Saturday, August 30, 2008

Armageddon's Children

After two years of waiting, I have finally read Armageddon's Children by Terry Brooks. Armageddon's Children is the first book in Brooks' Genesis of Shannara series. As I said in my last post, I have owned the book for almost two years, and I refused to read it until the final book in the trilogy was out. Now that The Gypsy Morph is out, I can read the whole story uninterrupted.

The reason I hoarded both Armageddon's Children and The Elves of Cintra until The Gypsy Morph was released is that the last trilogy that I read of Brooks' was also released over a period of two years; when I opened Straken and started reading, I couldn't believe that I had no clue who the first character that I encountered was! Prior to that moment, I was certain that, even with the time in between reading Tanequil and Straken, I remembered the story well enough to proceed. After that moment, I vowed that I wouldn't let that happen again; I would wait until all the books of any new trilogies were released before reading them. (This is much like I said I would do for the Harry Potter series if and when I ever decide to read it).

Armageddon's Children is the first in a series of books in which Brooks bridges his Word and Void series with his Shannara series. Armageddon's Children opens in disaster: the world and future that Knight of the Word John Ross was trying to prevent in the Word and Void has happened. War has destroyed civilization as we know it. The land, water and air lie poisoned. Mutants have evolved out of people as a result of the poisons. Those people unaffected by the poisons, for the most part, live in walled complexes, trying desperately to cling to life as it once was. Demons, the Void's servants who have evolved out of humans, and their armies of once men ravage the countryside, attacking the complexes and killing most while enslaving others. Those enslaved are brought to slave camps to live out a horrible existence at the hands of the demons and once men.

It is here that we find Logan Tom, one of the last Knights of the Word. Logan is given the task of finding the Gypsy Morph, the one born to Nest Freemark nearly a century earlier. The Morph is said to be humanity's last chance at survival. There is a larger disaster coming, and the Morph is the only one able to lead a handful of survivors, not all of them human, to a place of safety where they can survive. Logan is tasked with protecting the Morph so that it may complete its task.

Half way across the country is Angel Perez, herself another Knight of the Word, given the task of finding and helping a people born of legend. For with them lies the Ellcrys, which must be protected at all costs.

Armageddon's Children offers a terrifyingly bleak view of what nuclear war would do to life as we know it. Yet it also offers a view of the hope and determination that is the foundation of the human spirit. Even at the verge of total annihilation there are those who refuse to give up hope, fighting for survival, fighting for the future, fighting for love.

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