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Running with the Demon (Pre-Shannara: Word and Void Book 1) Kindle Edition
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On the hottest Fourth of July weekend in decades, two men have come to Hopewell, Illinois, site of a lengthy, bitter steel strike. One is a demon, dark servant of the Void, who will use the anger and frustration of the community to attain a terrible secret goal. The other is John Ross, a Knight of the Word, a man who, while he sleeps, lives in the hell the world will become if he fails to change its course on waking. Ross has been given the ability to see the future. But does he have the power to change it?
At stake is the soul of a fourteen-year-old girl mysteriously linked to both men. And the lives of the people of Hopewell. And the future of the country. This Fourth of July, while friends and families picnic in Sinnissippi Park and fireworks explode in celebration of freedom and independence, the fate of Humanity will be decided . . .
A novel that weaves together family drama, fading innocence, cataclysm, and enlightenment, Running with the Demon will forever change the way you think about the fantasy novel. As believable as it is imaginative, as wondrous as it is frightening, it is a rich, exquisitely-written tale to be savored long after the last page is turned.
About the Author
The author was a practicing attorney for many years but now he writes full-time. He lives with his wife, Judine, in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii.
From the Paperback edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B000QCTN1Y
- Publisher : Del Rey (May 1, 2007)
- Publication date : May 1, 2007
- Language : English
- File size : 3075 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 450 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #118,595 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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The Shannara books, especially the 4-book series "The Scions of Shannara," will always hold a special place in my hearts. Brooks's reputation rests on them, and rightly so. But these pre-Shannara books, which chronicle the apocalypse that turns our present into the future depicted in the Shannara books, are also well done, while refreshingly different.
Brooks is a master at setting and description, and "Running with the Demon" showcases his talents with something much more mundane than the Four Lands: small-town Illinois. The effect is different than his fantasy landscapes, but he grounds the narrative just as well with evocative landscapes and places. It won't sweep you off to exotic lands in the same way, but it will give you an intense sensation of place.
The plot is expertly done, interweaving multiple subplots and a mystery to build the tension to the final confrontation. And Brooks is as usual excels at action sequences, although there's only one really epic magical battle in the book.
So while I might not have come to this without having read the original Shannara books first, it's well-done in and of itself, and gives us a glimpse of how the Four Lands came to be. Hardcore Shannara fans may or may not appreciate the change of setting, but fans of apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic fiction, whether adult or YA, may find this a good introduction to the Shannara universe.
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!).
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However, I must point out that I am reading this book from the opposite direction to most, if not all, of the other reviewers. I have never read any of the Shannara novels.
While I have been aware of these novels and despite being quite a big fantasy fan I have never gotten around to reading them. It has only been through watching the new Chronicles of Shannara on TV that piqued my interest.
After doing some research I have decided to read all of the Shannara and related novels in chronological order. This is set in the mid west of America in current times (Actually from references I would say more 1980's/90's).
This novel appears to be covering the opening moves in what, I am guessing here, will be an epic war between magic and technology and I am looking forward to seeing the story of the transition from a high technology world that is Earth as we know it, to that pure fantasy world that is Shannara
Unfortunately 'Running with the Demon' was in very poor condition but once I asked for a refund this was dealt with promptly so no problem on that account.