Friday, June 24, 2016
Review: Antrax by Terry Brooks
The company that the druid Walker gathered to search for the lost books of magic is destroyed, while some dead and others scattered. Walker was able to enter the tunnels below Castledown but finds himself trapt and ceaselessly hunted by creepers he can't seem to escape. Bek tries to confront the Isle Witch about the truth of her origins and their connection but it backfires and he and the shifter Truls Ruk are pursued by her through the countryside, Ahren Elessedil and the seerer Ryer Ord Star seek to save Walker and gain redemption for themselves, Ahren for his perceived cowardice and Ryer for betraying Walker earlier. Antrax, the intelligence behind Castledown, meanwhile makes a cyborg out of the fallen Ard Patrinell, hoping to use him to trap the various magic-users. When Quentin Leah and Tamis realize what has been done to their friend they are horrified and wish to set him free from his torment.
I found the various sub-plots interesting and reasonably well-paced. However the exception to this was the Quetin/Tamis arc which felt like filler and didn't get enough 'screen' time. This was compounded by a major issue of telling rather than showing, especially when they are being chased by Patrinell. I would have much rather been shown how clever he was in tracking them then to be told about it in a rather long-winded fashion. This problem also manifested in some rather long and unnecessary paragraphs of introspection at the beginning of several sections.
Antrax, a self-aware, artificial intelligence was an interesting villan and was quite well realized. There was also a well-worked plot twist in regards to this and the 'books' of magic.
Overall while the plot is interesting a few issues distract from it. 6.75/10.