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Running with the Demon (Word & Void, #1)
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Running with the Demon (Word & Void #1)

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  22,142 Ratings  ·  536 Reviews
Twenty years ago, Terry Brooks turned fantasy fiction on its head with The Sword of Shannara, the first fantasy novel to make the mainstream bestseller lists, and the first in an unbroken string of thirteen bestselling books. Now, in Running with the Demon, Brooks does nothing less than revitalize fantasy fiction again, inventing the complex and powerful new mythos of the ...more
Hardcover, First Edition, 420 pages
Published August 19th 1997 by Del Rey Books
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May 04, 2015 Danae rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Running with the Demon felt like a chore to get through, unfortunately. The only reason I forced myself to continue was because I didn't want to miss any background information for later books.

Don't get me wrong, the plot and characters were fantastic, but the book was just so slow. The last 20-25% picked up a great deal, but that's about 80% of the book where I felt bored. And that's too long.

Here's hoping the next one is better for me.
Not the correct edition. It was the unabridged one, but since I also have the paperback shelved, I can't seem to get this to switch to the correct audio edition.

This book gets 2 stars only if you're expecting a YA read & not much else. Actually, it's kind of a neat idea, but the execution was horribly flawed. Reading it, I was able to skim & ignore much of the stupid & repetitive writing. Listening to it was pretty torturous, though.

The idea of the 'Word & Void', opposites, good
Now that was just what I needed. After reading a pretentious spewing of literary "greatness", I needed something that I could actually enjoy. And enjoy it I did, more than I expected to.

I've been reading Brooks for years. When I was ten years old, I read his only book at the time, The Sword of Shannara. I remember liking it a lot and being really annoyed that he didn't have anymore books out. When Elfstones of Shannara came out a few years later, I was enthralled; it was even better.

I got side-t
Sep 21, 2014 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good vs. Evil

It is a common theme throughout literature, and the struggle between the two sides can become cliche, but when it is done well, with a realistic setting, unforgettable characters, and an absolutely riveting plot then a reader can be given a small glimpse of humanity and life. That is exactly what Terry Brooks gifts to his readers in Running With The Demon, which is an extremely well-written novel. I have heard Brooks say more than once, that he considers this to be one of his best n
Mar 04, 2011 Sara rated it really liked it
Shelves: shannara
What do a fourteen year old girl, a wanderer with a wicked limp, and a calculating demon have in common? The answer is three-fold.

Hopewell, Indiana is your typical small town where everyone knows everyone else, it's economy reliant on a single industry - in this case it's the now quiet steel mill as the strike grinds into it's third month. It is also the home of Nest Freemark, growing up under the watchful eyes of her grandparents, a sylvan, a magical dog, and the knowledge that she has a powerf
Jan 05, 2016 Squire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#1/29 in my Epic Shannara Quest.

A 14-year-old girl, who is descended from a line of females who have been chosen to aid a sylvan in protecting a park in Hopewell, Illinois, is forced to confront the mysteries surrounding her family. A crippled drifter bearing an intricately-carved walking stick, arrives in Hopewell, on the trail of a demon who is set on reclaiming what is his and ushering in the end of our world. And Terry Brooks, the mastermind behind the internationally best-selling fantasy T
The Word and Void trilogy is the worst I've read from Brooks, and I've read most his work. I mainly pushed through just so I wouldn't miss any background necessary for the books that come after - and I kept hoping that something exciting / meaningful / magical would actually happen in this series. It was boring, there were no goals that I could determine (a defined quest might have helped), and little hope.

The setting is a big problem for me. We find ourselves in modern-day Washington State. The
Mike (the Paladin)
Sep 28, 2009 Mike (the Paladin) rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Sorry about this book (and the two that follow it) I couldn't escape the feeling that they could have been so much better. A good idea with what I felt was poor execution.

I note that after the trilogy he started a series based on the failure of his protaginists in this series...ouch.
Conrad Zero
Apr 04, 2017 Conrad Zero rated it it was amazing
Excellent writing, but I'd expect no less from an English major with a track record like Terry's. Great story. Nice, tight pacing. Really real characters in really real places having some really unreal situations.

Modern-day paranormal thriller with a dash of Shannara because... Terry Brooks. Would make a good movie. Looking forward to more in this series.
Jun 03, 2011 Katy rated it really liked it
Please note: This review originally posted 3/1/2008 on Amazon. Please do not base judgment of review upon my current format.

I had forgotten ... it had been so long, I had forgotten what it is like reading a book by Terry Brooks. I had forgotten that he creates worlds that hold such dark things; that he isn't afraid to kill characters, traumatize characters, forge them into weapons in the hottest fires of testing. I had forgotten what a ... almost tactile experience it could be reading a book by
QUICK SYNOPSIS: Story opens with a prologue where we gather insights into the dark dreams that John Ross, a Knight of the Word, must always have; every evening; every time he sleeps. It then opens with Nest Freemark, 13 and talking with a faerie pixie creature in a small town, racing to rescue a child from the dark creatures. Nest is sort of a guardian for people against the Feeders, who feed on the fears and negative emotions of humans, and does her best to keep them all safe. But larger events ...more
Mar 21, 2008 Werner rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of supernatural fiction
Brooks is best known as a fantasy author, but I've classified this work as supernatural fiction because of his strictly this -world setting here. Of course, the boundaries of all of the speculative genres can be a bit fuzzy around the edges --and most readers will be more interested in whether or not the book is a good, rewarding read than in what pigeon-hole to classify it. :-) As to the former question, IMO, the answer is a decided "yes."

