A long while back, I saw The Demonwars series by R. A. Salvatore on audio book on the Humble Book Bundle. Now, I really like this series, so I picked it up even though I already own a copy of the physical books. A few weeks back, when I was looking for something to listen to on my way to Grand Junction, I stumbled across the MP3s; even though I didn’t listen to them on the trip (I had a passenger then), I dropped them in one afternoon while I was hanging around the house, and in a little more than a week, I had listened through the entire first book.
Before I talk about the story itself, I want to talk about the audio experience. It’s worth noting that it has been a long time since I read the books, so I can’t really comment on how exact the audio book was in its adaptation, but it seemed like it could have been exact. This is important because, eg, with the exception of dialog, events were narrated, not acted, and the words used to describe something carrying the possibility of slight differences are what makes a book magical to me. That being said, there was the addition of a lot of background effects – huffing and puffing, yelps and war cries, or the clanging of swords or staves (which, awesomely, sounded different). These added a texture to the words which helped keep the story engaging and was a nice touch.
One thing about the audio book though, was that it made it difficult to stop in the middle of a one-hour track. This actually made me feel rushed to get through the story at times, and, as a result, made the story feel rushed. When reading the book, it was easier to set it down, and imagine what, eg St. Mere Abelle or Andur’Blough Inninnes was like; with the audio book, I didn’t feel like those opportunities were as available.
In terms of the story itself, The Demon Awakens is enjoyable, if a bit prologue heavy. I didn’t actually realize this until I listened to the audio book, because Avelyn, Jilseponie, and Elbryan’s journey to take on the demon dactyl seemed very short (almost rushed). Still, the prologue parts of the story are the parts that I think I enjoyed the most. It features each of the characters dealing with his or her own demons and figuring out how to make their way in their own world.
Of course, I only have some much time to read, and my backlog is not small, but I do plan on finishing the audio books at least through Mortalis. Admittedly though, it’s not going to be really soon.