March 7, 2011

Armageddon's Children by Terry Brooks

Title:  Armageddon's Children
Author:  Terry Brooks
Format:  PB
Pages:  403
Genre:  Fantasy
Publisher:  Del Rey, 2007
ISBN-13:  978-0345484109
Series:  Shannara, Book 18

Favorite Quotes:  Even after the plagues had killed half a billion people, no one had believed.  Even after the air was so polluted and the water was so badly fouled that it was dangerous either to breathe or drink, no one had believed.  They had started to believe after the first nuclear weapons were launched and whole cities vanished in the blink of an eye.

Reading wasn't necessary for staying alive, they would argue.

Hawk had taken Cheney's name from one of Owl's history books.  The name had belonged to some long-dead politician who'd been around when the seeds for the Great Wars had been planted.  Owl's book described him as a bulldog spoiling for a fight.  Hawk had liked the image.

Synopsis (Amazon):  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.

Review:  The stark, dark place that used to be the United States of America is painted with a believability that promises nightmares.  Very little time (80 years, give or take) has passed since Nest Freemark and John Ross found the secret of the Gypsy Morph.  And yet, civilization has dwindled to almost nothing, with small groups fighting to survive, usually against one another.  I hate that John Ross, after all his suffering, failed to stop the future he dreamed of nightly in the 'Word & Void' trilogy.

The children are the main characters in this book.  The orphans, the street kids, the Ghost, the Cats, whatever they call themselves, and they are unforgettably brave and strong, sad and scared.  They are surrounded by a poisoned world inhabited by monsters, most of which are or used to be human.  Owl, Hawk, Panther, Candle, Bear, Sparrow.....the names stay with me.  I want them all to find the Promised Land.  I do not want any of them to ever be hurt again.  It's impossible to describe how much this story affected me.

Since I cannot begin to describe this book's impact, I will simply say:  this was an incredible read.  I've already started the next one since this one ended in a cliff-hanger again.

Rating:  5 / 5

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