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4.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down, but will I pick it up again?...
Okay, this book wasn't bad at all, but I have an eerie feeling that Brooks is still surfing off of the wake that the awesome Heritage series created. Those four earlier books compromised the best fantasy series (i think) since our beloved Tolkein. This Jerle Shannara series is something in itself, but not exactly what I hoped.
Basic rundown: The Druid Walker and his...
Published on Dec 31 2001 by w0lf28

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3.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy by Numbers
First of all, this installment from Terry Brooks does have a few unique features, such as a sentient city-sized computer built by a lost civilization, horrifying half-human cyborg killing machines, and somewhat intriguing themes on technology and knowledge. But otherwise, you have to wonder if Brooks keeps cranking out new volumes simply by following a manual called...
Published on July 6 2004 by doomsdayer520


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4.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down, but will I pick it up again?..., Dec 31 2001
By 
"w0lf28" (Seattle, Washington United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara: Antrax (Hardcover)
Okay, this book wasn't bad at all, but I have an eerie feeling that Brooks is still surfing off of the wake that the awesome Heritage series created. Those four earlier books compromised the best fantasy series (i think) since our beloved Tolkein. This Jerle Shannara series is something in itself, but not exactly what I hoped.
Basic rundown: The Druid Walker and his large troup of voyagers are separated in a distant land hunted on one side by the Ilse Witch (who is a magic wielding Ohmsford) and her team of reptilian shape shifters, and on the other side by an ancient artificial intelligence called Antrax. Walker faces Antrax and tries to find the treasure it hides while Antrax attempts to capture him and take his magic. Bek Ohmsford spends the whole book dealing with his sister the Witch, trying to convince her they're related. The others run around with their heads cut off trying to be productive.
My opinions: I should say that I really couldn't put Antrax down, and was sorry when I finished the book too fast. I'm very excited for the next book in the series and will surely pick it up right away. The book did feel a bit too fragmented between the separate characters and plots. Sometimes when a new chapter jumped to a different scene, I moaned and thought "who cares about these guys!", but, to Brooks' credit, a chapter later I groaned when he switched again and wanted to know what would happen next. Thankfully, though, the separate storylines served to slow the story down, so it didn't feel so rushed as Ilse Witch.
Some of the characters seem redundant from previous Shannara books (is any Leah distingishable?), but I like the new twists with the Ohmsfords. Antrax, as a character, was something of a disappointment. I felt no thrill or dread from such an artificial and single-purposed antagonist, and, when it was defeated, I worried, "they did not come all the way over just for that!" And, is it me, or was the Ilse Witch's transition from daunting evil to another confused protagonist almost unnoticable?
Short comings of the book aside, Brooks is an astounding author, and I will forever be a fan. I just have very high standards for him, and crave his glory days again. But Antrax is worth the read, it had a very satisfying ending, and I'll eagerly anticipate the conclusion to the series.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy by Numbers, July 6 2004
By 
First of all, this installment from Terry Brooks does have a few unique features, such as a sentient city-sized computer built by a lost civilization, horrifying half-human cyborg killing machines, and somewhat intriguing themes on technology and knowledge. But otherwise, you have to wonder if Brooks keeps cranking out new volumes simply by following a manual called "How to Write a Fantasy Novel." He may have even written that manual himself, as he's deservedly a popular and famous master of the genre. But once again there is little new or unexpected here. Consider the following rules of thumb from the typical fantasy writer's manual.
Build the story around a journey or quest to find some enchanted items like magic stones. Speaking of magic, throw that word around often but don't worry about describing it in too much detail. Add some other magic items, such as swords, that give power to those who know how to use them, but peril to others without that special inner strength. Give the people and places vaguely Celtic or Gothic names like Quentin Leah or Ryer Ord Star or Castledown. Add a bunch of elves and dwarves, and maybe a druid for good measure. Have the characters converse copiously about honor and courage and loyalty, preferably right in the middle of dangerous chases or battles. Show the good guys wracked with fear and indecision, only to dramatically realize their potential heroism in inspirational ways. Make your bad guys unquestionably evil monsters of alien races. And finally, write in the trilogy format, so instead of one large but focused book, you can crank out three inconclusive medium-sized books.
Sound familiar? Fantasy writers have done all this a gazillion times. So has Terry Brooks, and he does it again here without deviating from expectations. [~doomsdayer520~]
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4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the First, June 11 2004
By 
I am a big fan of Terry Brooks. I find his writing easy to read and quite enjoyable. I have always been a BIG Terry Brooks fan,so I had to read the heritage of Shannara series.