Although Brooks uses some Christian terminology here (Jo
Barbara ★
This is the first book I've read by Terry Brooks and I loved it. I listened to the abridged version of the audiobook and it makes me really want to listen to the unabridged version for the remaining books in the series. The writing is spectacular and the scene-setting is truly amazing. You can feel and see everything that is described as if it is happening right in front of you. I was very impressed by everything about this story.

Nest Freemark is a 14 year old girl with magic. She patrols the p
Jan 27, 2008 Phoebe rated it it was ok
I've read a lot of Terry Brooks' books, including all of the Shannara books, and unfortunately, I was a little disappointed in this book, Running with the Demon. Here, Mr. Brooks departs from his usual pure fantasy genre to tell a story that mixes present day life with fantasy elements. The story is about a girl with magical powers, a demon who has arrived in her town to plot a cataclysmic event and a Knight of the Word (i.e., a man who tracks demons) whose mission is to stop the demon. I didnt ...more
Sheila Myers
Feb 11, 2017 Sheila Myers rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
A very good fantasy novel about the fight between good and evil. Terry Brooks has created some wonderful characters and an exciting plot.
Jan 28, 2013 Aram rated it it was amazing
Shelves: worth_re-reading
Terry Brooks' Running with Demon is the prototypical urban fantasy novel. Published in 1997, it is one of the earliest novels to approach the genre and gain widespread readership.

Running with the Demon introduces Brooks' world of the Word and the Void, opposing forces of chaos and order that set the stage for a well-developed unique moral relativity that serves as the bedrock of a unique narrative.

The book features excellent characters, a unique and interesting approach to its world of magic, a
Sarah Lau
Aug 22, 2016 Sarah Lau rated it it was amazing
First and most importantly, any book written by Terry Brooks is worth reading. His unique and detailed style of description is what I aspire to achieve in my writing. What I believe is most incredible about his novels is that the majority of them are interlinked. Although his numerously connected fantasy trilogies seem completely in another world than to his few modern 21st century novels, it took me over a year to realise that the fantasies were in fact sequels. That discovery made Terry Brooks ...more
Matt Garcia
Jul 15, 2013 Matt Garcia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Terry Brooks novel. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a fast paced read with the perfect amount of character development and action. I really liked the characters of Pick and Old Bob. Pick was the comedic relief of sorts and his dialogue was always entertaining. I will definitely be reading the other two books in the trilogy in the future. The best way I can describe this book is to say that it is enjoyable, whimsical and light hearted. Fun stuff.
Jenn Andrew
Jul 24, 2008 Jenn Andrew rated it it was amazing
Terry Brooks writes a suspenseful and mysterious fantasy novel that has you sitting on the edge of your seat. I was glad to see that the book wasn't very thick because I couldn't put it down. I practically had to read it from cover to cover since I was absorbed by the writing on each page.

This story is centered on a young girl named Nest Freemark who has the ability to see forces in the dark. These dark, shadowy forms are called Feeders and they have the ability to change the minds of humans an
Aug 28, 2011 J rated it really liked it
This is only the second book I've read by Terry Brooks (First being the Star Wars novelization he did. Review: Well, it was better than the movie.) I've tried Sword of Shannara a few times, and that didn't really work out well for me.

Running with the Demon is a solid read. It's about a teen girl in Hopewell, Illinois, a town described as being in the "Heart of Reagan Country" more than once. Nest, the absurdly-named girl in question, has powers and some degree of responsibility to the sprawling
Aug 10, 2008 Rhapsody rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
A very entertaining contemporary fantasy, with horror elements. There are demonic creatures that populate the world, called feeders. They multiply in the presence of people's bad emotions. John Ross is a Knight of the Word; he hunts demons, who cause large and small disasters that stir people up and cause the feeder population to grow. His dreams take him to Hopewell, where he needs to stop an event that will destroy the future of civilization and throw the balance of people and feeders complete ...more
Loredana La Puma
Con questo libro Terry Brooks si diede al fantasy contemporaneo... e fece bene! Dopo essere rimasta folgorata da I figli di Armageddon (atmosfera straordinaria), ho scoperto che la Trilogia del Demone (conosciuta anche come Trilogia del Verbo e del Vuoto) ne costituiva una specie di prequel, e così (non appena ne ho trovato in libreria un'esemplare che non fosse impolverato/strappato/stropicciato) ho acquistato questo primo capitolo.
Molti fan di Brooks sono di parere contrario, ma personalmente
Stephanie Lorée
An entertaining and captivating read, once you hit the middle section. I found the characters interesting with their quirks (Gran's smokes and booze, Jared's catatonic fits), but they were also overused at times (I really only need to be told Gran drinks vodka and orange juice for breakfast a maximum of twice).

