element between her and Hawk fell pretty flat. I wanted to root for them, but couldn’t bring myself to care enough. Not when simple survival felt vastly more compelling. Ultimately, this story felt like more like the first 1/3rd rather than a complete book. We end off with a few revelations, a cliffhanger, and no real satisfaction. (Very much like the 1st in the Bearers of the Black Staff series. Perhaps this is the new formula?) And although I’d like to see the protagonists succeed, I don’t feel particularly attached to any of them. Brooks continues to do high-stakes action and situational tension exceedingly well. But for this reader, the character connectivity and emotional investment isn’t quite there. I’m unsure if I will continue on in the series.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mr. Pirkl

    This book takes place in the world created in the books "A Knight of the Word" and "Running with the Demon" and "Angel Fire East" (I haven't read this one yet). I did not know that when I picked it up from the library yesterday during the 'snow' day. I just knew that it was by Terry Brooks, who I am a fan of, and it said that it was a new series. I didn't know it had the subtitle of "Genesis of Shannara" until I added it here. I loved the Shannara series and, now that I'm aware, can see how this This book takes place in the world created in the books "A Knight of the Word" and "Running with the Demon" and "Angel Fire East" (I haven't read this one yet). I did not know that when I picked it up from the library yesterday during the 'snow' day. I just knew that it was by Terry Brooks, who I am a fan of, and it said that it was a new series. I didn't know it had the subtitle of "Genesis of Shannara" until I added it here. I loved the Shannara series and, now that I'm aware, can see how this would be a prequel to them. I did think it strange that there were 'elfstones' mentioned and immediately thought of the book in the Shannara series "The Elfstones of Shannara" I read this book in one day, 371 pages, the post-apocalyptic world that Brooks has created, and I would recommend that you read the three books I mentioned that come before this, is a masterful blend of realism, fantasy, and nightmares. It includes the right amount of action to keep you turning the pages and the right amount of dialogue and inner monologue to justify/explain the actions. The human side is very real, especially the way the world is described - ruined because of the way humans treated it and each other - adults cling to the old ways, kids form tribes and are more successful at surviving and retaining the idea of family.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Excellent story. Very gripping and a true page turner. It made me lose a little sleep because I didn't want to put it down. It was a great and compelling story. The only issue (for some people anyway) is that it leaves you hanging at the end because it's only book one of a 3-book series. My main complaint (this is true with most Terry Brooks books) is his prose. He has a few devices that he uses over and over and over. It becomes a bit annoying sometimes. For example, at least a dozen times per b Excellent story. Very gripping and a true page turner. It made me lose a little sleep because I didn't want to put it down. It was a great and compelling story. The only issue (for some people anyway) is that it leaves you hanging at the end because it's only book one of a 3-book series. My main complaint (this is true with most Terry Brooks books) is his prose. He has a few devices that he uses over and over and over. It becomes a bit annoying sometimes. For example, at least a dozen times per book a chapter or scene ends with "and walked away without looking back." Another one is the way every good guy character spends a page of second guessing their actions when something bad happens. "I should have, could have, might have......". There are others, but these are the ones that jumped out at me the most.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dy

    It was a trap. I didn't pay attention before diving in, and found myself at home at nine o'clock at night, wrapping up not a full story, but book one in a series. And the library and book stores are closed! (Although in my defense, the copy I had was a first run, so no mention was made of it being the first of a series. Still, I've read enough Terry Brooks to have been at least a little suspicious at the thought of a one-off title from Mr. Brooks.) That said, this was an engaging read, and a fun It was a trap. I didn't pay attention before diving in, and found myself at home at nine o'clock at night, wrapping up not a full story, but book one in a series. And the library and book stores are closed! (Although in my defense, the copy I had was a first run, so no mention was made of it being the first of a series. Still, I've read enough Terry Brooks to have been at least a little suspicious at the thought of a one-off title from Mr. Brooks.) That said, this was an engaging read, and a fun take on post-apocalyptic fantasy. He didn't stoop to lewd antics or other ploys that seem common lately in books that are meant for grown ups. He tells a good story and invites you along for the ride. I'm glad I took him up on it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Chris Dietzel

    In terms of tone and setting, this had a lot in common with Stephen King's 'The Gunslinger.' This book is more scattered and fantasy-based than the first installment to the Dark Tower series, though, which is why I preferred that much more. A fan of Terry Brooks said this isn't a very good book of his to start off with (it's the first book of his I've ever read), so if I ever do read another of his books I'll definitely move to the first book in one of his more commonly adored series rather than In terms of tone and setting, this had a lot in common with Stephen King's 'The Gunslinger.' This book is more scattered and fantasy-based than the first installment to the Dark Tower series, though, which is why I preferred that much more. A fan of Terry Brooks said this isn't a very good book of his to start off with (it's the first book of his I've ever read), so if I ever do read another of his books I'll definitely move to the first book in one of his more commonly adored series rather than reading the next book in this series.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ron