The first book Isle Witch I thought was quite disappointing until the very end. Immediatly I went out and bought the second book. I thought it was so much better then the first. I loved the Character development,I think that is one of Brooks best qualities in his books. When a character died,It was done so well and so emotional it almost made me want to cry.
at the moment I am reading the third book Morgawr and it is very impressive so far.If your a Terry Brooks fan I recommend this book. I couldn't put it down.
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4.0 out of 5 stars New Ideas in the Fantasy Genre, May 15 2004
By 
Shaun Williams (Albuquerque, NM United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I found this book to be a great improvement over Ilse Witch. I finally get the feel that I know the characters as each struggles to survive in Castledown and I enjoyed how the author incorporates the old world technology into the fantasy world. The characters confront the power of a machine that seems an eerie reflection of our own and the reader can't help but wonder if our civilization came before the magical present that is Shannara. The whole situation with Antrax was very well thought out and complex. Of course, the whole concept of sinister science reaches melodramatic heights, but it makes for a more compelling 'villain' than exists in most current fantasy. Brooks definitely brought some new elements to his writing in this novel and almost all was to the betterment of his work.
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2.0 out of 5 stars He means well...., Feb. 18 2004
By 
Steven Muller (Centereach, New York United States) - See all my reviews
I've always been a HUGE fan of Terry Brooks. I loved all of the Shannara books thus far. I found his characters interesting, loveable, and easy to become attached to. THEN I had realized I never read many other books from other authors... So I picked up Eye of the World (1st of the Wheel of Time series), read that, came back to Shannara and read Antrax to continue the series for me. My first thoughts were "What is this crap!?!?!?"
I realized that Terry Brooks can't really write too well. He produces the same sentences...over and over. How many times does he have to tell me that Druids are sneaky before Terry finally thinks the reader realizes that! He also makes another big mistake, describing the characters first-hand, instead of doing it through their actions. He just outright tells you what the characters are thinking, why theyre thinking it, what their entire personality is. I think that completely takes away from the enjoyability of the story.
Terry can create nice plots and an interesting world but the way he writes...it just makes me sad. I sort of want to finish this series and I probably will. I realized you can skim about 50 pages in 10 minutes and not miss one bit of the plot. All you miss is Terry repeating everything you know about the characters over and over and over...
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3.0 out of 5 stars A compelling story told too hastily., Dec 4 2003
By 
sc_demandred (Irvine, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara: Antrax (Hardcover)
Antrax is the middle novel in the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara series, Brooks' third foray into the Four Lands. The company (never call it a Fellowship!) led by Walker Boh to the lost land of Parkasia has been split asunder by ancient rogue technological weapons controlled by the mysterious entity "Antrax." Meanwhile, the Ilse Witch has trailed the Jerle Shannara to Parkasia and is threatening to act as hammer to Antrax' anvil and crush Walker's companions with her powerful magic. Bek Rowe (nee Ohmsford), Rue Meridian, Ahren Elessedil, and Quentin Leah all undertake individual journeys against various struggles as the book progresses.
It sounds like a great story, right? Well, it is, but the implementation by Terry Brooks is sadly underwhelming. My review of Ilse Witch contained the same complaint I voice here: there is far too much narrative exposition and fiddling to really create a compelling story. Brooks still has a knack for creating compelling character relationships and surprise romances, but Antrax' versions all feel incredibly forced. Like Bek's crush on Rue "Little Red" Meridian, we are told in the narrator's voice rather than shown through character dialogue and action. One of the more engrossing chapters, the tale of Ahren Elessedil's bonding with Ryer Ord Star, has the potential to be extremely powerful and emotionally wrenching, and is weakened by Brooks' heavy author's hand.
I read this whole series against my better judgment. I'm a devoted fan of Brooks, but I devoured this book with a vague feeling of distaste. Cool and inventive ideas like the hideous cyborg-zombie "wronks" created by Antrax are less impactful than they could have been. Each character's internal monologue seems to doggedly pace a road that could be so much more elegantly expressed as the result of character interaction rather than straight-out narrative, and it's disappointing because, as mentioned above, the premise is good and captivating.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and annoying at the same time., Sept. 4 2003
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This is the second book in The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara trilogy (after Ilse Witch and before Morgawr).
