23 August 2019

Review || The Devil's Apprentice by Kenneth B. Anderson


I'm very excited to share this book with you all today! The Devil's Apprentice in the first book in the incredibly imaginative, and wonderfully entertaining, YA Fantasy series, The Great Devil War.


There will be exclusive content and a giveaway so be sure to read on!

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?


Even though the story (mostly) takes place in Hell and deals with themes like evil, death and free will, it is also a humoristic tale about good and evil seen from a different perspective. A tale that hopefully will make the reader – young or old, boy or girl – laugh and think. – Kenneth B. Andersen






Excerpt

“Do come closer,” said the dark figure. The voice was at once incredibly calming and incredibly frightening. Like a field of flowers filled with bear traps. “Don’t be afraid.”His knees trembling, Philip walked the last few steps to the throne.At this instant it was as if the flames from all the candles grew. The shadows contracted, and Satan came into view.He was dressed in a black suit with a long, dark cape hanging off his shoulders. His hair was slicked back and shiny as black silk against his bone-white skin. Two spiky horns curved in a handsome bow beneath his hairline, and on his chin he wore a carefully groomed goatee. And then there were the eyes… The terrible eyes… They were so black that even the deepest grave in the darkest winter night was like a well-lit ballroom in comparison. Philip stared into them and felt the world entwining around him. This glance allowed you no secrets. Not even those you didn’t even know you had.But something was wrong. Fine chinks had formed in his black horns, and in several spots, tiny flakes had fallen like chips of old paint. His dark eyes were dull and bloodshot, and sweat glinted on his upper lip. Yes, something was very wrong, and it was made even more obvious by the fact that the Devil was trying to hide it behind his water-slicked hair and fresh-pressed clothes.He’s ill, Philip thought. Terribly ill.“Welcome, dear friend,” the Devil said, slowly leaning forward. The right side of his mouth was raised in a crooked smile. “I’ve been looking forward to meeting you. My name is—” he lowered his voice to a rolling thunder, “Luci… ach… Luci…”A bloody coughing fit abruptly halted the Devil’s welcome speech, and his pinched face suddenly grew flaming red. He coughed and spluttered until he nearly choked, and without thinking, Philip leapt onto the throne and patted him on the back.“Thank you,” the Devil groaned when he could breathe once more. “Thank you.”“Do you feel better?”The Devil cleared his throat, a little embarrassed. “Yes, thanks. I’m fine. As I was saying, my name is—” Again his voice lowered, but it wasn’t as dramatic as before, “Lucifer.”



To be honest, I wasn't sure I was going to like The Devil's Apprentice. Mainly because of the fact that it's...well, a story about Hell. The whole Christian guilt thing. I know. I know. "But, Valerie, you read horror and about vampires and magic!" Yes, yes indeed and that's why I pulled up my big girl pants and cracked this baby open! Sacrilegious though it may be, it was a riot.

Phillip, who is a very good boy, accidentally gets sent to Hell by mistake. They were actually expecting the very bad bully, Sam, but smish smash in front of a car and — ta-da! — he's taking a trip down under. (You know, when I read my reviews, I frequently wonder if really anyone understands or if it's like Marlin in Finding Nemo with Squirt the turtle...but I digress.*clears throat*) Phillip isn't the holier than thou type of very good. He's just good. He's wholesome and has a strong concept of right or wrong. He's exactly the kind of person that you would never expect to be handpicked to be Lucifer's successor. He helps out, he apologizes, he doesn't want to be seen as rude, even to the demons. It's actually quite funny watching Lucifer despair of the choices that Phillip makes during his training. How could someone so good ever be so bad? That's the question that everyone is asking, including Lucifer. Turns out Lucifer doesn't have a choice and in spite of every scenario he throws at Phillip, he's just too good. Until the green-eyed monster called jealousy rears its ugly head and Phillip discovers that being bad actually feels really good. 

The world-building in The Devil's Apprentice was well thought out. Filled to bursting with characters that you really don't want to like, it was surprisingly light-hearted. We meet so many along the way that really don't seem so bad. I mean, sure, they are demons, but at the end of the day, they have homes and families and jobs they take pride in doing. On the opposite side of that coin, the bleak and gruesome punishments of those sentenced to hell rivaled Dante. Every time, Phillip encountered one he had to ask the punishee what they had done to earn their punishment. The lake of fire, for example, lighting up the eternal night is one such. Jacob Sprenger, a German witch hunter or inquisitor, was cast into the lake of fire for his actions in the witch trials, drowning and burning for eternity, just like those he sentenced. Karma in the bleak afterlife is alive and well, wouldn't you say? 

Humorous and engaging, The Devil's Apprentice also gives those of a more cerebral leaning an intellectual and theological provocation. While I can't see it becoming popular in the way His Dark Materials has, it certainly has the same appeal to those who want to ban books that don't conform to the Christian mindset. After all, if Harry Potter can cause an uproar because of magic/witchcraft, what in the world would they think of this book? I can practically see the pitchforks now.








For your chance to win a digital copy of The Devil's Apprentice, click the link below!




About the Author

I WAS BORN IN DENMARK ON A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT IN NOVEMBER 1976 …

… and I began writing when I was a teenager. My first book was a really awful horror novel titled Nidhug’s Slaves. It didn’t get published. Luckily.

During the next 7 years, I wrote nearly 20 novels–all of which were rejected–while working as a school teacher. The rest of the time I spent writing.

In 2000 I published my debut fantasy book, The Battle of Ca├»ssa, and that’s when things really took off. Since then I’ve published more than thirty-five books for children and young adults in genres ranging from fantasy to horror and science fiction.

My books have been translated into more than 15 languages and my series about the superhero Antboy has been adapted for film, which is available on Netflix. An animated tv series is currently in development.

A musical of The Devil’s Apprentice opened in the fall 2018 and the movie rights for the series have also been optioned.

I live in Copenhagen with my wife, two boys, a dog named Milo and spiders in the basement.

About THE GREAT DEVIL WAR: The Great Devil War was published in Denmark from 2005-2016, beginning with The Devil’s Apprentice.

Even though the story (mostly) takes place in Hell and deals with themes like evil, death and free will, it is also a humoristic tale about good and evil seen from a different perspective. A tale that hopefully will make the reader – young or old, boy or girl – laugh and think.


Welcome to the other side!










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