Brooks is fantastic with narrative descriptions, making you feel as if you're walking in the footsteps of the characters. He can get a little wordy and delve into minutiae, which detracts
Branwen Sedai *of the White Ajah*
Apr 17, 2012 Branwen Sedai *of the White Ajah* rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of urban fantasy, Terry Brooks fans
I've been slowly but surely making my way through all of Terry Brooks' novels, and I have to say that this is my favorite, thus far. I love his Shannara and Landover series, but for some reason this delightful urban fantasy really captured my interest hard! I loved all the chracters, the setting was beautiful and described in detail (I've visited my cousin in the Midwest before so it was really great to read about it) and the twists and turns in the storyline really kept me guessing until the ve ...more
Nov 03, 2016 Matthew rated it it was amazing
As a newbie to the Shannara environment, I must admit to having little in terms of expectations.

I did find that this story was easy to read and fantastic to escape into. The contemporary environment and characters were welcomed as I found myself settling back into routines. I did most of my reading just before bedtime (terrible sleep discipline).

Nevertheless, I must've liked the read because I find myself. Seven books later craving more! Go figure. This book series will have an appeal to the H
Aug 29, 2015 CarolAnn rated it it was amazing
I have always enjoyed Terry Brooks' books. This did not let me down. This is an urban fantasy that will lead to his fantasy books. This is my favorite of Brooks' trilogies. And I love John Ross even though he is hard, manipulative, and thoroughly dedicated. And I sometimes forgot that Nest was a 14 yr. old girl because she had to deal with so much hard-ships and responsibilities. Yet, she still had her group of friends that were by her side even though they often thought Nest was weird and quirk ...more
Jan 15, 2010 DavidO rated it it was ok
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
Terry Brooks has an annoying habit, especially in his early books, of describing every detail of what is happening. Boring details. Irrelevant details. For pages. Yawn. The book isn't that much more interesting than you average young adult book, but it is much longer. I suppose Terry Brooks believed that a good adult book has incredibly boring parts that no one could enjoy.
May 28, 2015 Katy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actually a reread for me on this book. But it has been a very long time since I've read it. I love this part of the Brooks' series that ties together. A nice urban fantasy piece. I think I'm going to try to reread all his books in the chronological order -- previous read has been publication order.
Jan 14, 2011 Sabine rated it it was ok
Though it has an interesting take on the girl that can talk to magical creatures and see shadows (most) others can't see, I was mostly bored reading this book.. The story is glacially slow and I can't understand all the good reviews on the back. But then I don't think I wanna trust the reviews written in the same book..;)
Sep 26, 2013 Michelle rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone from Sterling Il
review to come
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How is this series connected to Shannara? 2 16 Jun 30, 2016 04:40PM  
Is this the best place to start the series? 15 109 Oct 21, 2014 08:59AM  
opinions.... 6 48 Jul 22, 2012 05:38PM  
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Terry Brooks was born in Illinois in 1944, where he spent a great deal of his childhood and early adulthood dreaming up stories in and around Sinnissippi Park, the very same park that would eventually become the setting for his bestselling Word & Void trilogy. He went to college and received his undergraduate degree from Hamilton College, where he majored in English Literature, and he received ...more
More about Terry Brooks...

Other Books in the Series

Word & Void (3 books)
  • A Knight of the Word (Word & Void, #2)
  • Angel Fire East (Word & Void, #3)

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“Fear is a fire to temper courage and resolve. Use it so.” 17 likes
“All peoples think they are forever," he growled softly. "They do not believe they will ever not be. The Sinnissippi were that way. They did not think they would be eradicated. But that is what happened. Your people, Nest, believe this of themselves. They will survive forever, they think. Nothing can destroy them, can wipe them so completely from the earth and from history that all that will remain is their name and not even that will be known with certainty. They have such faith in their invulnerability.
Yet already their destruction begins. It comes upon them gradually, in little ways. Bit by bit their belief in themselves erodes. A growing cynicism pervades their lives. Small acts of kindness and charity are abandoned as pointless and somehow indicative of weakness. Little failures of behavior lead to bigger ones. It is not enough to ignore the discourtesies of others; discourtesies must be repaid in kind. Men are intolerant and judgmental . They are without grace. If one man proclaims that God has spoken to him, another quickly proclaims that his God is false. If the homeless cannot find shelter, then surely they are to blame for their condition. If the poor do not have jobs, then surely it is because they will not work. If sickness strikes down those whose lifestyle differs from our own, then surely they have brought it on themselves.
Look at your people, Nest Freemark. They abandon their old. They shun their sick. They cast off their children. They decry any who are different. They commit acts of unfaithfulness, betrayal, and depravity every day. They foster lies that undermine beliefs. Each small darkness breeds another. Each small incident of anger, bitterness, pettiness, and greed breeds others. A sense of futility consumes them. They feel helpless to effect even the smallest change. Their madness is of their own making, and yet they are powerless against it because they refuse to acknowledge its source. They are at war with themselves, but they do not begin to understand the nature of the battle being fought."

-pages 96-97”
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