Newest Review: ... the first in a trilogy, so did not expect all to be revealed. I did find myself wanting to hurry along though, as it was rather slow buil... more
Brooks brings you in to a magical mix of fantasy and our world
Running with the Demon - Terry Brooks
Member Name: pmcds
Running with the Demon - Terry Brooks
Advantages: Excellent storytelling; characters'; mix of our world and fantasy
Disadvantages: Drags at points but this is scene setting
As a huge fan of Stephen King's Dark Tower series, I urged my father in law to read all 7 books. Having done so, he in turn urged me to read Terry Brooks' The Word and The Void, a three part tale which has certain similarities to King's Tower. I have just started reading the second in the tale, but the first, Running With The Demon, was well worth picking up.
In similarities to the Dark Tower, there are links between our world and a fantasy one, incorporating elements of the future, magical creatures, demonic and angelic powers, and humans with certain gifts. It feels very much like any fantasy book might in that it forces you to suspend belief and let the story take hold of you, but Brooks does it in a way that also forces you to be patient, and to take things slowly. It normally takes me a couple of weeks to finish a book, with snippets here and there as I find time to read, but this took me a little longer, despite only being around 350 pages long. I suppose part of this feeling that I should take it slowly was due to it being in a big volume containing all three books. This made me think that I was reading something immensely long, and should therefore take everything in. This, coupled with the writing style of Brooks made me sit down, shut myself off to the outside world and eat up every word.
It starts off by grabbing your attention straight away. John Ross is a Knight of 'The Word', and is chasing a demon of 'The Void', the two notions presented to us as good vs evil. Ross, in his humanity, relies on a rune covered staff for support for his frail, crippled form. However, he also possesses immense powers of magic with which he must combat the demon. Meanwhile, the demon has found his way to the little town of Hopewell, Illinois, where a 14 year old girl called Nest Freemark has come to learn to live with the strange gifts she seems to have. Along with a curious stick like mini figure by the name of Pick who sits on her shoulder, she has developed into her role as a guardian of Sinissippi Park, where the Feeders, invisible to the human eye, lurk waiting for negative emotions from people to feed on. The demon will plant many of those in people's minds. And who exactly is Wraith - a mysterious wolf like creature that appears whenever Nest is in danger? And why is Nest's parentage such a touchy area? As events develop, we soon realise that the balance of the future is in danger, through John Ross' inability to have normal dreams. Instead, his dreams are real visions of the future: a future in which Nest Freemark has caused the destruction of the World as we know it............
It's incredibly confusing, to be honest, and I suppose in a way you just have to trust Brooks to tell you the story in the way he needs to. He develops things slowly, building up all of the characters, and in a very similar way to Stephen King, he doesn't just do this with characters integral to the main plot, but also with those who sit on the edge as extras, often unimportant, often not even lasting the entire tale. It's a thoroughly mystery bound novel, where you can try and guess exactly what's going on, but then you realise what you're thinking is exactly what Brooks wants you to think, as one of his characters voices the very same thoughts. It's quite manipulative, but in a very endearing and intriguing way, almost as if he's teasing you.
There is a certain sense of drag at points, though, as there's a lot of groundwork and explaining to do in terms of setting the scene and getting us used to the tale. Aside from these few and far between moments though, I found this to be an incredibly good book, and the moment I finished this first of the trilogy, I found myself sneaking a look at the first page of the next book, where things have moved on, and events pick up five years later. Well worth a read. Highly recommended.
Summary: Great first novel of the Word and Void trilogy