After his visits on Flay Creech, Shatterstone and Mephitic, the Druid Walker realizes that the challenges he and his friends faced on these islands were nothing but a test, the castaway's map nothing but a lure. Whatever lives in the ruined catacombs of Castledown, the ancient, giant city from the Old World, covets their magic.
At the beginning of Antrax, picking up where Ilse Witch left off, the protagonists are scattered in little groups, exploring Castledown and its surrounding jungle in search of the legendary books of magic. It won't be long until they come across hoards of metallic monsters and fire threads, trying to block their way at all costs. And soon they'll learn that the whole city is controlled by Antrax, an intelligent computer from before the Great Wars, programmed to protect this great knowledge forever.
Meanwhile, on the Jerle Shannara, the members of her crew have been made prisoners after being attacked by the Ilse Witch's airship, Black Moclips. They are locked up in her hold and Little Red, who is dangling from a rope attached to the ship's rigging and all but exhausted, might be their sole hope of survival, as the Jerle Shannara is slowly drifting in the wind, heading towards the huge, stomping and crushing ice pillars of the Squirm.
At the same time, Bek Rowe is facing Grianne, the Ilse Witch, trying to make her see the truth about who she is, nothing but a pawn in the Morgawr's game.
Even though this book is quite suspenseful and contains some interesting character development, what I didn't expect is that in this volume, Terry Brooks blends a great deal of Science Fiction into his Sword & Sorcery. Antrax is crammed with hackneyed themes reminiscent of Brazil or The Matrix, and with all kinds of stereotypical robots that reminded me, in turns, of R2D2 or Robocop. The fate of some of the heroes is so horrible it might even have made good Thriller matter. As a whole I enjoyed this book but also found it all a tad annoying.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and annoying at the same time., Sept. 4 2003
By 
This is the second book in The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara trilogy (after Ilse Witch and before Morgawr).
After his visits on Flay Creech, Shatterstone and Mephitic, the Druid Walker realizes that the challenges he and his friends faced on these islands were nothing but a test, the castaway's map nothing but a lure. Whatever lives in the ruined catacombs of Castledown, the ancient, giant city from the Old World, covets their magic.
At the beginning of Antrax, picking up where Ilse Witch left off, the protagonists are scattered in little groups, exploring Castledown and its surrounding jungle in search of the legendary books of magic. It won't be long until they come across hoards of metallic monsters and fire threads, trying to block their way at all costs. And soon they'll learn that the whole city is controlled by Antrax, an intelligent computer from before the Great Wars, programmed to protect this great knowledge forever.
Meanwhile, on the Jerle Shannara, the members of her crew have been made prisoners after being attacked by the Ilse Witch's airship, Black Moclips. They are locked up in her hold and Little Red, who is dangling from a rope attached to the ship's rigging and all but exhausted, might be their sole hope of survival, as the Jerle Shannara is slowly drifting in the wind, heading towards the huge, stomping and crushing ice pillars of the Squirm.
At the same time, Bek Rowe is facing Grianne, the Ilse Witch, trying to make her see the truth about who she is, nothing but a pawn in the Morgawr's game.
Even though this book is quite suspenseful and contains some interesting character development, what I didn't expect is that in this volume, Terry Brooks blends a great deal of Science Fiction into his Sword & Sorcery. Antrax is crammed with hackneyed themes reminiscent of Brazil or The Matrix, and with all kinds of stereotypical robots that reminded me, in turns, of R2D2 or Robocop. The fate of some of the heroes is so horrible it might even have made good Thriller matter. As a whole I enjoyed this book but also found it all a tad annoying.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good,but not as strong as the other books., July 24 2003
This review is from: The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara: Antrax (Hardcover)
Now I did like this book.It was just as creative as the others,very gripping,and still quite strong on characters.Don't get the idea that it's not good,I welcome all to read it(the third book's probably better anyway).But I did have my peeves.
Why did the world before the great wars even need to exist?Why couldn't everything have been mideval?I felt as if this book was ,poisoned by that.
But it is nevertheless a good book,even though it is probably the worst book he's written.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, June 10 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara: Antrax (Hardcover)
This is a great book. If you enjoy the Shannarah series by Terry Brooks you should purchase.
These books have characters and stories that are similar in writing style to The Lord of the Rings. I have always loved Terry Brooks' Shannarah books.
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The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara: Antrax
The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara: Antrax by Terry Brooks (Hardcover - Sept. 18 2001)
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