- Series: Pre-Shannara: Word and Void (Book 1)
- Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Del Rey (May 27, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0345422589
- ISBN-13: 978-0345422583
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 311 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Running With the Demon (The Word and the Void Trilogy, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – May 27, 1998
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Terry Brooks's Running with the Demon is billed as "A Novel of Good and Evil," but he could've called it "A Novel of Here and Now." The fantasy master behind the Shannara series switches his focus from neo-Tolkien jungles to the woebegone steel town of Hopewell, Illinois. Though Illinois teenager Nest Freemark (where does he get these names?) looks like your average kid, she spends her free time in the woods asking her 6-inch pal Pick for advice in dodging the Demon and his creepy Feeders, spirits who gobble the souls of humans. Nest is also being tailed by John Ross, a shining Knight of the Word who wants to keep her from the Feeders' jaws.
Meanwhile, in the real world that dominates the novel, Nest Freemark is being stalked by a handsome, evil classmate who she has rejected, and a pack of surly, insurgent striking steelworkers plot a bombing at the company's Fourth of July picnic. The boy and the bombers are unaware that they're being subconsciously manipulated by the Demon. The book's matter-of-fact take on the uncanny is a bit like The X-Files. (And if you want to compare the two, check out Ted Edwards's X-Files Confidential: The Unauthorized X-Philes Compendium.)
Brooks's plot has more strands than a plate of pasta, yet his mind is logical to a fault--he used to be a lawyer. There's something for everyone: gory monster attacks, a dread family secret, magical mind-game duels, even a (rather flat) teen-romance subplot. The setting has real grit and the countdown to the Independence Day bombing peps up the tale. Brooks sometimes prosaically explains things a better literary stylist would dramatize, and his minatory visions of environmental apocalypse are more fun than the obvious, nagging, don't-be-a-litterbug message they exist to convey. Brooks will never be as deep as Tolkien, and many readers will find him less awesome as their adolescence recedes. Still, he's the genuine article, and with this book, he raises the stakes he's playing for. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Library Journal
Legendary sf author Brooks here weaves a tale about an apocalyptic showdown in a small Illinois town between humans and the amber-eyed trolls from another realm that only a girl named Nest can see.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Terry Brooks's rich epics, filled with mystery, magic, and memorable characters, define modern fantasy fiction. Visit Amazon's Terry Brooks Page.
Top customer reviews
Read the books. I think you will enjoy them. I will!
Brooks does a nice job of capturing the feel of a community in turmoil, and the casting of the story as being a struggle between the Word (Order) and Void (Chaos) resonates in today's troubled world. The concept that the forces of the Void are constantly pushing ordinary people to do things they wouldn't normally do, and that all it takes is reaching a certain tipping point for the Void to win, is something I think that we all can relate to.
The only downside is that there is a fairly large amount of setup in this book, and may not be enough "action" for some fans of traditional fantasy (which is the category that many of the other Shannara books fall into). In addition, the very setting that I mention above as a strength is so different from the first books of the Shannara series that fans of those early works may not be fans of the Word & Void series.
I found this book to be well written but in a much different manner than anything I've read by Brooks before. Rather than relying on the characters to act out the story through scenes with corresponding dialog Brooks instead leaned heavily on narration to tell the story. For me that made a lot of the book painfully slow. I'd say I tolerated this style change because I knew that Brooks has typically written wonderful endings to each of the other books I've read. And I've got to tell you honestly that the last 40% of the book flew by like lightning and were exceptional. So why would I only give this 3 stars? Well I don't care for the narration method that he used for the other 60% of the book. The story was well thought out, well plotted and would have been stellar if he had not narrated so much of it.
Is the book worth reading? I'd have to say yes. Very much so. Just go into it knowing that some of the book will be slower than his norm and that if you persist through the slow stuff you will be rewarded with a great ending. I liked the book enough to keep going in the series - in fact I've already started the 2nd book and so far its wonderful (he seems to have dropped the narration!).
Most recent customer reviews
It takes a long time to get into the story
At different times you loose the author