Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Armageddon's Children (Genesis of Shannara, #1)” as Want to Read:
Armageddon's Children (Genesis of Shannara, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Armageddon's Children

(Genesis of Shannara #1)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  15,242 ratings  ·  741 reviews
Terry Brooks is one of a handful of writers whose work defines modern fantasy fiction. His twenty-three international bestsellers have ranged from the beloved Shannara series to stories that tread a much darker path. Armageddon’s Children is a new creation–the perfect opportunity for readers unfamiliar with Brooks’s previous work to experience an author at the height of hi ...more
Hardcover, 371 pages
Published September 30th 2006 by Ballantine Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Armageddon's Children, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Christopher I would definitely read "The Sword of Shannara" trilogy first (noting that there is an astronomical jump in writing quality between the first and seco…moreI would definitely read "The Sword of Shannara" trilogy first (noting that there is an astronomical jump in writing quality between the first and second books) as is the recommended reading order, but you needn't follow the list so adamantly after that.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,242 ratings  ·  741 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Armageddon's Children (Genesis of Shannara, #1)
Aug 14, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: teens
I read the Shannara books as a young teen and loved them. It was such a letdown when I tried to read them years later and they didn't hold up. Pretty thin, really. But I got suckered in to reading multiple new ones set in that world afterwards. Since I knew the world, they were comfortable and familiar. I kept wanting to recapture the original feeling, but they just weren't very good.

This one is the same thing. The concept isn't entirely bad but the mediocre writing continues. There are too man
I listened to this while driving to and from North Texas twice - once for Easter and once for my daughter's college graduation. I had extreme difficulty finding a satisfactory volume level for Dick Hill's voice. He had a tendency to whisper breathily in an overdramatic way for character's dialogue. This contrasted steeply with his narration, which boomed forth, sometimes unexpectedly. Male voices with deep resonance do not a gentle listening experience make.

I selected this title to 'fill in the
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
#4/29 in my Epic Shannara Quest.

Part Mad Max, part Charles Dickens, but definitely all Terry Brooks, Armageddon's Children is a riveting bridge between Brooks' Shannara books and the urban horror of his Word and the Void trilogy. Full of rich characters and storytelling wizardry, this first volume of the Genesis of Shannara series lives up to the promise of the episodic W&V books and will leave the reader craving the next volume. (I'm glad I don't have to wait a year for the next book--but I d
May 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
If you’ve never read a Terry Brooks novel, then I don’t advise you start here. That’s not to say I don’t recommend reading it because I do, you just have to read some other books first. Armageddon’s Children is set some time after The Word & The Void Trilogy and sometime before The Sword of Shannara.

The Word & The Void Trilogy was set in, for want of a better term, the real world, in present day. The Shannara series was set in a traditional fantasy land. You know the type, elves, dwarves, magic
Dean liapis
Jul 17, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Hate to give a book 1 star without finishing it, but I had to put it down. As i get older I'm finally breaking myself of the mentality that I "have to read a book all the way to the finish". So admittedly I haven't finished it, so take this review with that in mind.
With that said: Boring characters. My main problem is none of them seem fresh at all. Headstrong, young leader taking care of a pack of headstrong young kids...sighh. But SOME have special needs. For example, one likes to wander
Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've never seen an author go quite as in-depth with a world as Terry Brooks has with Shannara, and it's only been for good. Since Sword of Shannara was published forty years ago, Brooks's world has only gotten deeper and richer, and we can see how it began with Armageddon's Children.

Armageddon's Children picks up about 100 years from our here-and-now, after the world has been virtually destroyed and the only survivors are scattered, hunted, and often mutated. It, like most of Brooks's work, has
Michelle Morrell
Reading chronologically, I have now reached the second Shannara trilogy. Where The Word and the Void books were all set more or less in the world we have now, these are in the after, almost a century later. After world wars and climate changes and disasters and plagues wiped through humanity, after the demons saw their chance and declared war on what was left, this is a bleak environment of struggle and fear. But still, through it all there is family and selflessness and love.

Following street k
Matthew Hunter
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Now that's what I call mass death! Plagues, demons, nukes, chemical weapons and things like giant centipedes mow down humankind at a level seldom seen since the time of Noah and the Great Flood. There's no "post" about this apocalyptic tale.

The Void continues to knock the snot out of the Word. The Word's retreating, but Knights of the Word and a wild card - a Gypsy Morph - continue to stand against the darkness. It appears Brooks is going the "salvation through a remnant" route. I'm all for it!
Andrea Yargeau
Aug 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Having never read Terry Brooks before, I was not sure what to expect from this book. It begins in a post apocolyptic world, where humans are shutting themselves into compounds to save themselves from a world run amok by demons, mutants, and something called once-men, who seek only to destroy and follow orders from the demons not caring if they live or die. The book follows three separate people with the promise that they will all be brought together. (However, they are not, you got to go to the ...more
Apr 28, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: i-own, loved-it
I've loved Brooks' writing for many years now and this new series continues his great tradition of excellent stories with great thoughts and values.

