The Demonata series is fantastic, truly gripping and every novel is fascinating from start to end. Demon Apocalypse, the 6th book in the series is no exception - while i think i still prefer the previous one, Blood Beast, Demon Apocalypse is epic in it's scale and was immensely enjoyable. In essence it is a coming together of the three main characters - Grubbs, Kernel and Bec all meeting for the first time.
This is also one of the darkest of the series so far. Following staright on from where Blood Beast left off, we rejoin Grubbs in the plane, confronting Lord Loss. As things progress we meet Beranabus, a fascinating, immensely powerful character. His duty above all is to protect the human race, always making decisions for the greater good, something he often comes to odds with Grubbs with and the dynamics between the two are fantastic.
Beranabus in many ways takes over from Dervish as Grubbs tutor-esque character but represents a far stricter, serious approach and is determined for Grubbs to embrace his magical powers, something he is reluctant to do. Some of the themes dealt with and represented here are extremely powerful and moving in their depth and maturity - i'd recommend this book to someone of any age, as with all of Shan's work it is extremely inspiring in its vision.
Amidst all this, the demon threat becomes greater than ever before. I don't want to spoil things but what follows is a truly epic confrontation against seemingly impossible odds. It represents an extremely bleak scenario and the bravery and selflessness of the characters is admirable. Darren Shan has always been a master at allowing us to associate with his characters and Demon Apocalypse is no exception.
This is an amazing book and yet more proof to me that Darren Shan is one of the finest authors of modern times. Now, i read this when the book first came out almost a year ago now. And so, hearing it in Audio CD format now just re-affirmed to me what a great story it is.
Rupert Degas reads, doing an admirable job of catching all the characters' voices. He captures Grubbs's youthful vigor and Beranabus's gruff leadership perfectly as well as pulling off a convincing Irish accent for Dervish and an eerie female voice in the form of Juni Swan.
The only mis-steps i would pick up on would be the over the top 'chav' sterotype accent of Bill-E, as well as Lord Loss, who's voice is so deep and layered with a weird effect that it is sometimes hard to understand what's being said by him though.
On the whole though, this audio version of the story is extremely well done, is unnabridged (which is always a good thing) and has lots of spooky music and sound effects to add to the tension of the story. It was an immensely enjoyable listen and well worth getting.