Armageddon's Children

The Genesis of Shannara, Book 1
Narrated by: Dick Hill
Series: Genesis of Shannara, Book 1
Length: 13 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,030 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Terry Brooks is one of a handful of writers whose work defines modern fantasy fiction. His 23 international best sellers 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 listeners unfamiliar with Brooks's previous work to experience an author at the height of his considerable storytelling powers.

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. 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.

Meanwhile, 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.

Listen to more in Terry Brooks' Shannara series.
©2006 Terry Brooks (P)2006 Brilliance Audio

Critic Reviews

"Characterizations are dynamic and multidimensional...the action and battles are mesmerizing, and, as is Brooks' wont, the ending is a cliff-hanger that leaves readers salivating for the sequel." ( Booklist)
"Dick Hill commands the text with a stern voice but knows just how to lighten his tone to reflect the atmosphere." ( AudioFile)

What listeners say about Armageddon's Children

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The start of something really good

I'm surprised by the negative reviews. I came to this book not knowing it was a "Shannara" book and so had no preconceptions of what it should be--and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I am eager to get the next two installments and see what happens next. I really enjoy books with long plots, so I was not at all worried about the way the story develops. I just let it carry me along and enjoyed the ride. I will say one thing about the reader, and that is that he appears to have gone to the William Shatner School of Public Speaking. He has a very staccato delivery that can be a little hard to enjoy, but I got engrossed in the story any way and didn't let it bother me.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

OK story that ends in a cliffhanger

I read the original Shannara books when I was younger and really enjoyed them. I also listened to them again recently in audio format and did not find them as entertaining as I thought I would, especially since some of them cost me 2 credits. However, I did enjoy spending time with the characters I remembered from many years ago so nostalgia carried me through.

With the Genesis of Shannara, Terry Brooks goes back in the Shannara timeline to tell how our reality transitions into that of Shannara which is a more traditional fantasy setting populated by elves, dwarves, trolls, etc. I found that to be an interesting concept so I picked this one up with some high hopes.

While this isn't a bad book, I was slightly disappointed with multiple things. First off, the downfall of our civilization is well under way when the book starts so you don't get much of the initial transition from normal to Armageddon. Second, the characters are all ok, but not as interesting as I would have hoped for and some of the concepts like "the elves have always been here" just didn't resonate well with me. And lastly, this is a major cliffhanger on multiple fronts. One of the worst cliffhangers I have read, meaning that multiple big events are underway and all left unresolved, which left me pretty unsatisfied at the end.

So if you plan to go "all in" on the series go ahead and pick this one up, but if you want to dip your toe in the water first you will likely find yourself with the same dilemma I have: Do I take a chance that book 2 will leave me satisfied when book 1 didn't, or do I just walk away now? Do I buy book 2 simply because Terry Brooks left me out to dry with the ending of book 1?

I thought Dick Hill did a decent job on the narration and I do not share the negativity expressed by many other reviewers. Dick Hill is a veteran narrator with a large body of work, and I tend to enjoy his narrations even if he isn't my favorite narrator.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Probably Fantastic in print...

...but not so great in audio. There were so many characters that it was difficult for the reader to maintain a unique vocalization for each. Also, if you were looking at the text, it was probably indicated by paragraphing, italics, spaces between text, etc... that the author was switching characters, time, and/or place. Unfortunately, the reader of this book wasn't able to to the greatest job of this. Eventually it became tedious for me to always be trying to make sense of who was talking and what their differences were. Again, the action and story line is good, maybe even great, but not so well performed in THIS particular audio version. My advise- definitely read it after borrowing it from your local library!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

This book got be hooked on audible. Well written, perfect narration, and well paced. I'm a long time fan of Terry and this is one of his best stories. You will not be disappointed.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed it, but with reservations

I'm a longtime Terry Brooks fan and read the original Shanara books for the first time in high school. I've devoured every new book, even as quality has declined and themes have become repetitive, and this trilogy has been no different. I have my reservations though. The first black character that I can remember in any Brooks book is a charicature with an attitude problem (even worse, named "Panther"), and the narrator doesn't improve the situation by voicing him as a jive-talkin' throwback stereotype. Also, even with the new, post-apocalyptic backdrop, many of the themes are rehashed from earlier Shannara books. You should read (or listen to) this book, but be aware that you are not getting the best of Brooks.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Story was very good Terry Brooks Shines

Great book content and story.

Very dissapointed in Reader. Avoid all Dick Hill Narrations! He doesn't take the time to learn how to pronounce the names of key book Characters. It really put me out but if it wasn't for book content and being Terry Brooks book I would not have listened beyond the first 10 minutes.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Brooks & Hill - what a combination!

I loved Terry Brooks' Magic Kingdom series years ago and this story has me hooked AGAIN. I enjoyed Dick Hill immensely! He adds so much to the moods and emotions in the story. I just downloaded the next two books in the series! I recommend this to anyone who loves a GREAT "read". If you think you don't care for the fantasy genre, this might change your mind.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

entertaining

This is about the 3 book series. I remember starting to read The Shannara series 30 years ago and enjoying it. But I was an adolescent then. This new 3 book series is entertaining but it really is for adolescence as well. The sad thing for me is it is repeative of the boy/man savior of humankind. Not only is there one savior, but two. Both male. Only a couple of the characters have good development. The females are just supporting roles without depth. When you compare this series to a fairly new writer like Brandon Sanderson's series (which can also be read by young adults) - it seems amateurish. I guess I was hoping Terry Brooks would have gotten much better after 30 years.
For an adult book this is 3 stars, for young adult it could be 4 stars because it is interesting.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointed

I really didn't like this book at all. I found the plot shallow and formulaic. Characters embarked on a quest ... a young boy discovered his magic powers ... blah, blah, blah. I've read it all before. Also, the book's pace suffered from many long and uninteresting flashbacks, and the ending left me scratching my head. Nothing got resolved. Brooks left every single sub plot hanging. I understand it's the first book in a series and the larger plot lines won't conclude until the last book finishes, but this was ridiculous. All in all, I felt quite disappointed, and I will not purchase the next book in the series.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Armageddon's Children

I love serial stories but this isn't one of them. In a typical serial, the main plot objective is resolved, but the underlying conflicts which have become of great interest still need resolution and the reader's interest has been piqued. We need to know more;give us that sequel! Not only does this book ramble along introducing a wide variety of characters with extensive back stories of their own, but the same plot devise seen from more than one character's point of view is needless (and endless) in this story. When it almost seemed that the various story threads would unite and the climax was intimate, the book ends. I don't care enough to listen to the next book in the story; it's too predictable. I was so hoping to find a new author! Oh well...

3 people found this helpful