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5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite on Fire!!!
Terry Brooks is my favorite author. I have read him since 1987 when I went backeast for a wedding. He also wrote The Sword of Shannara in 1977, the year I was born. I have always loved to read him.
IN ANTRAX, Brooks continues the journey of Bek Ohmsford, who has learned he has the power of the Wishsong. He has confronted his sister, Grianne (aka The Isle Witch)...
Published on Aug. 8 2002 by C. Allard

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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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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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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
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 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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5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite on Fire!!!, Aug. 8 2002
By 
C. Allard "cnallard316" (Benson, AZ United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara: Antrax (Hardcover)
Terry Brooks is my favorite author. I have read him since 1987 when I went backeast for a wedding. He also wrote The Sword of Shannara in 1977, the year I was born. I have always loved to read him.
IN ANTRAX, Brooks continues the journey of Bek Ohmsford, who has learned he has the power of the Wishsong. He has confronted his sister, Grianne (aka The Isle Witch). The Isle witch is questioning her very existence. Walker has found himself trapped below the ruins of Castledown, and cannot find his way out. Ahren Ellessidel is alone and running scared. The Seer Ryer Ord Star, who is she? What does she mean to the party from Arborlorn? The Rovers, Rue Meridian and her brother Big Red, what has happened to them, with the Jerle Shannara pluummeting towards a watery grave? Quentin Leah, he has gone in search of Bek, but finds it may be harder than he ever thought.
Such a number of twisting plots to an already awesome story. The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara, Antrax will take readers to an even higher level of fantasy and as it says in many other reviews, will leave you hanging,(and drooling) for the third installment, Morgawr, in which the final confrontation between the Isle Witch and her mentor The Morgawr, will determine the fate of the Four Lands and beyond.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy at its Best!, March 5 2002
This review is from: The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara: Antrax (Hardcover)
I got Terry Brooks's Antrax for Christmas and immediately dived into another of his always enjoyable books. This book surprised me as it bested the first volume of the series, Isle Witch. I liked Antrax because of the characters, the plot, and the new style of fantasy that he has created. It is not a copy of Tolkien's work. The plots are completely dissimilar. He mixes the plots with twists that hint at mysteries and deceptions that leave dying for the answer! The characters are appropriate and well developed and the story of the Isle Witch's self-deception is fantastic and imaginative. The new style in which Brooks writes is a techno-fantasy. There are now airships in the land of the Four Lands. It is growing up and magic that once dominated is being scorned. Antrax, which is a machine itself, is very fascinating. It is almost comical in how the characters describe the laser weapons (fire threads) as well as surveillance cameras and heat sensors. The book also introduces cybernetic creatures reminiscent of Star Trek's Borg Collective! It also strikes me that you can look back on the book and think that this could really happen! Great Book and a must read!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Easier and Easier, Jan. 30 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara: Antrax (Hardcover)
I cut my Fantasy reading teeth on Terry Brooks and JRR Tolkien. So I didn't have a lot of preconcieved notions about Brooks Books being the same as the Tolkien Books, but for a high school kid they were great,BUT to me they haven't evolved into anything greater. I expected the story lines to get more complex and the characters to be more involved. To me they have stagnated to go over the same thing again and again. New characters are the same as Shea.
A big bad guy is coming, a druid comes out of no where, The hero getstricked into going, everyone objects because of those crazy druids , they get elfstones, Sword, or wishsong and go a battling.
I have read several other authors now and they all had great hopes for this new series Antrax,but it revealed that it is more of the same again. the story is fairly interesting and it moves along ok, but all the hipe just barely covers the bland old story. I hope that the coming last book is much improved. The Scions series was at least different, I will still pick up the last book to see Bek use the wishsong on the warlock, the Elessedel prince use the stones on the warlock (then go back and take the throne), the shapeshifter will die, and some how the sowrd will be used to finish the job on the warlock. Probably by the Ilse Witch. Who will take everyone back to fight the bad guy in the end, she just doesn't know it yet. And If I am wrong I will eat my hat.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Too exciting to have ended as it did, Jan. 23 2002
This review is from: The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara: Antrax (Hardcover)
Following the Ilse Witch, first book of the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara, the exploring party led by the Druid Walker found themselves on a faraway land. The map which led them there brought them to the site of an ancient ruin from an era bygone.
At the end of the first book, the landing party had been savagely assaulted by strange mechanical devices and subsequently separated from each other. Their ship was also ambushed by the Ilse Witch and taken over. The book had concluded with the first face to face meeting between Bek Ohmsford, heir to the Wishsong, and the Ilse Witch, who was also his long-lost siser Grianne Ohmsford, the only other living wielder of the Ohmsford legacy, the Wishsong.
The book Antrax has several separate, sometimes intertwining, threads running at the same time, which is similar to Tolkien's the Two Towers. Bek Ohmsford found himself trying to convince the Ilse Witch that she had been duped by the Mograwr and most of her life was a lie. Truls, the shapeshifter, fought hard to keep him alive and help Bek gain better control over his nascent prowess of the Wishsong when Grianne disbelieved him. Finally, Bek decided that he had to make Grianne face the truth, and allow himself to be "captured" by her.
Bek's childhood friend Quentin Leah, along with several elven Trackers, had been separated from Walker in the ambush in the ruins. With Tamis and Panax, they encountered a strange race of natives, the first sign of sentient settlers in that land. The natives had been hiding from the inhabitant of the ruins which they called Antrax. Recovering from their ordeal in the native village, the party learned that Antrax had been sending out mechanical moving machines to kidnap the villagers, disasssembling them and reassembling into part machine part flesh creatures. Quentin and company learned the truth of this when they saw Ard Partnell, an elven warrior who had fallen in the first ambush, being sent after them. Quentin learned the hard way of dealing with these machines.
Ahren, the unwanted elven prince, found himself cowering during the ambush. Shamed by his cowardice, he unwillingly escorted Rye Ord Star the seeress to enter the ruins in search of Walker. Unknown to him, both of them were weighed down by guilt of their own betrayals. Somehow, each must find a way to redeem himself and herself from the past.
Walker, who knew more about the supposed treasure than he admitted, found himself in a nightmare where an unknown being was siphoning off his magic. He finally realized the truth about Antrax later, and realized that the fabulous treasure could help or destroy the future of the world, and the choice fell on him!
Unable this time to let the people make their own choice, as previous Druids had done, Walker, for the first time, had to make the choice on behalf of the world.
A refreshing change in this book from previous books, Brooks as well as non-Brooks, was that the dialogue was more mature. Characters were less narrow-minded and could actually reason things out themselves. The success of Brooks in this case was that he could make them no less distinctive as individuals, each with his/her own sets of fears, hopes and dreams.
The background revealed so far was the Antrax was a legacy from an era prior to the Great Wars which obliterated civilisations, wiping out technological achievements of the world. With the mission to protect the libraries of knowledge, Antrax evolved somehow a need to gain more energy and sought this from the magical sources of the Four Lands, which had forgotten technology and had developed magic in its place.
The ending of the book was somehow unsatisfying, with cliffhangers for each development thread. For readers who got the book early, the waiting is simply killing.
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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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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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