Summary and book reviews of Armageddon's Children by Terry Brooks

Armageddon's Children

The Genesis of Shannara, Book 1

by Terry Brooks

Armageddon's Children
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Aug 2006, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2007, 416 pages

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Book Summary

Set in a near-future United States ravaged by nuclear fallout, widespread plagues, and chemical contamination, Armageddon's Children follows a handful of unlikely heroes as they struggle to survive in a poisoned world infested by demons, insane "once-men," and other mutant creatures too horrific to describe.

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.

One

He is fast asleep in his bed on the night that the demon and the once-men come for his family. They have been watching the compound for days, studying its walls and the routine of the guards who ward them. They have waited patiently for their chance, and now it has arrived. An advance party is over the walls and past the guards. They have opened the gates from the inside to let in the others, and now all are pouring into the compound. In less than five minutes, everything has been lost.

He doesn’t realize this when his father shakes him awake, but he knows something is wrong.

“Logan, get up.” Urgency and fear are apparent in his father’s voice.

Logan blinks against the beam of the flashlight his father holds, one of two they still possess. He sees his brother dressing across the way, pulling on his shirt and pants, moving quickly, anxiously. Tyler isn’t griping, isn’t saying anything, doesn’t even look over at him.

...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

The first part of this first in a new series offers a refreshing and challenging new look at a post-apocalyptic world, vividly realized and frighteningly plausible. However as the book moves into the second half Brooks's imagination seems to falter and the book teeters dangerously close to becoming formulaic. However, overall Armageddon's Children is an exciting read that few sci-fi aficionados will want to miss.   (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

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Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

Like the prequel trilogy: steady, absorbing storytelling, if, typically, lacking narrative tension. And don't expect any sort of ending: In anticipation of sequels, the book just ceases.

School Library Journal

Be warned, however, that the ending is literally a cliff-hanger, and readers may find it difficult to wait patiently for the next volume of this sure-to-be popular series.

Library Journal

Brooks, author of the enormously popular Shannara novels, captures the frantic atmosphere of a world on the edge of damnation.

Booklist - Sally Estes

Starred Review. Characterizations are dynamic and multidimensional, the descriptions of the land as well as the ruined cities and small towns are compelling, the action and battles are mesmerizing, and, as is Brooks' wont, the ending is a cliff-hanger that leaves readers salivating for the sequel.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In this exciting first of a new fantasy trilogy, bestseller Brooks effortlessly connects the Tolkien-infused magic of his Shannara books with the urban, postapocalyptic world of his Word and the Void series.

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Beyond the Book

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.

A writer since high school, he wrote many stories within the genres of science fiction, westerns, and non-fiction, until one semester early in his college years he was given The Lord of the Rings to read. That moment changed Terry's writing career forever,...

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