    Half way through I was debating whether to give this four stars or five. Then the elves showed up, and it got silly. Characterization good, but too many incidental characters. Exciting, if predictable, plot. The usual logical and physical impossibilities one expects from folks who apparently failed high school chemistry and physics. Think of this as 400 pages of prologue to the rest of the series. I won't be there to see how it turns out. Half way through I was debating whether to give this four stars or five. Then the elves showed up, and it got silly. Characterization good, but too many incidental characters. Exciting, if predictable, plot. The usual logical and physical impossibilities one expects from folks who apparently failed high school chemistry and physics. Think of this as 400 pages of prologue to the rest of the series. I won't be there to see how it turns out.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Veronica Strachan

    Still gets me turning the pages even now, and fourteen years hasn't tarnished the readability of Armageddon's Children. Brooks twists what you imagine the two part storyline is going to be and throws you into a third completely different world. The characters are as relatable as ever and the story line still the classic good versus evil. There is a rhythm to this series and the preceding trilogy that I really enjoy. A great read. Still gets me turning the pages even now, and fourteen years hasn't tarnished the readability of Armageddon's Children. Brooks twists what you imagine the two part storyline is going to be and throws you into a third completely different world. The characters are as relatable as ever and the story line still the classic good versus evil. There is a rhythm to this series and the preceding trilogy that I really enjoy. A great read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jacob Aitken

    Basically Fallout 3 New Vegas, with demons. Better than the early Shannara stuff.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Marcin

    A must-have for any fantasy reader, bridging the gap between "The Word and the Void" series and the elder more archetypical fantasy story of the Shannara's family's universe, is quite a good read. More so, if one has read W&V it's a must-have, period... Genesis of Shannara, started with the "... Children", feels in the first book more like a second chapter to W&V, a great continuation of the struggle led by the Knights of the Word. It really requires the reader to know it all on the story of the A must-have for any fantasy reader, bridging the gap between "The Word and the Void" series and the elder more archetypical fantasy story of the Shannara's family's universe, is quite a good read. More so, if one has read W&V it's a must-have, period... Genesis of Shannara, started with the "... Children", feels in the first book more like a second chapter to W&V, a great continuation of the struggle led by the Knights of the Word. It really requires the reader to know it all on the story of the W&V trilogy - there are simply too many references to even consider the book to be read without any prior contact with Two Bears (if you do not know whom am I mentioning now, you'd be better off first to re-read the W&V before taking on this thing). The beauty of the book lies in the current backdrop - the vision of apocalyptic catastrophies' remnants, the destruction of civilisation as we know it (viewed from the perspective of derelict USA lands' inhabitants), the even stronger influence and return of magic than observed in W&V albeit still without it actually being used, wielded or blasted at everything that moves to obliterate anything that may stand in a way of the protagonists (like it sometimes happens with many fantasy tales)... No, the magic here is still subdued, akin to W&V, the book is far more post-apocalyptic ramblings and adventure than a fantasy tale to be more specific. And while the Lady is here, the Knights fight the Demons and their servants, it's the struggle of normal people in a world changed beyond the natural global disaster as a result of the hell broken lose by people in power and their schemes, by the fights, wars, terrors, their repercussions, all leading to a destroyed world with (un)lucky few still alive. And here, in this nomadic wasteland we meet 4 main protagonists, 2 of them being Knights of the Word, third one a teenager and the last one an elf, and 2 main antagonists, both Demons in service to the Void, each with its own mission, with own fates that somehow intermingle with others' and at the same time build upon the story of W&V towards what lies far ahead in Shannara's times. So the characters are intersting and amiable, both good and bad ones, their motives are easily understood, their existence, the road so far till the "... Children" that they have taken is really well placed (but requires reading the aforementioned series to fully comprehend). The action and story is compelling and unfortunately quite short, the world's descriptions somewhat limited to a few locations and really requiring a bit of knowledge of USA's geography to really well paint the picture in your mind, with a few flashbacks only adding some intricacy and depth to characters and the universe, all of this combines well and places the reader right where he is supposed to be to understand where and why of what Brooks is creating for us in this subseries' opening book. The only detriment may be the time placement as it is suggested by the writer, as from one side we get hints at being placed not that far after W&V (and consequently more or less our current reality/times), yet at the same time we are offered explanations (eg. mutations and fauna and flora alterations, climatic and topographical changes) to what is drawn for us that would rather suggest a few centuries might have passed since... The world here is like a Mad Max's wastelands, crossed with more recent cinematic and book depictions of our planet after a global war raged until all the fighting turned it to total disaster, with added drops of magic still slowly blooming into future existence. The natural order is already destabilised enough by what humanity has served itself to not even have the arcane magic roaming around every corner - a good point of the book lies in this fact. So, if you're avid fantasy, as in sorcerers and mages blasting dragons away, reader, this really is not a book for you (though the series as a whole is another matter of course). If you're more into slowly creeping in of or return of long forgotten eldritch craft combined with post-apocalyptic vision of our civilisation more or less in ruins and new food chain in place, or simply if you've read or plan to read W&V and further Shannara series, this is definitely aimed squarely at you and it's worthy of the time you can spend following Hawk, Angel and Logan's progress through the new world order. So really, get the W&V first and only after that is finished sit down to GoS - then you will like it very much.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Emma Yoloswag

