Shannara?

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RocketScientist
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Shannara?

Post by RocketScientist » Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:49 pm

Does anybody have an opinion on these books? I have 8 or 9 of these that someone gave me, but I don't have the first one or two books. Is the series good enough to buy the first couple of books? Am I going to hate it and throw it away without getting to the ones I already have? I've seen a lot of mixed reviews.
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Re: Shannara?

Post by Wolfie » Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:14 pm

That's the book series I was named after. :)

Terry Brooks has actually created a bridge between his two most popular series, The Word and the Void and the Shannara series. The first two books are ok, they pick up after that though.

The Word and the Void Series is one of my Dad's favorites, though I've never picked it up... beyond Armageddon's Children.
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Re: Shannara?

Post by SccrD25 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:16 pm

I enjoyed them. They are at times a bit formulaic but the characters are fun and the magic and prophecy bits are pretty cool. I know a lot of people who also decry them as generic. Depends if your looking for a fun read or a thoughtful one.
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Re: Shannara?

Post by SamWiser » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:50 pm

I had heard that they could easily be seen as copies of LOTR and books like that, and I started the first one, and I could see it. Still the similarities aren't blatant. The biggest problem is that it's slow. Really slow. I got thirty pages in and I had to stop kind of slow. Still, that happened the first time I tried reading Eragon, and when I tried again I loved it, so I'm sorta fickle with books.
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Re: Shannara?

Post by RocketScientist » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:48 pm

I had trouble with Eragon, since it felt like reading Star Wars dressed up in a Middle Earth suit. But I did manage to finish that and the second one in the series. So it sounds like I should maybe go the cheap used book route, then, in case it's boring to me.

It will be a bit anyway, because A Memory of Light (Wheel of Time finale) arrives tomorrow from Amazon. :D :D And then I get to decide whether I should bother finishing the Seafort Saga by... I forget who it's by, and it's become stunningly boring in the second book. (Google tells me it's by David Feintuch.) Right now I'm thinking recycle bin for this thing. Onward to clearing out the bookshelves, though. :)
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Re: Shannara?

Post by SamWiser » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:54 pm

I love the Wheel of Time books. I haven't finished them, but I'm planning to right after I read the Sword of Truth books. Yay for epic fatasy sagas. :grin:
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Re: Shannara?

Post by RocketScientist » Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:01 pm

Me too! I've been reading Wheel of Time since there were only 4 or 5 books out. So nearly 20 years. :shock: Wow.
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Re: Shannara?

Post by thinkslogically » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:37 am

I hated the first one because of the similarities to LotR - to me it was just over the top obvious and I couldn't get past it. Never read anything else by him though, so couldn't advise on the rest, but it's the only time I've ever stopped reading a book midway due to anger :)

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Re: Shannara?

Post by ThroughTheWell » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:04 pm

The problem for me was that the author kept writing MORE. The first series was fine, but the second series repeats. And we are introduced to one world ending bad guy after another, and as each one is defeated and saved, nope, the next one is badder. It got old very quick into the 2nd series. So, my recommendation is read one set of 3 or 4, then stop. More than that becomes redundant.
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Re: Shannara?

Post by RocketScientist » Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:12 pm

So I'm gathering that no one really loves these books.
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Re: Shannara?

Post by ThroughTheWell » Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:20 pm

I would not reread them, no. I don't regret reading the first bit a long time ago, but I'll never read anything else by the author. So, call it a middle of the road review so long as you don't read a word of a second series. I'd not buy it to give to someone, nor generaly recommend it, but in the beginning it was not bad. But there is a lot that is better. Check book 1 out at the library. If you like it enough, you can finish the first series. But no, I'd not pay to get started in it.
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Re: Shannara?

Post by Wolfie » Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:49 am

The middle series starting with Armageddon's Children is good.

RS, you're gonna have to bite the bullet and read one of the books. I've read books that others hated and loved them, and vice versa. Reading the books you have now w/o getting the first ones could cement your like enough to slog through the very first book. They do pick up a bit.. and yes they get repetitive, but he's also been around and selling his books for over 30 years on the Best Sellers Lists. There has to be something there that people like.

I do like them, not enough to be put on my yearly Re-Read List, but they do hold a special place in my heart since they are my namesake.
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Re: Shannara?

