"Genesis of Shannara: Armageddon's Children"
(Reviewed by Ann Wilkes MAY 6, 2008)
Survivors on a post-apocalyptic Earth are losing a war of good versus evil. Brooks describes the effects of the devastation. He gives no detailed explanation of the causes. He also avoids going into who bombed whom and why. How it happened would have little-to-no bearing on the story. The setting is more than sufficient for the character-driven fantasy story that follows.
Logan Tom and Angel Perez, having grown up among the rubble, begin to beat back the darkness as Knights of the Word before they are even adults. They face once-men (love this name!), mutants and ignorant humans who think their stadium walls will keep them safe forever. We feel the Knights' anguish from their horrific, traumatic memories that they must control while fighting that day's enemy.
The last remaining member of an Indian tribe, also a Knight, sends Logan Tom on a quest for a magical child hidden as a mortal. He has no idea what to do when he finds him or her, has no idea how the child will heal the world enough to give the humans a chance to survive the coming storm of evil. He only knows that the child will. It must. Logan's faith drives him on.
A teenager named Hawk has gathered other street children together to form a family of sorts, keeping them safe in the long-since forgotten underground of Seattle. He has seen a vision. He knows that one day he will have to leave and take his "family" to an unknown country, he knows not where. A bit like Moses leading his people to the Promised Land. In the meantime, he must face more dangerous enemies than ever before. Some are even human.
Hawk struggles to know the future and muster the strength to venture into it. He must lead, in spite of self-doubt, and protect and nurture, having no memories of receiving either.
Terry Brooks' Armageddon's Children is an excellent example of a well-written multiple points of view novel. The reader can follow from one setting and point of view to the next and back again with ease. I also applaud his handling of flashbacks, using present tense when the character is in the memory. Daring, yet effective. Brooks keeps up the pace and suspense throughout and expertly weaves all the heroes' lives together in the end. Bombarded from within and without, all of his characters have a genuine depth of emotion.
I’m mostly a SF reader. I have to say that with writing like this, I may have to read more fantasy. At least more Terry Brooks.
- Amazon readers rating: from 97 reviews
Read a chapter excerpt from This Book at author's website
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Bibliography: (with links to Amazon.com)
Original Shanara Trilogy:
- The Sword of Shannara (1983)
- The Elfstones of Shannara (1982)
- The Wishsong of Shannara (1985)
- The Sword of Shannara Trilogy (2002)
Heritage of Shanara:
- The Scions of Shannara (1990)
- The Druid of Shannara (1991)
- The Elf Queen of Shannara (1992)
- The Heritage of Shannara Trilogy (2003)
Shannara Trilogy, Prequel
The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara
High Druid of Shannara
Genesis of Shannara Trilogy
- Dark Wraith of Shannara (March 2008)
Magic Kingdom of Landover:
- Magic Kingdom for Sale–Sold! (1986)
- The Black Unicorn (1987)
- Wizard At Large (1988)
- The Tangle Box (1994)
- Witches' Brew (1995)
- A Princess of Landover (August 2009)
The Word/Void Trilogy
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- Official website for Terry Brooks
- Wikipedia page for Terry Brooks
- SF Site reivew of Tanequil
- Thunder Cloud review of Amageddon's Children
- SFFWorld review of Armageddon's Children
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About the Author:
Terry Brooks was born in Illinois in 1944, where he spent a great deal of his childhood and early adulthood dreaming up stories in and around Sinnissippi Park, the very same park that would eventually become the setting for his bestselling Word & Void trilogy. He went to college and received his undergraduate degree from Hamilton College, where he majored in English Literature, and he received his graduate degree from the School of Law at Washington & Lee University.
Terry Brooks lives with his wife Judine in the Pacific Northwest and on the road meeting his fans.