If you like melodrama. Long winded explanations of everything repeated a thousand times. Then I have the book for you. I know that it takes immense courage to write a book, and here am I ripping it apart. But, it must be done to spare you the expense and the time you will never get back. Also, I do not know if it is the readers fault. But, I wanted to choke my Iphone till the book stopped. I got through the story which is nice but the writing it self killed me. I love fantasy and listen to a ton of books this is one of the worst I have heard. I apologies to all those that love this book. But, I strongly disagree.
This is finally release as unabridged! I have read 1000 books in the last 4 years and this is one I read every few years - again and again. This book and the prequel (first king) are his best work, then elfstones.
I bought this book excited to listen since I'm a fan of the genre and looking for something I haven't heard. But overall I was disappointed. Too many parallels to Tolkien, lack of character depth, lack of mystery, and WAY too much of "this is how they're feeling" for me. Don't explain everything outright, let the reader put themselves into it. Anyway, well written I guess, but not for me. I could have forgiven it if it wasn't for the many Tolkien parallels.
Although some think this is a blatant plagiarism of Tolkien, it is an excellent series. I believe that Brooks did read the LOTR series, and wanted to tell an interesting story that more people could follow. It is similar to LOTR, but an interesting and slightly different story in itself. Definitely worth a listen to, if at least to get the history, so you can listen to the rest of the Shannara series. The reader is great with each of the voices, and I stayed excited throughout the book!
This book has been around for some time, but I had never read it. I was excited to see it finally in unabridged format on Audible, and very much looked forward to it. I was extremely disappointed.
Other reviewers have noted the similarity to LOTR, and I concur - it's blatant (the wizard fails to meet them at the end of the first part of their journey because he was delayed by events related to the upcoming war involving all the races...). The writing is quite bad. While a lot happens, the author appears to be unable to convey any sense of suspense. He gives away the outcome of confrontations before they occur, and writes in long, expositional sentences that keep you distant from the action. That same expositional style describes most of the book - it is very difficult to get any sense or feeling of character - we are *told* about people's personalities, but never *shown* them. It becomes a little like a bad newspaper report or High School History Textbook.
Five hours into this book I have decided I cannot continue to listen to it. I prefer unabridged books because they really defray the effect of my commute to work - allowing me to get "away" from the drive. I find myself frequently losing track of what's going on in this book because it is so dull.
The book was well written and easy to follow, but a little predictable. There is suspense, but you can usually guess what is going to happen next.
Don't get me wrong, I do like this book, and I think Terry Brooks is an excellent author... But, sometimes I feel like I'm listening to an abridged version of Lord of the Rings where the names have been changed to protect the innocent. I understand he is very influenced by Tolkien, as many authors are, but sometimes the similarities between this book and LOTR is just too much and I start to chuckle while listening. I still enjoy the story, but I hope his others are a little more original.
After all these years I finally try a Terry Brooks novel only to find that it's a blatant Tolkien rip off - and not even a well written one at that.
For the time being, I heard through the grapevine that The Elfstones of Shanara was an original story but this first book left a very bad taste in my mouth. No amount of good narration can hide the fact that the whole story was ripped off of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.
Hendel and Panamon Creel
Frustration, anger and a distinct feeling that I have been robbed!
If I had known this story was a rehash of The Lord of the Rings, I never would have wasted 26 hours of my life listening to it. I wish I could get that credit back and use it on something more worthy! I wish I had been able to get this one from the library because at least I could have said that it was free!