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    Review of ARMAGEDDON'S CHILDREAN by Terry Brooks (see his website)

    Del Rey, August, 2006

    Global warming, continual war, engineered diseases and plagues, and man's willingness to ignore the destruction all around him have pushed Earth past its tipping point. The Elves may have locked the demons away once, but human-kind has its own demons--and humans can even become demons if they fall prey to the wrong kind of temptation. In the eternal battle between the Word and the Void, the Void has won.

    A part of humanity has converted to demons and once-men. Another part hides behind concrete walls. Enclaves where men huddle and try to preserve the past remain, but every year, more of these enclaves fall. No matter how hard the struggle, the battle is lost. Yet, there is hope. Knight of the Word Logan Tom is given a task--find the gypsy morph--a child of incredible power and potential. Knight Angel Perez is told to seek the Elves who guard the entrance. Earth, our own Earth of the near future, cannot be saved but a child may be able to lead the way to a new world. Meanwhile, the great tree Ellcrys, has told her elf-caregivers that she needs to move and to locate the elf-stones that will allow her to survive.

    Author Terry Brooks (see more reviews of fantasy by Brooks) ties his epic fantasy stories to the modern world with an intriguing dystopic view of the future. No matter how hard people struggle, by the time of this story (a hundred or more years in our future), the battle has been lost, Earth cannot be restored. Brooks's views of urban life are interesting, although I did have some problems imagining that children would be able to survive in the ruins while adults could not, or that they would be able to scavage for food, bottled water, and medications for dozens of years or more.

    Brooks introduces several point of view characters, most of whom work separately, coming together infrequently, if at all with the other characters. The old and cynical (Logan and Angel) and the young and hopeful (Hawk, Owl, and Kirisin) seem incompatible, but only by working together do they, and what remains of the earth have a chance for survival.

    ARMAGEDDON'S CHILDREN is clearly the beginning of a series and Brooks ends the story on a cliff-hanger with each of the subplots. I can hardly wait to find out what happens next.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 9/11/06

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