Shannara Chronicles

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scotland
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Shannara Chronicles

Postby scotland » January 10th, 2016, 5:56 pm

Anyone trying this fantasy series out?

First time I have watched Mtv in...well, a long time. I have watched the pilot, and its quite attractive. The cast are pulled from the land of beautiful people, and the scenery is gorgeous. The plot is from the second book, the Elfstones, which I think was late 1970s. A book with a memorable ending, so no spoilers.

Its got a Walking Dead Anyone Can Die feel to it, but I think that is mostly a mirage. Also they are playing up what is a distant background idea and even an artifact o bringing in the authors other works into the franchise...the idea that this world is not a mythical past but a post apocalypse future. We get several scenes that look like Thundarr the Barbarian, with rusted out helicopters....yet its been a huge amount of time...many many thousands of years.

Metacritic scores for the pilot were not kind - about a 70. One negative called it hooey with hotties. I enjoyed it, althoug the storyline seems as familiar as a disney tale.

The first book, the Sword of Shannara, is alluded to. Its generally considered...well, it is to Lord of the Rings what The Force Awakens is to A New Hope. Its a lot of fun though. I have no idea how they are going to make this work financially, but here are my four copper pieces for a mug of ale to raise in hope they do.

ActRaiser
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Re: Shannara Chronicles

Postby ActRaiser » January 11th, 2016, 9:19 pm

When I was a kid I tried reading the first book in the series. Probably 4/5s through I gave up because of the really, boring writing style. I mean it was painful. And I like crap writing. About a year ago I tried again thinking, it really couldn't be that bad. Yep, same. I mean, I've read some bad books in my day but the writing was atrocious. Which is sad because the plot and narrative as a whole was really good. I always wondered what happened at the end but just couldn't see myself plowing through any more.

Maybe, once it's on Netflix I'll check it out to avoid having to read the ending. :) Or do a quick search on Wiki. :P

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DaHeckIzDat
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Re: Shannara Chronicles

Postby DaHeckIzDat » January 12th, 2016, 12:12 am

I'll probably read the books just so I can watch the show, but I think I'm more excited for the show than the books. It's cliche fantasy, not really trying to be anything different than what we've seen in a thousand other books. I'd be more willing to forgive a TV show for that, since this isn't a genre tackled by TV very much. Still, I feel cheated that a mediocre series like Shannara is getting the Game of Thrones treatment, instead of something much more deserving, like the Mistborn series (I'm a Brandon Sanderson nut).

SpiceWare
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Re: Shannara Chronicles

Postby SpiceWare » January 12th, 2016, 11:01 am

Bought the series via iTunes because I put up an antenna and cut the cord three years ago - saved $4575 since then! I did go a bit overboard in setting up the Mac mini with a Drobo(RAID storage), as I'm using it for more than just recording OTA broadcasts, so my net savings is now at $859.

For some reason they've already released the first 3 episodes (4 if you count the pilot as 2 episodes, which MTV appears to be doing) on iTunes, so I'm further along in the story than people watching on MTV. Same thing was done for The Expanse (which I highly recommend) so I was ahead on it for a while - now I'm a day behind as you normally get to download shows the day after their initial broadcast.

Been enjoying the show so far. I think they made the right choice in skipping the first book, it was dreadful to get thru - they probably would have had to change it a lot too as there was a distinct lack of female characters. I didn't remember the books as being post apocalyptic, but my understanding is that later books in the series(which I haven't read) made that more clear.

Luigi & Peach
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Re: Shannara Chronicles

Postby Luigi & Peach » January 20th, 2016, 10:10 pm

I might be in the minority, but I liked the Sword of Shannara. In retrospect it may be similar to The Lord of the Rings, but I like that too and have room on my shelf for both.

I hope they stay relatively true to the book since it was really good ( yes, better than the first). The ending is great! I thought the rover girl was introduced farther along in the story.

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scotland
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Re: Shannara Chronicles

Postby scotland » January 26th, 2016, 5:41 am

Luigi & Peach wrote:I might be in the minority, but I liked the Sword of Shannara. In retrospect it may be similar to The Lord of the Rings, but I like that too and have room on my shelf for both.


I too have room on my shelf for both. When Sword of Shannara was written, the Lord of the Rings had been popular for about a decade and readers wanted similar tales. We certainly see a lot of that in movies and video games. Its been a lot of years since I read the original Sword of Shannara, but I think it was an easier read, much shorter than LOTR, and I recall enjoying it. I also recall finding good fantasy fiction then difficult. There were good books like Watership Down, but also a lot of poor stuff too. I recall reading stuff like Elric and the Dragonriders series.

I may want to go and reread Sword of Shannara again. Maybe its not aged well, or maybe its really geared to a young adult audience unlike LOTR. At least for the first two Shannara books, Brooks was able to craft memorable endings. I recall reading Micheal Crichton books where he seemed very capable at beginnings and middles, but not so much at endings.

Luigi & Peach
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Re: Shannara Chronicles

Postby Luigi & Peach » January 27th, 2016, 2:24 pm

From my own experience, re-reading the books about 7 to 8 years ago in my late 20s I still found them to be entertaining. I happen to enjoy Raymond E Feist books (especially his early stuff) although his earliest didn't come out until the early 80s).

Taking to a friend about the show it sounds like they're taking some liberties with the timeline ( introducing the rover girl at the beginning of the story rather than the middle). I was also disappointed to hear the Changeling was discovered and dealt with in the first couple of episodes while the Reaper hadn't even been introduced yet. I'm sure the show is good, but I probably won't end up watching it just because minute details like that would bug me.

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scotland
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Re: Shannara Chronicles

Postby scotland » March 8th, 2016, 11:01 am

Season finished up with 10 episodes in total. When it was an intimate story of a few people on a quest, it worked well. In the larger set pieces, the modest budget showed. Still, in the fantasy genre, a modest budget can have a charm. I don't mind the liberties in the source material. The actors seemed honest in their roles, and the finale was sufficiently moving.

I think I liked it better than the ratings, but I also give it credit for being Shannara, which began publishing 20 years before the source material of Game of Thrones ever was.


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