February 13, 2011

Running With the Demon by Terry Brooks

Title:  Running with the Demon
Author:  Terry Brooks
Format:  PB
Pages:  434
Genre:  Fantasy
Publisher:  Del Rey, 1998
ISBN-13:  978-0345422583
Series:  Shannara, Book 9

Favorite Quote:  He glanced down at his hands, studying them.  In the manner of one who has come to terms with being shunned, he could ignore the pain of his banishment.  Subconsciously, his fellow passengers had made a perfectly understandable decision.  You leave as many empty seats as possible between yourself and Death.

Synopsis (Amazon):  In a sleepy steel-mill town, the ultimate battle between Good and Evil is about to begin . . .

Sinnissippi Park, in Hopewell, Illinois, has long hidden a mysterious evil, locked away from humankind by powers greater than most could even imagine. But now the malevolent creatures that normally skulk in the shadows of the park grow bolder, and old secrets hint at a violent explosion.

The brewing conflict draws John Ross to Hopewell. A Knight of the Word, Ross is plagued by nightmares that tell him someone evil is coming to unleash an ancient horror upon the world. Caught between them is fourteen-year-old Nest Freemark, who senses that something is terribly wrong but has not yet learned to wield the budding power that sets her apart from her friends.

Now the future of humanity depends upon a man haunted by his dreams and a gifted young girl--two souls who will discover what survives when hope and innocence are shattered forever . . .

Review:  I was really looking forward to this book.  I'd heard the 'Word & Void' books were some of the best of this series.  They were certainly different from the rest of the books so far.  These novels are set in a time much like ours.  There are magical creatures and magic, a great war going on between good and evil, but most people are unaware.  There are cities and Greyhound buses.  I've mentioned that I'm reading these in the order recommended by the author for first time readers of this series.  However this trilogy comes first chronologically in the story line.  I can only assume that this trilogy is prior to 'Great War' mentioned in the other books; the 'Great War', which will lead to the coming of the world described in the volumes I've already read.

This book was good, not great, but enjoyable.  It just doesn't really seem to fit in with the other 'Shannara' novels all that well.  After spending all this time reading about elves, dwarves, and trolls set against a barely developed civilization, this story is almost a shock, with the electricity and running water and microwaves, especially since it is set in the past.  I'll almost be relieved to return to the future.

After this trilogy, the next 6 books come after The Talismans of Shannara chronologically.  Then, there are 3 more that come sometime after the 'Word & Void' trilogy ends, but before the time of The Sword of Shannara.  It seems odd to me to keep skipping back and forth between past and present.....or present and future....depending on how you look at it.  I think in retrospect, I would have been better off reading these books chronologically.  But since I've started down this road, assuming I decide to stay on it at all, I will follow the directions laid out by the author.

Rating:  3 / 5

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