The Devil’s Apprentice
by Kenneth B. Andersen
ePUB, 238 pages
Published October 8th 2018
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.
I received an ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review.
When the author first contacted me about this book, I knew I was going to enjoyed it. But when I actually read it, I knew it’s going to be a new favorite!
The story centers around a boy name Phillip, who after a mix up that resulted in his untimely death, ended up in hell to be the Devil’s successor. The problem is, Phillip is literally an angel- he couldn’t even lie! So that presents a huge and hilarious problem for the Devil as he must trained Phillip before his time was up. Aside from learning to be the perfect devil worth of Satan’s throne, Phillip also has to solve the mystery of Lucifer’s illness and adapt to life in hell.
I really enjoyed Phillip as a character. He’s a goody two shoes, yes, but it doesn’t make him too perfect or boring to read. Instead, in the contrasting setting of hell, his perfect behavior became a flaw and presents an interesting conflict to resolve. He’s also really smart and resillient; despite not wanting to become Lucifer the Second, he did not sit tight and wait for the situation to resolve itself. He tried to solve the problem by preventing Lucifer’s death by investigating the cause of his illness and when he’s in his dark mood, he tried his best to fulfill the role. Aside from good behavior, I feel like he adapt really quickly to life (or death) in hell.
As this is a middle grade book, of course Phillip will still deals with a lot of stuff that plagues us mere mortal: bullies and love. I mean, he’s in hell so he’s obviously going to meet with bullies and other terrible (past) humans. Of course, all this events make this book full of shenanigans and mystery! The story also flows really well and the pacing is also fast, meaning that you’ll never get bored while reading.
The side characters are some of the most interesting in the stories. From Lucifax to Ravine, I love how the side characters, are both exasperated and amused with Philip niceness. They’re the supposed scary monster of hell and yet everyone finds him endearing and totally taken by him! I think his niceness provides a nice change to the monotony of evil in hell. I especially love the instant bond Phillip has with Lucifer and how I wish it was more explored. Regardless, I am excited to see more of them in the next books!
My favorite thing about this book is how the author expands on the various mythology of hell, build it and connect it so it becomes a whole new world that’s familiar but also new. We got this hell hell, the one with Lucifer the fallen one and war in heaven. Yet there’s more to the story like how he’s now buddies with God, how when doing “down” to hell, there are doors to other, much older hell that has now fallen to disuse. How there’s fiery lake and pavement made of human head. I really enjoyed exploring and immersing myself in hell with Phillip, learning about its various inhabitants, mechanism of punishment, as well as connection with the “old” hell such as the Underworld.
Overall, The Devil’s Apprentice is a heartwarming tale of a boy finding friends and allies in the most unlikely places and finding a deeper truth about himself. It’s fun and easy to read, with endearing set of characters and interesting mystery to solve. It also build up on various myth of hell from around the world and makes an interesting place to explore and learn from! I think it’s a really strong series opener and while the story resolved nicely in this book, I’m excited to see more of Phillip, hell, and its inhabitants!