©1982 Terry Brooks; (P)2003 Books on Tape
Terry Brooks is often accused of plagiarising J.R.R. Tolkien's the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I would encourage people not to think of these books as plagiarism but as a further exploration of a world that we didn't get to see enough of before Mr.Tolkien's death. After I finished the Lord of the Rings I really wanted more. There were so many corners of Middle Earth that were left unexplored, so much more to see. I think that's what authors like Terry Brooks offer us. His world is not Middle Earth, as that's a copyrighted name, but it's clearly based off of it. None of the ideas here are unique. They are taken from better series like the Lord of the Rings and put into a post-apocalyptic world just like Stephen King's Dark Tower series but if you want more of the same, which I did, these books will deliver. I wouldn't recommend them as your first fantasy novels, I'd recommend LoTR, Dark Tower, The Song of Ice and Fire and The Wheel of Time series first, but when you're done with those and want more, as many fans do, the Shanarra books are a good read. They have all your favorite monsters and creatures revisted. There are better books out there but I feel the Shannara stories are good extensions of those tales for people who don't feel like they've had enough yet.
I've been an Audie Awards judge since 2008. I have enjoyed audiobooks since the days when they were called "Books on Tape".
Carrying on two generations later from "Sword of Shannara", you taken on another fantastic journey. Though this story is filled with great action, it lacks any occasional humor to help endear the reader to the characters, leaving the story a little dry. Also the continous waves of action seem repetivite when the story hits on large scale events, but does not take away from the enjoyment. Just don't try to listen to the battle events at 1AM. I can't wait till the next book.
Very well read entertaining book. Terry Brooks is a very good writer and I would recommend all of his work. Scott Brick is awesome in his ability to tell the story and makes it very entertaining.
I have never read a Terry Brooks book I didn't like and they are particularly well suited to audio. Scott Brick is one of my favorite readers and he does a great job in all the Brooks books he reads. Listen to them all!
I remember enjoying this book when I first read it, many years ago, so I was pretty excited to get the unabridged audiobook... Then I started listening. Scott Brick's voice is clear and rich, pleasant to listen to, but his narration style makes me want to stab myself in the ear with a sharp object. EVERYTHING is dramatic- extremely dramatic- whether or not anything important is happening in the story. This style might work for reading Poe or Shakespearean drama but it doesn't work here. It completely destroys the flow and pacing of the story by trying to add artificial tension. The overall effect is 23 hours of torture. My advice is to read the books and spend your Audible credits elsewhere.
After reading the first book in the series, which was complete Tolkien plagiarism, I was very hesitant to listen to anything else in the Shannara series. However, after about an hour into the "Elfstones", I found myself captivated by the story. There were some similarities to Tolkien, but, for the most part, this book showed a clear divergence from LOTR. Not to leave the review on that backhanded compliment, I will write that if you are a fan of the genre, this is a worthwhile listen.
Scott Brick is NOT a good fantasy narrator, but once you get over his annoying and seemingly constant (Brooks writes in extremes) "ANYTHING" inflections, the story keeps you interested enough to continue.
I thought that this was a great book. I liked it much more than sword of shannara. The plot was better and I thought the characters were developed better. I think that Brooks is a great author and look forward to finishing this series.
I like the story and how this guy reads it but overall the story is so simple... I would recommend for this for boys from 12 to 22.
I wish this wasnt so slimier to the hobbit. I barley even liked that book. Terry does not pull off the epicness of the Lord of the Rings.
Not even to write a book even remotely similar....
Don't buy this unless you like simple and easy to follow story-lines combined with interesting but not particularity unique characters.
I may recommend this story but I would have to offer some caveats.
They all blur together. I think the thing that I will remember is how insecure and whiny the characters all are.
The narration was overly dramatic. I think that some of the weaknesses of the story were exacerbated by Scott Brick's overblown reading. I think in my mind, when I read the book, I read them with a little less emotion. Maybe more sincere and less exaggerated.
I liked the story, I really did. But I got annoyed with the characters questioning and questioning everything. The main character is absolutely certain he will never be able to use the Elfstones again after ONE FAILURE. I could understand him wondering what went wrong but he is just ready to pack things in because they let him down one time. I think that Scott Brick, whom I adore reading many other books, simply was overly dramatic on this one. A more measured approach may have make the listening more enjoyable. It is almost like he highlighted all the weakness of the writing.
I would not consider this to be better than the print version because of the nostalgia effect from reading it originally in my childhood. I had forgotten a great deal of what/when stuff happened in the story from when I read it as a young lad. I was then a little lost when I felt the story had been changed since reading it as a child, the story had clearly had not changed my memories were just flawed; none the less it was a surprise and enjoyable to have the story come together with all the parts being hit.
Being a fan of Scott Brick and having listened to quite a few books he has narrated, I was very disappointed in his performance this time. But I will tell you the trick that made this book nearly 100% better. Play it back at 1.25x or 1.5x speed and it flows at a much better pace with very little "chipmunk effect," you might hear a little at the start of chapters then it settles down to a normal tones again quickly.
I remember this book causing me to become choked up as a kid when the big reveal happened at/near the end. Knowing it was coming and being much older (probably not much wiser) it didn't have the same effect on me, unfortunately.
It seemed like the chapter breaks in the Audible file were not inline with the chapter breaks of the paper book, that can a little off putting at time.
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