Thanks so much to Dave @ TheWriteReads and Kenneth B Andersen for providing me with the ebook for this Ultimate Blog Tour! This had no influence on my review.
Title: The Devil’s Apprentice
Part 1 of The Freat Devil War
Author: Kenneth B. Andersen
Published October 8th 2018
(first published September 30th 2005)
Length: 311 pages (ebook)
Genre: YA Fantasy (younger end)
Philip is a good boy, a really good boy, who accidentally gets sent to Hell to become the Devil’s heir. The Devil, Lucifer, is dying and desperately in need of a successor, but there’s been a mistake and Philip is the wrong boy. Philip is terrible at being bad, but Lucifer has no other choice than to begin the difficult task of training him in the ways of evil. Philip gets both friends and enemies in this odd, gloomy underworld—but who can he trust, when he discovers an evil-minded plot against the dark throne?
The Devil’s Apprentice is volume 1 in The Great Devil War-series.
Books like this one are the reason I love Blog Tours so much. They put books in my hand I hadn’t heard of before and actually might not have picked up (just because my TBR is already gigantic!) but I haven’t been let down by one of them yet. And this one specifically was amazing and I’m soo glad I read it!
I’m a stressed little cupcake right now (
that’s why this is a little bit late) and The Devil’s apprentice was exactly the right book to read in times like this. I had to actually laugh quite a few times and overall this book put a smile on my face. It’s so engaging and fun! Right from the very first sentence!
The writing style is not usually something I notice but I did here. The story just flows so easily and it makes it so effortless to read. The shorter chapters help with that, too. Really appreciated that!
It was so cute to follow Philip on his journey in hell. He is a good boy. And when I say good boy, I mean a good boy. He doesn’t lie. He hasn’t even told a white lie! He is as friendly as he can be to everyone. He doesn’t really hold grudges. Just overall kind and courteous. Now put him in the place were all the demons and people who did evil things are and watch the confusion all around.
After Grumblebeard left the living room, Philip quickly opened one of the windows, grabbed his mug, and poured the contents out into the darkness. […]
Philip suddenly froze and stared in astonishment at his empty mug. He had lied! Though he hadn’t swallowed a drop, he’d told Grumblebeard that the drink had tasted wonderful. And now he’d even poured it out the window to cover up his lie. Philip never lied. Never.
But now – after spending less than an hour in Hell – he’d already lied. The place apparently had that kind of impact.
I really liked the irony of the punishments in hell. Like … the ones who stepped on others their whole life … get stepped on now. Their faces are the street. I also really liked the little tidbits of historical figures and their punishments.
The concept of evil and good, the balance and how it’s in us all are themes discussed in The Devil’s Apprentice, how we aren’t evil just because of the Devil or something. But because of the choices we make. And Philip reevaluates his thoughts on that while spending more and more time with the Devil and his attempts to lure him to do evil and become a worthy successor.
While I would have loved a bit more about Hell and everything, I really liked what we got. All the different types of demons and their tasks, the different regions etc.
The atmosphere was great though. I was really immersed and loved following all the characters.
The only downside (little one!) for me was that I was mainly reading because I was interested in Philips journey and not so much because of Philip.* You know what I mean? There was a certain disconnect for me with the main characters. But overall it didn’t matter that much because it definitely was a really engaging and enjoyable read that made me laugh a couple times. It’s different from what I read usually and I really liked the unique take on Heaven and Hell, The Devil and all that! And it’s only the first book so I’ll have more books to really connect with Philip and Co.
*(Usually, I’m a character over plot person so this was a little … weird)
So in conclusion, this is a very engaging and fun book that takes you on a journey through Hell with the good boy™. You won’t want to put it down and the setting is unique and really cool to explore! The writing makes it incredibly easy to read and read and forget time. Just a really great read!
Will I read the next books in this series? Hell yes!
And I highly recommend you check it out, too! (As well as the other Tour Stops!)
Kenneth B. Andersen (1976) is an award-winning Danish writer. He has published more than forty books for children and young adults, including both fantasy, horror, and science fiction.
His books have been translated into more than 15 languages and his hit-series about the superhero Antboy has been turned into three movies. A musical adaptation of The Devil’s Apprentice, the first book in The Great Devil War series, opened in the fall 2018 and film rights for the series have been optioned.
Kenneth lives in Copenhagen with his wife, two boys, a dog named Milo, and spiders in the basement.