The Black Elfstone

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The Black Elfstone audiobook

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Review #1

The Black Elfstone audiobook free

I\’m so sad. I used to say that Terry Brooks was my favorite author. I loved his original Sword of Shannara series. It was lengthy and complex, and it whisked me away to a land that I could envision clearly in my mind. The mystery of the Wishsong captivated me, and I was enthralled by the twists and turns along which his novels conveyed me. His books and Tolkien\’s were the gold standard by which I judged all modern fantasy. His latest books, however, are more like short stories than full-length novels. What\’s worse is that there is no complexity, no character development, no world-making, no nothing. As much as I hate to say it, his books have degraded into borderline teenage slop…not meaning an insult to teenagers. I will always love Mr. Brooks for the beauty of his old masterpieces, but I can\’t recommend his newest books. I wish he would retire, or better yet, return to investing some time and effort into his writing. Come back, Terry Brooks! I miss you!


Review #2

The Black Elfstone audiobook streamming online

I have been reading Brooks since 1982. I was 12, and The Elfstones of Shannara was ( and still is) a fantastic read. I always approach new books in the Shannara series with excitement and enthusiasm. Unfortunately, I have been dissatisfied with many of the offerings following the publication of the Isle Witch. This go around introduces a bevy of new characters, plot lines and antagonists. Sadly, the same story arc and subtext that have graced each Shannara volume hold sway yet again. The devices of sharing of truths to gain trust and acceptance, facing inner turmoil and demons to overcome obstacles, a secret threat that threatens all, and conflict and subterfuge within organized government/religion are solid devices; but seem overplayed and stale in Brooks writing. It almost seems as if one could mix and match characters, plot lines, and story arcs from one book/series into another without missing a beat. I found the characters in this installment to be under developed, predictable and rough. The story and plotting felt stilted and shallow. I have high hopes that Drisker and the gang of new Ohmsfords, Leahs, Bohs, Shannaras, and ( hopefully) a few Elessidils will be fleshed out and taken to the heights of Allanon and the Shea Ohmsford crew. At his best Terry Brooks is an amazing storyteller, able to make you a part of the tale. We all wept at the passing of Allanon, stamped our feet when Walker Boh met his fate, and shared in the euphoria of Wren becoming one of the great Elven monarchs of all time. I hope to feel that close to the new characters, but this installment fell short. I may pass on the last three.


Review #3

Audiobook The Black Elfstone by Terry Brooks

Ive been reading T. Brooks since 1982 when I read Sword of Shannara. Elfstones was the one fantasy book that my wife and I had both read, and could discuss when we were dating in 1986. My wife faithfully continued to read Shannara books as they came out, and I read other authors. Fast forward 25 years and my wife convinced me to re-read the early books and then continue reading everything in the series. Last week I dredged through Sorcerers Daughter. I wrote my first negative review of one of TBs books. Thats the surprise. His writing is substantially changed, and seems more sexualized and deviant. My wife had decided to stop reading the series with that book. I decided to see if Black Elfstones was any better. I made it through 42% of the book, when I decided to set the book down, never to finish it. Im jumping off the Shannara train, and wont be reading anything more in the series. I hate to be negative about what has been one of my top four authors, but this truly is, for me and my wife, the fall of Shannara.


Review #4

Audio The Black Elfstone narrated by Simon Vance

Compared with previous Brooks\’ novels (I have read them all), in this one, the characters seem a little less fleshed-out, and the landscape dull and unconvincing, which is not the norm. Maybe this is intentional. The plot is fun and intricate, but I find myself not rooting for the characters, rather bemoaning their lack-witted impulsiveness. In the last few chapters, why are the protagonists in this story so suddenly clueless? It is frustrating to see one stumble into obvious traps that the reader can see a mile away, like the jokes in a Forrest Gump movie. I recommend this for YA readers. Hopefully the next installment improves.


Review #5

Free audio The Black Elfstone – in the audio player below

This book feels very forced and I nearly put the book down after the first couple of chapters due to them feeling like a rushed info dump to fill in the back story. I find characters to be contradictory often acting contrary to previously established behaviours for no reason. Additionally the ramping up of extreme violence and addition of sexual abuse themes makes this not the Terry Brooks I know and love. I loved Terry\’s darker novels but this is a step too far and feels very out of place. I would suspect he\’s trying to compete with \’adult\’ themed books and TV shows like Game of Thrones and I don\’t consider this a good thing. I will read the rest of this series as I have read all of the previous Shannara novels and want to see how it all ends, but I\’m not sure I\’m going to enjoy it.


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