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The Demon Awakens, Part 1: The Demon Wars
R.A. Salvatore
Multi-cast production, adaptation
GraphicAudio, 7 hours

The Demon Awakens, Part 1: The Demon Wars
R.A. Salvatore
R.A. Salvatore, a lifelong resident of Massachusetts, has some two dozen books to his credit. His first book was published in 1988. The Crystal Shard came from TSR, a Forgotten Realms title. Two years later, with his first novel and its sequel sold to Penguin, he quit his day job. When not writing, Salvatore spends time speaking to high schools and library groups, encouraging people, especially kids, to read.

ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: The Lone Drow
SF Site Review: Exile
SF Site Review: Homeland
SF Site Review: The Highwayman
SF Site Review: The Demon Spirit
SF Site Review: The Demon Awakens

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Gil T. Wilson

It's the beginning of a new era in part one of the high fantasy saga, The Demon Wars, by R. A. Salvatore. The Demon Dactyl awakens and begins to put together an army to destroy the land of Corona. Salvatore creates a story that runs through seven books and is the basis of the role-playing game, Demon Wars. Now teamed up with GraphicAudio, these books come to life as an audio adaptation. In order to do justice to the books, GraphicAudio is producing each title of the series in multiple parts. This is the first of three parts which make up the first title, The Demon Awakens.

The story begins as the demon Dactyl awakens after spending an eon encased in stone. The sound effects used to reflect his coming back to life are extremely well done and the audio engineers at GraphicAudio deserve lots of credit for creating an attention-grabbing opening scene. In addition to Dactyl, listeners are introduced to Elbryan and Jilsesponie (Pony), two 13 year-olds who live in the village of Dundalis. While welcoming back the village hunters as they return from their annual big hunt, they are shocked to see that one of the kills being carried is a goblin.

This brings horror and awe to the minds of the villagers because goblins have been unheard of for many years. In fact, it's been so long that many of the villagers don't know anything about this race of evil beings. Elbryan and Pony seem to be falling in love in this peaceful time in the land of Corona, but just as they begin to explore this love their village is attacked by a goblin and giant raiding party. The two youngsters are separated as their village is destroyed, each one believing they are sole survivors. Once again, the production quality, along with the music, will put you on the edge of your seat as you hear the village being destroyed and the villagers fighting back.

After the destruction of Dundalis, Elbryan is followed by elves that have a history with his family. He is taken in by these elves to be trained as a ranger. This training will continue until Elbryan is strong enough and skilled enough to defeat the strongest elf in the clan. Pony has more of a dark future ahead of her. She is found wandering and dirty in a nearby village and without memory of the attack on Dundalis or her past. She is taken in by a couple of colorful pub keepers who give her the name of Cat deStray, where she is employed in the pub as a barmaid.

Another main character is Avelyn Desbris, a freshly graduated monk who is taught the magic of the stones that fall from the "Halo" that surrounds the planet. At certain times in history the Halo drops stones from the sky and only special monks are allowed to gather the stones and wield their power. Each stone is capable of different powers and, to the surprise of the abbots, Avelyn is the most powerful wielder of the stones they've seen.

This beginning installment of the first book introduces the characters and delivers some great fight scenes between humans and goblins, giants, dwarves, elves, or other humans. And the production puts you right in the middle of the fight -- hearing and maybe sometimes feeling the punches, sword slashes or arrow hits. You might actually want to check for bruises. I think the best I can say about this audiobook is "GIMME PART TWO, NOW!"

Copyright © 2009 Gil T. Wilson

Gil T. has spent a quarter of a century working in radio and has lots of spare time on his hands and reading or listening to books takes up all that time. Check out his blog to find out what he's up to at any given moment.

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