    me: so this is post-apocalyptic right terry brooks: here have some fucking elves This was like... I don't think this book can be safely placed in one genre. There's some dystopian/post-apocalyptic (or "post-spock", as my phone tried to correct it to) stuff with the world being basically scorched and poisoned and everyone hates each other, but it's also urban fantasy because there's demons around, and it's also high fantasy because there are some elves in some forest who are protected by a giant tr me: so this is post-apocalyptic right terry brooks: here have some fucking elves This was like... I don't think this book can be safely placed in one genre. There's some dystopian/post-apocalyptic (or "post-spock", as my phone tried to correct it to) stuff with the world being basically scorched and poisoned and everyone hates each other, but it's also urban fantasy because there's demons around, and it's also high fantasy because there are some elves in some forest who are protected by a giant tree... so if you're really strict about books sticking to their genre, maybe you shouldn't come here. That being said, I liked it. We follow several story lines, which I've always found interesting. Our protagonists include two Knights of the Word, a bunch of elves and some children who can't come up with decent names for shit (I know renaming each other is kind of their thing but Candle? Seriously?). If I remember correctly, the first character we're introduced to is Logan, and my immediate reaction was "oh god, it's John Ross all over again". Trust me, he's not. (I didn't dislike Ross but I wasn't interested in reading about another identical character, he really wasn't that compelling) Where Ross was more or less your average "do the right thing" guy, Logan is a slightly sarcastic bitch who does his duty, but is kinda discouraged about it. You know, the world has gone to shit anyway. logan: *slays demons on a daily basis* logan: what the fuck are mountain spirits And the scene that came afterwards terrified me. The other Knight, Angel aka my wife, seems to not only do the Knight things because she has to, but also because she believes in them. Also she's badass and I'm gay. The elves were probably the most interesting. I'm a high fantasy slut and you can't take that away from me. The bunch of children were interesting in the start, but they couldn't really hold my interest for that long. Also, sometimes we got the perspective of the demons. me: okay so this guy looks like this terry brooks: shut up he looks like gandalf One thing I think could be an issue for people is that you feel kind of distanced from the characters. If not connecting to the characters is a deal breaker for you, I'm not sure you would like this. Also, a lot of the plot lines felt unfinished. The end of the book seemed to just cut off in the middle of a situation, and some plot lines *cough*Angel and the elves*cough* didn't even seem to get more than an introduction. This makes me wonder if this was actually intended to be just one or two books instead of a trilogy. All in all, though? I liked this stuff.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gilda Felt

    Brooks should stick with science fiction because, though I’ve enjoyed his elf-centric Shannara stories, I really liked this book. There is a bit of the elves, but the majority of the story deals with our world. Or what’s left of it. It’s changing, and soon won’t be our world at all, but the story of that change in this post-apocalyptic scenario is riveting. The characters are fully rounded. Logan and Angel, as they journey through the world, knowing that they have a role to play though they’re no Brooks should stick with science fiction because, though I’ve enjoyed his elf-centric Shannara stories, I really liked this book. There is a bit of the elves, but the majority of the story deals with our world. Or what’s left of it. It’s changing, and soon won’t be our world at all, but the story of that change in this post-apocalyptic scenario is riveting. The characters are fully rounded. Logan and Angel, as they journey through the world, knowing that they have a role to play though they’re not sure what that is; but especially the “family” of kids who will carry the fate of the world on their young shoulders. And that’s coming from someone who doesn’t care all that much for “young adult” books, much less those where the major characters are kids. It’s not that I never do, but it’s few and far between. This book is definitely an exception. It may be awhile, but I’m so looking forward to the next book in the series.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Becky Mitchell

