Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Gypsy Morph by Terry Brooks

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Storyline: The world as we know it is falling apart. Poisoned by years of nuclear, the earth is slowly dying. Strange creatures—Lizards, Spiders, and Croaks among others—have emerged, former humans that are mutated by the radiation. And demons are determined to wipe out humanity forever.

Out of it all, an elf-boy named Kirisin has come into possession of the magic known as the Elfstones. He must place the elvish city into an Elfstone known as the Loden and transport it to a safe place.

A boy named Hawk discovers that he is the Gypsy Morph, a creature made of wild magic, who is the only hope for humankind.

And two Knights of the Word, Angel Perez and Logan Tom, are tasked with defending these two boys, bringing them together, and helping them to a place of safety.

Tracking them all is Findo Gask, a demon with a horde at his command.

My Take: To say I was mildly impressed by the technical part of this book is an understatement. Brooks’ writing is amazing—he knows how to drop one character’s storyline in the middle of an exciting part, to pick up another character’s storyline. He flawlessly sticks to his viewpoint character in scenes. And to credit his editors, I noticed no spelling or grammatical mistakes.

But the storyline was…OK. It was an interesting twist on apocalyptic times. This is the third in a series, so I know I was missing parts of the story.

But I think the main thing I disliked was the fact that Brooks’ writing is incredibly dark and humanistic. There are demons, but there is no supernatural “good” being to counteract them—we only have magic that both sides can use.

Brooks’ worlds (both in the Shannara books and his Landover series) revolve on magic. If I’m reading books with magic, I prefer ones like Tolkien, where magic is only a tool, and the good guys use it as little as possible. Plus, there are differences to Gandalf’s magic versus the Balrog’s. There’s no difference between Logan and Angel’s and Findo Gask’s.

However, Brooks had a conversation between Logan and Kirisin that I found extremely interesting. In one scene, Logan abandons his staff to rescue Kirisin using only his sneaking skills. That, Logan explains, is because he wanted to prove to himself that he didn’t have to use the magic. Logan explains that their magic (Kirisin’s Elfstones and his Word magic) is an integral part of who they are. However, they must be extremely careful with it, because the more they use it, the more it consumes them.

“It [the magic] erodes the defenses you create to keep it from overwhelming you, from stealing your soul. Do you think I exaggerate? Think again. Magic can do that. It does do that. It is an addicting, corrupting influence, and the more you use it, the more it makes you want to use it.”

Sounds very, very truthful to me.

While I dislike Brooks’ stories for having such a huge magical element in them, I admire the fact that most of his writing is connected and interwoven. That said, I was still not impressed with the storyline.


A Question Of ITIL said...

Brilliant writer!
Have you seen this?
Almost all Terry Brooks books available as e-books

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