Monday, March 27, 2017

The Elfstones of Shannara (The Shannara Chronicles) by Terry Brooks

Star Rating : 2 out of 5
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Content Rating : MILD
Back Cover :
Thousands of years after the destruction of the age of man and science, new races and magic now rule the world, but an imminent danger threatens. A horde of evil Demons is beginning to escape and bring death upon the land. Only Wil Ohmsford, the last of the Shannara bloodline, has the power to guard the Elven Princess Amberle on a perilous quest to the save the world, while the leader of the Demon force aims to stop their mission at any cost.”

My Thoughts :
This is actually book 2 in the original series written in the 80’s; but with the new TV series out, they have revamped the series and this is now book one, with the old book one as an optional prequel. Even though it’s part of a series, it could easily be a standalone book; everything is wrapped up in the end. I picked up the book wanting to read it before I started the TV series. I ended the book not quite sure how I felt about it. I believe the original book was marketed more to younger readers, teenager age. This is probably a better fit for this read. I wanted to like it; but, I don’t think I’d read the next one. Overall I don’t regret reading it; but, I would recommend it as a skip.
 
I gave this book a MILD rating. There are no gory scenes, strong language, or sexual references. There are demons, witches and magic. There is some violence; but, nothing is in detail.
 
What I liked :
  • The Plot – Elves, druids, demons, and adventure, a combination for success. The plot has great potential; an epic journey filled with magic and the like. In reviews, people commented that it was reminiscent of The Lord of the Rings. Unfortunately, it did not live up to the comparison for me.
What I didn’t like :
  • Inconsistent Detail – First off the book could shed 100 pages or so. Secondly, Brooks goes on for pages, literally, on details irrelevant to the plot and then glazes over other details that would have enriched the plot. Thirdly, the detailed sections were super repetitive. He says the same thing in five different ways. Hence, there was some skimming involved.
  • Characters – Something was missing here. Characters almost seem to walk in a daze. Something major happens to one of the main characters at the end; and, I was like ‘meh ok’. It should have made me sad or mad or something.
  • Battle Scenes ­– The book switches between Wil and Amberle’s journey and the Elven army’s battle with demons. The first story line is a little better; but, the battles were lacking and disappointing. I would half skim to get back to Wil and Amberle.  
What Others Are Saying :
“Shannara was one of my favorite fictional worlds growing up, and I look forward to many return trips.”--Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia
“If Tolkien is the grandfather of modern fantasy, Terry Brooks is its favorite uncle.”--Peter V. Brett, author of The Skull Throne
“A great storyteller, Terry Brooks creates rich epics filled with mystery, magic, and memorable characters.”--Christopher Paolini, author of Eragon

Reviewed by Shayna Hinshaw
Pick up your copy at Amazon or Barnesand Noble.

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