Grishaverse #0: Demon in the Wood by Leigh Bardugo & Dani Pendergast

“Ben Barnes” was successful clickbait for me to spend my Audible credit

Review by Rayleigh Gray Setser

Before he led Ravka’s Second Army, before he created the Fold, and long before he became the Darkling, he was just a lonely boy burdened by an extraordinary power.

Eryk and his mother, Lena, have spent their lives on the run. But they will never find a safe haven. They are not only Grisha—they are the deadliest and rarest of their kind. Feared by those who wish to destroy them and hunted by those who would exploit their gifts, they must hide their true abilities wherever they go. But sometimes deadly secrets have a way of revealing themselves…

Discover the start of a grand and sinister destiny in this must-have graphic novel prequel to the bestselling series and international Netflix sensation Shadow and Bone from spectacular new talent Dani Pendergast and #1 New York Times bestseller Leigh Bardugo.

~Review of the audiobook~

10/10 recommend the audiobook just to listen to Ben Barnes's voice for a whole chapter...

I will, unashamedly, admit that "Ben Barnes" was successful clickbait for me to spend my Audible credit on this 6 chapter story (45-minute listen) and while it wasn't awful, I don't necessarily think that "everyone MUST read this!". I mean, if you can't get enough of the Grishaverse, it's a pretty cool bonus story; letting you see what the Darkling was like as a child and what motivated him to become what he is. But, there wasn't a lot learned about the Grishaverse that you don't already know from the other books in the series. It is a thrilling little story...predictable, but thrilling nonetheless...and told masterfully (as is anything from Bardugo). Hardcore Grisha fans will probably enjoy this and I would be interested in seeing the illustrations in the hardcopy.

The production is very well-done though! I really enjoy audiobooks in the style of radio theater, with multiple voice actors and sound effects. I just wish that it had been a longer, more in-depth story and less predictable. Overall, Grisha fans will love the additional content, but as for "needing" to read the story to learn something new, there wasn't anything that I didn't already know from the book & Netflix series.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Content Ratings:

Action & Gore:

Rating: 6 out of 10.
6. Strong action & gore (most action sequences describe blood loss and the injury to a clear picture, albeit brief or infrequent).

Romance & Spice:

Rating: 1 out of 10.
0. None.

Cursing & Vulgarity:

Rating: 1 out of 10.
1. Infrequent substitute cursing (less than 10 "craps" etc. and/or book-specific curse words).

Other Trigger Warnings:

Racial discrimination and mass murder.

Our Reviews of Other Books by this author:

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