Armageddon's Children: Book One of the Genesis of Shannara Paperback – 5 Jul 2007
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The beginning of a major new fantasy series that will link the worlds of Shannara and The Word and the Void.See all Product description
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Boy, was I glad I did, for in Genesis of Shannara, we see a skilful introduction/evolution of the two series into one. (And I might add - a delightful surprise)
Genesis of Shannara takes place in a postapocalyptic world fifty years into our future, where the seeds of the Shannara world really begin to flourish. Civilization has fallen into darkness and stands little chance of surviving long. However, hope exists in the shape of two Knights of the Word, and the resilience of one of the Chosen, guardian of the Ellcrys who senses the fall of mankind also heralds the demise of the Elves - hidden as they are.
How the story develops - thereby weaving the two together - well, you'll have to find that out for yourselves. But it's skilfully and credibly done.
I look forward to the next in the series soon.
(Just a note to avid fans. Although this book/series stand alone, you can gain a great deal of insight and history by reading the Word & Void series first. Let's just say it will lay fine foundations for what's to come)
It wasn't until I picked this up and read the reviews that I realised that it linked into the Shannara stories and some of Brooks' other works, but you can read this in isolation.
This is a blend of post apocalypse survival with more then a bit of dark fantasy slung in. While the remains of mankind try to survive a holocaust, they have to defend themselves against emerging demons and those of mankind who are turning towards the emerging darkness.
I enjoyed this far more then I thought I would, with an interesting slant on the usual post apocalypse stuff. I was engaged quickly and keen to keep turning the pages to find where it was going. It does end on a bit of a cliffhanger which was a little frustrating and this probably pushed me to a three star score rather then four and it will be a frustrating wait until the next one.
If you have read the Shannara books, please be wary and do not approach this book with the same ideas: this is no fantasy, or at least, not fantasy in the classic sense: the story unfolds in a post-apocalyptic scenario like has been told hundreds of times, but Mr. Brooks manages to add a new soul to it, avoiding all clichés you could expect.
The book unfolds "slowly", but this slowness does not affect the eagerness to go on, to turn page after page: as I see it, it is simply the price we have to pay to get to know well the main characters that will star in the next books, and once again I have not been disappointed by the level of insight that we are provided on each of them.
What truly crowns this book as a must-have for any Shannara fan, however, is the hints you get in the beginning (and the confirmations you get later on) that this story might have to do more with the world we learnt to know in the Shannara series than you might expected by a first glance.
The only warning I feel to give concerns the ending: this is a major cliffhanger, so if you think this may be a bother and maybe spoil a truly good story, then you might want to wait for the whole trilogy to be published before buying this book.
However I found this to be a good start to the trilogy and have always been intrigued by the background to Brooks' Shannara world. It is obvious he has pondered in depth the nature of the human animal and how it would respond to a catastrophe and come out the other end. Added to the mix are the usual magic plus a persecution by the forces of darkness and the inevitable re-emergence of the elves.
The only real criticism I would have of the book is it seemed to skim over various sections to make the book punchy and lacked depth in places. Some of the characters are one dimensional and there is virtually nothing of the humans in the domes who are portrayed as universally close minded and ineffectual and humans are not that black and white. It comes across a bit like a film director having to cram his vision of a three hour epic into ninety minutes.
Still reservations aside a good read and worth sticking with.
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