With this novel, Terry begins to bridge the gap between two of his main story threads...that of the world of Shannara and that of the world in the "Word and Void" series.

The characters are approachable and each filled with their own strengths and flaws. As readers, we are taken on a voyage of self discovery along with the characters as they interact
Paul Weiss
A stunning new fantasy series!

In a horrifying blend of post-apocalyptic terror and new age urban fantasy, Armageddon's Children describes a world ravaged by nuclear war, plague, pestilence, famine, mindless zombie-like creatures, demons and terrifying creatures born out of devastating mutations. Deaths have numbered in the billions and humanity teeters on the very brink of extinction. Most of those few humans who have survived have reverted to a dark age in which they remain walled up in fortifi
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Halfway through and I'm honestly not sure this is a book I'm going to be able to finish.

The intermingling of the "fantasty" and "post-apocalyptic" genres was something I was initially really excited about. But here, it's done in such a ... confusing way? Like, I was very firmly planted in a normal, post-apocalyptic world (albeit one with some magical realist twists) for the first 166 pages. And then all of a sudden here are a bunch of Elves and the world tree, out of nowhere. I hope/ imagine al
Mr. Pirkl
Feb 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, 2010
This book takes place in the world created in the books "A Knight of the Word" and "Running with the Demon" and "Angel Fire East" (I haven't read this one yet). I did not know that when I picked it up from the library yesterday during the 'snow' day. I just knew that it was by Terry Brooks, who I am a fan of, and it said that it was a new series. I didn't know it had the subtitle of "Genesis of Shannara" until I added it here. I loved the Shannara series and, now that I'm aware, can see how this ...more
Oct 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
It was a trap. I didn't pay attention before diving in, and found myself at home at nine o'clock at night, wrapping up not a full story, but book one in a series. And the library and book stores are closed! (Although in my defense, the copy I had was a first run, so no mention was made of it being the first of a series. Still, I've read enough Terry Brooks to have been at least a little suspicious at the thought of a one-off title from Mr. Brooks.)

That said, this was an engaging read, and a fun
Chris Dietzel
Jan 03, 2015 rated it liked it
In terms of tone and setting, this had a lot in common with Stephen King's 'The Gunslinger.' This book is more scattered and fantasy-based than the first installment to the Dark Tower series, though, which is why I preferred that much more. A fan of Terry Brooks said this isn't a very good book of his to start off with (it's the first book of his I've ever read), so if I ever do read another of his books I'll definitely move to the first book in one of his more commonly adored series rather than ...more
Half way through I was debating whether to give this four stars or five. Then the elves showed up, and it got silly. Characterization good, but too many incidental characters. Exciting, if predictable, plot. The usual logical and physical impossibilities one expects from folks who apparently failed high school chemistry and physics.

Think of this as 400 pages of prologue to the rest of the series. I won't be there to see how it turns out.
Jacob Aitken
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Basically Fallout 3 New Vegas, with demons. Better than the early Shannara stuff.
May 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi, creeps
A must-have for any fantasy reader, bridging the gap between "The Word and the Void" series and the elder more archetypical fantasy story of the Shannara's family's universe, is quite a good read. More so, if one has read W&V it's a must-have, period... Genesis of Shannara, started with the "... Children", feels in the first book more like a second chapter to W&V, a great continuation of the struggle led by the Knights of the Word. It really requires the reader to know it all on the story of the ...more
Angela Blount
Having read the first in the Bearers of the Black Staff series, it was interesting to jump back in the timeline to witness the origin of Hawk and his ragtag band of followers. Although, it also had the effect of semi-spoiling a few things… I never really felt concerned for Hawk, for instance. I know he must survive for the other series to be possible. I had no such reassurances about any of the other children and youth in his band, however.

The 3rd-person POV cycles around through several protago
Emma Yoloswag
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy fans who don't mind fucking around a little with the genres
me: so this is post-apocalyptic right
terry brooks: here have some fucking elves

This was like... I don't think this book can be safely placed in one genre. There's some dystopian/post-apocalyptic (or "post-spock", as my phone tried to correct it to) stuff with the world being basically scorched and poisoned and everyone hates each other, but it's also urban fantasy because there's demons around, and it's also high fantasy because there are some elves in some forest who are protected by a giant tr
Becky Mitchell
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I always loved the Sword of Shannara series. I can't tell you how excited I was to discover that there are actually a ton of other triliogies in the same world. This particular one starts probably at least 1000 years before Shea's story. Very cool to see how the old world (our world) ended and magic began to return. Also, a nice warning about the dangers of what we humans could potentially do to the world. The story takes place 50 or so years after a global nuclear war and is about the folks lef ...more
Generally I enjoyed this book. I listened to the Audible production and finished September 2018, a particularly nice September in Alaska after much rain in August. This was my introduction to Brook's world of fantasy. I am more into sci fi than fantasy, after all. The character development left something to be desired, and I found myself just not caring about what happened to them other than a passing interest. I did like the book enough I may check out the Sword series.
Wrecker of Days
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
WHAAAAAT!?!? I need The Elves of Cintra RIGHT NOW!
Terry Barber
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book is on my top three favorite books I have ever read. Terry Brooks is such an amazing writer, and these book grabs you from the beginning and leaves with with a cliffhanger that makes you want to start the next book in the series despite how sleepy you are.
Apr 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
Brooks is a good author, but not a great one. I read this because it was post-apocalyptic fiction, and because I read his Word and the Void series years ago, and learned that this was a continuation of that and a bridge with his earlier Shannara, so it sounded intriguing.

I'm a hoarder and builder by nature, and Brooks certainly isn't. Whenever he presents a great place to settle down, build, and acquire and amass stuff, it always seems to be at the leaving phase, or the arriving phase, but neve
Aaron Mills
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Normally, fantasy/science fiction books are not what I like to read, however lately I’ve been getting a bit bored with the regular authors that I read. So, I started looking around for a different type of author and book to spark my interest. I remembered my mom and a few friends, who constantly were reading Terry Brooks, so I thought to myself I’ll give him a shot and read his Shannara series.

After logging on his website and looking at recommended reading orders and trying to figure out which t
Jun 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story is set in a post apocalyptic world. The earth has become a poisoned place to live and is slowly becoming more and more inhabitable, not just because of the land but also the creatures that roam the earth as well. People are flocking to major cities, finding safety in walled compounds however even they cannot withstand the terror and destruction of the demons and the once men. In the underground of Seattle, a group of children and teenagers lurk, outcasts and orphans, trying to survive ...more
Mason Hall
Jun 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: shannara
He took a deep breath. “I am Hawk,” he answered. “I am a Ghost, and I haunt the ruins of my parents’ world.”

Armageddon's Children is the first book of the Shannara series in chronological order. (One can really tie in his Word and the Void trilogy but the author has stated that Word and Void is its own thing and isn’t officially part of the Shannara series.) This story follows a group of street kids called “The Ghosts” that live in a dystopian/futuristic Seattle, Washington. Humans have dest
May 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Terry Brooks' novels, especially his novels about Knights of the Word. I felt like I was waiting forever to see this trilogy begin! I was very interested in what would become of the children and the others in the "Word and Void" series and was disappointed to find a lot of the middle was left unsaid. I hope there will be another book that more fully bridges the gap between this new trilogy and that one. Perhaps the middle would be too desolate to tell, except by including bits of the in-b ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Romeo and Juliet (A Shakespeare Story)
  • The Power That Preserves (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, #3)
  • Thieves' World (Thieves' World, #1)
  • White Gold Wielder (The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, #3)
  • A Nice Girl Like Me
  • Precious Time
  • The A-Z of Us
  • How the Dead Dream
  • The Devil and Daniel Webster
  • The Things I Do for You (The Alexanders, #2)
  • Magic In My Soul (Lesser Magicks #2)
  • Gunner Hobbs: WWII in the Pacific! Tulagi! Tarawa! Saipan!
  • Dear Olly
  • معمای آرومونت
  • Mother Angelica's Answers, Not Promises
  • Hope for Each Day Morning & Evening Devotions
  • The Tamuli Omnibus (The Tamuli, #1-3)
  • The Rose Bride: A Retelling of The White Bride and the Black Bride
See similar books…
Terry Brooks was born in Illinois in 1944, where he spent a great deal of his childhood and early adulthood dreaming up stories in and around Sinnissippi Park, the very same park that would eventually become the setting for his bestselling Word & Void trilogy. He went to college and received his undergraduate degree from Hamilton College, where he majored in English Literature, and he received his ...more

Other books in the series

Genesis of Shannara (3 books)
  • The Elves of Cintra (Genesis of Shannara, #2)
  • The Gypsy Morph (Genesis of Shannara, #3)

Related Articles

The epic fantasy author of Bearers of the Black Staff shares his vast strategy for writing 1,000 years of elves, magic, and nuclear apocalypse.
33 likes · 15 comments
“When she cried, he would say, "there is nothing wrong with crying. Your feelings tell you who are. They tell what is important. Don't ever be ashamed of them.” 61 likes
“What they didn't want to believe, what they tried repeatedly to dismiss, was that whatever good and evil existed in the world came from within themselves and not from some abstract source.” 17 likes
More quotes…