Post by RocketScientist » Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:54 pm

OK. I'll inventory what I've got and see if there's a whole series of middle or something. If not, I'll swing by the library. They've got to at least have the first one. Thanks, guys. :)
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Re: Shannara?

Post by Arydra » Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:06 pm

I happen to have read every Shannara book except the latest one and I think it is not a horrible series. Each sub-series is different and they are not to repetitive, but I could not force my way through the ones published after The Gypsy Morph. To me the two sub-series starting with Running With The Demon and the other starting with Armageddon's Children where the best 6 books out of the entire Shannara Universe, even though they really have nothing to do with the Shannara or Ohmnsford Families.
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Re: Shannara?

Post by John » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:12 am

I've only read the "Voyage of the Jerle Shannara" trilogy and I loved it. Then I read the "Sword of Shannara" which I guess was a prequel to the initial books. It was a little dry and slow. Brooks is obviously a talented descriptor, but sometimes a little less description allows my imagination to have more fun with it. I can get easily distracted and the book had some slow parts. On a whole I enjoy the 4 I have read, but not in a hurry to read more.
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Re: Shannara?

Post by Arydra » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:32 am

Actually Sword of Shannara was the initial book. But yes, his quality improves over time, and you can track the process over all of his books. My only problem with the series is that he is still writing new books for the same universe, albeit over different time spans. John, if you liked the Voyage series, try looking at the other books around that time period. Jarka Ruus, Tanequil, and Straken contain some of the same characters from Voyage.
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Re: Shannara?

Post by deathofbarney » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:57 pm

I love the elf queen of shannara. I read one of the other ones and hated it. Havent picked up any others.
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Re: Shannara?

Post by Unlucky-for-Some » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:39 am

I have only read the first one - and I hated it with a passion. Loathed it as blatant rip off of Lord of the Rings. Of course I was in my teens at the time and was therefore perhaps a little prone to extremity in my reactions to such things. Given that he's managed to keep writing them for some time I suspect if I went back to them now I might enjoy them, or at least be able to read them without descending into a psychotic rage :D
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Re: Shannara?

Post by RedwoodElf » Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:36 pm

Unlucky-for-Some wrote:I have only read the first one - and I hated it with a passion. Loathed it as blatant rip off of Lord of the Rings. Of course I was in my teens at the time and was therefore perhaps a little prone to extremity in my reactions to such things. Given that he's managed to keep writing them for some time I suspect if I went back to them now I might enjoy them, or at least be able to read them without descending into a psychotic rage :D
Lord of the Rings? Odd, I thought Sword of Shannara was a bit subpar in the fantasy Genre, but I don't remember any story arc about a magic item that needed to be destroyed in that one...or any dwarves or hobbits, either. Around the same time, I was reading Lawrence Evans' The Misenchanted Sword, which I considered far superior to Shannara.
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Re: Shannara?

Post by RocketScientist » Wed Mar 16, 2016 4:30 pm

I never got around to reading these, but I've been watching the TV show. Anybody else watching it? Does it compare well to the books?
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Re: Shannara?

Post by Synch » Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:27 pm

My wife wants to watch the series because she loves fantasy.

I've read a LOT of fantasy books, Tolkien stuff, Salvatore stuff, all the WOT books, Dragons of Pern series, Song of Fire and Ice, all of Brandon Sanderson's stuff, Codex Alera series, Riftwar Saga, Sword of Truth series... but the Shannara ones I just couldn't get into. Too slow and seemed too much like LOTR. I think I'll have to try again.

Similar but off-topic: How does the Sword of Truth series stack up? Anything like the books, or best to skip it entirely?
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Re: Shannara?

Post by RocketScientist » Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:39 pm

I tried reading the first one of those, but I never got into it. I don't think I even finished the first book.
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Re: Shannara?

Post by Synch » Wed Mar 16, 2016 7:11 pm

RocketScientist wrote:I tried reading the first one of those, but I never got into it. I don't think I even finished the first book.
That series starts off slowly in the first book, but really takes off at the end of that book and then basically keeps a high pace all the way through. Its probably my second or third favourite series, after WOT and Codex Alera.
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Re: Shannara?

Post by RocketScientist » Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:01 pm

My son was watching the Legend of the Seeker show for a while, but he got bored with it. He never did finish it, even though there are only 2 seasons. I thought it was a bit cheesy. And I liked Xena and Hercules, so... yeah. I'd give it a shot, anyway, if I were you, since you really liked the books. But don't go in with high expectations.
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