I’m back with another #UltimateBlogTour post with the @WriteReads gang and this time it’s for the fast-paced YA fantasy: The Devil’s Apprentice written by Danish author Kenneth B. Andersen. The blog tour runs until 15 December so don’t forget to check out the other reviews for the first book in this exciting series!
Goodreads: The Devil’s Apprentice
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
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?
I’ve heard a few people comment that the reason why they weren’t sure whether they’d love this book or not was because of the cover but to be honest, I actually really like the cover and that along with the interesting sounding blurb was one of the main reasons why I wanted to give it a try. I read this for #TheUltimateBlogTour organised by the awesome Dave @TheWriteReads!
I thought the plot was simple and well paced. Philip is killed and finds himself in hell where our main cast of characters finds out that he’s the wrong boy, his death was an accident and he’s actually quite the angel because in reality, Philip is the goodest of good boys with the purest of hearts. The author examines the concepts of good vs. evil, heaven vs. hell, and dark vs. light. I wouldn’t say it’s done in a completely new and unexplored way although that didn’t detract from my enjoyment of it. There were a few plot twists that proved some of the theories I had correctly and for most of the story I was eager to read on to see if what I predicted was right.
This was a pretty easy read. After getting past the 24% mark, I found myself flying through the pages and devouring it faster than I thought I would (I initially thought I wouldn’t be able to finish the book before my turn on the blog tour)! The writing was quite descriptive, which I find is usually the case with Scandinavian authors, and while I sometimes struggle to read this style of writing, I didn’t find it hard to read in this case. The rich writing helped me to picture the scenes very clearly and I found the juxtaposition of hell’s torture scenes and hell’s fairly idyllic village life with pretty houses and gardens, and demons going about doing normal every day things, quite fascinating and unique! It wasn’t hard to see myself standing with Philip and experiencing the bizarre world that is hell right alongside him.
I very quickly became invested in and attached to almost all the characters in the story, especially Philip, Lucifer, Grumblebeard, Ravine, and Satina and her family, and the cast of characters was what really made this book a hit for me! I initially thought I would find Philip and his very-good-boy character quite annoying but I think the author did a fantastic job in writing him and the struggles he faced with trying to understand being evil and the changes he experienced while in hell. He was certainly a good boy and was very sweet but it wasn’t eye-roll inducing (you know, when a character is <i>too</i> sweet that it becomes sickening?) and I found myself oddly charmed by Philip’s inability to be bad and chuckling at his innocence. I started disliking him more as he changed (by then I was really ready to punch him!), but I understood that this was one of the main purposes of the story and in the end he redeemed himself and got back in my good books! I also liked how the author normalised the various demons through interesting humanised traits, humour and generally likeable personalities. I was certainly laughing a lot more than I thought I would while reading this!
Overall, I’m so glad I got the chance to read this book and that it got put on my radar because I would’ve been missing out on what I’m hoping will continue to be a great series! The ending wasn’t quite what I had expected but it certainly has me eager to continue on with the series and see how Philip ends up involved once more in the great devil war. Thanks to the author for sending me the book in exchange for an honest review through this blog tour and a big thanks to Dave for hosting another fun tour!
About the Author
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.
Have you read The Devil’s Apprentice or is it on your TBR?
Does it sound like something you’d like to read?