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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.
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.
I was hesitant at first with the more familiar back drop, but I found that Mr. Brooks is just a good writer, whether in a fantasy setting or modern day.Published 9 months ago by Eric Kristensen
A start of another great Terry Brooks Series..
John Ross: Knight of the Word. Chosen to battle the forces of the void and prevent.. Read more
Who on Earth can do this?Who can write three serieses with no resemblance?
Landover was different enough from Shannara,well hey,it was funny. Read more
Heellooooooo Star Wars fans out there! If you liked the Luke/Vader son/father stuff, then you will love this story! Read morePublished on Dec 27 2002 by Jason A. Myers
THis is my all time favorite book. It was very easy for me to get into and I enjoyed all of it. It has the great mixture of Sci Fi/Fantasy and some mystery too.Published on Dec 4 2002
On a hot Fourth of July weekend, two men have descended on the town of Hopewell, Illinois. One of them is John Ross, a Knight of the Word, sent to protect Nest Freemark, a young... Read morePublished on Nov. 7 2002 by Jeffrey T. Munson
PERSPECTIVE: sci-fi/fantasy fan, new to Brooks' work
Although a lifelong fan of sci-fi and fantasy, I've somehow gotten by without reading any of Brooks' original work (aside... Read more