I have an interesting little story regarding this book! Disclaimer: read on for possibly boring personal life details and a lot of bitching about life 😂 you have been warned! (If you just want the review, scroll to the place with the name of the book! It starts there.)
Since I’ve written and rewritten this first paragraph five times now (and am currently thinking I might have lost my gift of putting thoughts together coherently at all), let me give you the story in the form of a short list! Here goes:
- So you might have noticed that I normally don’t sign up for blog tours… They can be stressful!
- But when Dave of TheWriteReads asked me if I had an opening to help out and spotlight this book, I somehow said yes. I mean, spotlighting isn’t hard, is it? Nope!
- Turned out, THE BOOK WAS AWESOME! And I totally need to review it!
- So despite only starting it on Wednesday and with my post having to go out on Sunday, I still decided to review it, because the book simply deserved it.
- And I feel that it’s somewhat fitting that I’m reading The Devil’s Apprentice in what appears to be A Week From Hell.
- No, it seriously wasn’t all that bad, but currently I have very stressful and busy arrangements I have to do in personal life!
- Also I had a class to teach (which means working all day, and then working some more till nighttime teaching the class)
- Also, work has been busier than ever (crazy clients be crazy 😂)
- Also, I had errands on pretty much every week day leading up to the review
- Honestly, what day is it?
- (Am I boring you yet..? 😂)
- Despite all that, I was 53% into the book by the end of the week and loving it!
- When suddenly, The Saturday Of Hell manifested.
What’s The Saturday Of Hell?
Well, okay, it wasn’t THAT bad. Well, maybe a little bad. Certainly involved some tears and all that. I had a REALLY bad day yesterday! Got up early, went out on errands, and in the squash of Christmas shoppers (all more glamorous and rich than thou!), I still managed to FAIL to achieve anything I planned and spend 8 hours doing it (just because that’s how life is!) Lo and behold, I come back home and find my boyfriend sitting on the sofa browsing his phone. NEVER HAPPENS. Turns out…. The internet has been broken for the entire day, and even though he’s tried solving it, there’s only so much you can do when you don’t speak the local language and it’s Saturday. I tried calling the service… But after ten minutes of waiting music and “we’re sorry, all support specialists are currently busy” I gave it and plomped my butt on the beanbag, broke open a cold one and decided to just be done with the day.
Which is when I received another call.
And it’s nothing bad, but just… do you know how sometimes something so tiny and so unbelievably annoying will happen, and it will be the last straw, and suddenly you’re crying because this week is done taking it out of you?
Basically what I’m saying is that this week’s been super petty. Petty is the word. And this last thing that happened was petty as all hell! And I know petty is used for action of conscious persons. I believe this week must’ve been that 😂
So there’s this fancy schmancy Christmas celebration we go to with my ex-colleagues every year. They kindly buy me a ticket and we dress up and it’s ever so much fun! In my bustle of doing wayyyy too many errands this year, I didn’t even notice that it was time for it. I also just thought that maybe they’re just not going this year, or maybe they just don’t want me there anymore. Shit happens.
Except it turns out, they BOUGHT ME A TICKET AND FORGOT TO INVITE ME.
And after I’ve just had the shittest day in the past half a year (the only shitter one so far, in terms of emotional state, has been when my boyfriend was bitten by a dog, we had to take him in to get rabies shots and they kindly informed me he wasn’t insured despite us paying insurance every month…. YEAH.) So after a day like that, my ex-colleagues call me up, say “sorry we actually just forgot to TELL YOU TO COME, get into your fanciest clothes and pop to the center in 15 minutes and let’s partayyyyy!”
[insert biggest facepalm emoji here or whatever]
Yeah, so that’s my day!
Nope, I didn’t end up going because I was crying at that point with the sheer overwhelm of “what is this shit” 😂 also, I was wearing essentially a sweatshirt, hadn’t washed my hair and was exhausted as hell. (What I find surprising is that I am not mad at my ex-colleagues in the slightest 😂 truly is puzzling. It’s just a shame to have missed it, since I won’t see some of them until the year after, probably.)
Oh, and I almost forgot. To finish it off, I got a message saying that my Christmas presents that I ordered ON NOVEMBER 9TH wouldn’t be making it here for Christmas. I mean, seriously. WHAT A DAY.
So no partay. No internet to post my blog tour review. No motivation to even finish the book 😂
I realize that:
- this sounds incredibly spoiled and privileged
- (hey, at least they forgot to invite me, not buy me a ticket!)
- THIS SHOULD BE A BOOK REVIEW
- it’s like the universe was trying to stop me posting this review
- AND HAHA, IT FAILED
- take that, universe!
Anyway! Which finally brings me to my review! Well, mostly. As you can see, I’m posting this right now, which means my internet has been restored! Turns out, you just need to call the right number. And talk in the local language. And they’ll send over a guy to fix it up even on Sunday. And I also finished the book today! Nothing stopping me from finally, finally giving you the review!
So About The Devil’s Apprentice, Finally
Check out on Goodreads
★★★★✬ 4.5 stars
How I read this:
free review copy for blog tour
I loved it!!! I can’t believe a book like that just randomly landed on my reading list. (Remember when I said, take that, universe? Well, maybe there is balance. Thanks, universe!) I would have never chosen to read this book on my own – the cover choice would have kept me off it. I usually steer clear of books that look “too epic fantasy”, because it’s usually not my thing. And it does seem to be that from the cover. But it’s not! This is a middle grade with a lot of paranormal in it, but it reads more like an adventure or a fairytale, with a moral to the story as well. It was very good! And I’m very glad I got to read it.
Anyway, to tell you more about the story – Lucifer is… *gasp!* dying. And despite all you might think, the world DOES need a Hell, just as much as it needs a balance between good and evil. So, Lucifer gets a boy from earth in a last attempt to train a successor. