The world is decimated. Plague and pestilence reign supreme in an age of nuclear fallout. Demons and terrorists have waged war against civilized society and have won, albeit at a tremendous price. Some have morphed into once-men, neither fully human nor fully demon, and they exist to hunt down those who survive and eliminate them. Sports facilities have a new purpose: they are now bastions of protection and security, their high walls keeping at bay the armies of demonic soldiers that come to lay waste to the survivors of the new world.
Into this world Logan Tom has been born. After watching his family die in a raid on their compound, Logan is taken in by another survivor. Now he is on his own. He has sworn a vow to The Lady and become a Knight of the Word, a defender of the innocent and protector of those who cannot aid themselves. Logan travels the United States, wiping out those enemy forces that cross his path, but his life gains new purpose after an encounter with Two Bears. A wise Native, Two Bears tells the story of Nest Freemark and the birth of her child. But this is no ordinary child. It is a gypsy morph, a child of great power who can save the remnants of humanity to begin anew. Logan is selected to find this child and to protect him at all cost.
Half a continent away, in Seattle, the Ghosts move through the shell of the city and fight to stay alive against all manner of deformed creatures. Led by Hawk, the Ghosts scavenge for bottled water and other necessities they can trade with other gangs. They follow Hawk because he has had a vision, one that shows him a place where his "children" can find peace. Owl, a late teen confined to a wheelchair, acts as the mother for this tribe, and her belief in Hawk is solid.
Safeco Field is one of the strong compounds left and Hawk visits Tessa as time allows. It is against the compound law for them to meet, but they are drawn to each other, and Tessa sometimes aids Hawk and his Ghosts by providing them with medicine from the stores inside. When they are caught one evening, they're arrested and sentenced to be flung from the top of the compound.
Another Knight of the Word, Angel Perez, fights in San Francisco, rescuing children from an overrun compound. The demon Findo Gask, who has once been beaten by Nest Freemark, is hard on her trail. Angel is visited by a messenger of the Word and told that Elves exists in the hidden places of the world and that she must seek them out. This leads Angel north to Oregon where she seeks the Loden Elfstone. And it is in Oregon where two Elven guards of a sacred tree seek to aid the Elfstone seekers, which will afford them passage to a new and peaceful world, but the King refuses to heed their words.
And in Seattle, Hawk and Tessa must face their fate as Logan Tom tries to reach them in time, and Owl looks out onto the ocean and sees a vast demon invasion approaching the shore.
With ARMAGEDDON'S CHILDREN, Terry Brooks is setting off down the path to SHANNARA. His previous Word/Void trilogy is the precursor to this new trilogy, which will ultimately conclude by bridging the arc of the story into the SHANNARA story. One familiar with SHANNARA can already see some of the connections in the story. That being said, however, it is not at all necessary to have any knowledge of SHANNARA, or even the previous trilogy, in order to find supreme enjoyment in this book.
Brooks has created a wholly awesome and frightening vision of the future. It is not at all impossible to see this as a warning of where this world could be headed should its path not be modified here in our present time. It is this ability for the reader to see commonality in our real world experiences within the framework of this possible future that make the book come to life and really carry the weight of truthfulness in its pages. And it is a haunting truth.
is just why the fantastic is so necessary, now more than ever.
Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard on December 22, 2010