    I always loved the Sword of Shannara series. I can't tell you how excited I was to discover that there are actually a ton of other triliogies in the same world. This particular one starts probably at least 1000 years before Shea's story. Very cool to see how the old world (our world) ended and magic began to return. Also, a nice warning about the dangers of what we humans could potentially do to the world. The story takes place 50 or so years after a global nuclear war and is about the folks lef I always loved the Sword of Shannara series. I can't tell you how excited I was to discover that there are actually a ton of other triliogies in the same world. This particular one starts probably at least 1000 years before Shea's story. Very cool to see how the old world (our world) ended and magic began to return. Also, a nice warning about the dangers of what we humans could potentially do to the world. The story takes place 50 or so years after a global nuclear war and is about the folks left trying to survive and find a place that is safe. Really good! I am starting the second book today :)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    Generally I enjoyed this book. I listened to the Audible production and finished September 2018, a particularly nice September in Alaska after much rain in August. This was my introduction to Brook's world of fantasy. I am more into sci fi than fantasy, after all. The character development left something to be desired, and I found myself just not caring about what happened to them other than a passing interest. I did like the book enough I may check out the Sword series. Generally I enjoyed this book. I listened to the Audible production and finished September 2018, a particularly nice September in Alaska after much rain in August. This was my introduction to Brook's world of fantasy. I am more into sci fi than fantasy, after all. The character development left something to be desired, and I found myself just not caring about what happened to them other than a passing interest. I did like the book enough I may check out the Sword series.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Wrecker

    WHAAAAAT!?!? I need The Elves of Cintra RIGHT NOW!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    Brooks is a good author, but not a great one. I read this because it was post-apocalyptic fiction, and because I read his Word and the Void series years ago, and learned that this was a continuation of that and a bridge with his earlier Shannara, so it sounded intriguing. I'm a hoarder and builder by nature, and Brooks certainly isn't. Whenever he presents a great place to settle down, build, and acquire and amass stuff, it always seems to be at the leaving phase, or the arriving phase, but neve Brooks is a good author, but not a great one. I read this because it was post-apocalyptic fiction, and because I read his Word and the Void series years ago, and learned that this was a continuation of that and a bridge with his earlier Shannara, so it sounded intriguing. I'm a hoarder and builder by nature, and Brooks certainly isn't. Whenever he presents a great place to settle down, build, and acquire and amass stuff, it always seems to be at the leaving phase, or the arriving phase, but never at the building phase, which is what I would be most interested in. His main purpose is to move the characters in a journey, so a stable and safe location is the ending, not the focus, of his stories. [Spoiler in this paragraph] It is also annoying that he doesn't have his characters do a lot of the things that a survival-minded person would do. For example, at one point in the story a character who is being pursued finds two battery-powered ATVs, and takes one to get ahead of her pursuers. Any survivalist would take the extra battery off the second ATV and *bring it along* so that you not only would discourage pursuit, but also give yourself a hoard of extra fuel just in case the first battery gives out. But Brooks insanely has the character *hide* the second battery, which ends up causing her problems down the line. What makes this all the more frustrating is that this character (and others in this series who make similar mistakes any survivalist would easily avoid) have been living in a state of scarcity all their lives, so conserving, saving, and making the most of what you have would be second nature to them. Instead, they blithely leave behind very important and scarce equipment and resources that they may never find again, as though it were no big deal. I recommend this for Brooks fans and for anyone who is interested in post-apocalyptic fiction. But be aware that Brooks is not a great author in this genre.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Mills

    Normally, fantasy/science fiction books are not what I like to read, however lately I’ve been getting a bit bored with the regular authors that I read. So, I started looking around for a different type of author and book to spark my interest. I remembered my mom and a few friends, who constantly were reading Terry Brooks, so I thought to myself I’ll give him a shot and read his Shannara series. After logging on his website and looking at recommended reading orders and trying to figure out which t Normally, fantasy/science fiction books are not what I like to read, however lately I’ve been getting a bit bored with the regular authors that I read. So, I started looking around for a different type of author and book to spark my interest. I remembered my mom and a few friends, who constantly were reading Terry Brooks, so I thought to myself I’ll give him a shot and read his Shannara series. After logging on his website and looking at recommended reading orders and trying to figure out which trilogy to start with, I decided I would start as close the beginning as possible, with the Genesis Trilogy. I would preface saying, I wish I would have started with The Word & Void trilogy, because there are references to characters in those books. However, Armageddon’s Children was not impossible to read without the back story. This book focuses on four separate story lines: Logan Tom, Angel, Kirisin, and Hawk. The world has been pretty much destroyed and the demons are leading the once men in the destruction of the human race. Through this book you watch each of the three main characters and separate quests to either help man kind or a group they are supporting. There are also several chapters where main characters have flashbacks, which help you relate to the characters. Being my first Terry Brooks book, I would say I’m hooked on him as an author and have already started reading The Elves of Cintra, which is the second book. I don’t want to give too much of this book away, but the story is amazing and it is a super quick read, because you want to see what happens at the end. If you are into Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and books of that nature, give this a try. One thing you may want to do, especially if traveling without Internet or access to a book store, go ahead and purchase Elves of Cintra. If you don’t you are left with a huge cliff hanger.

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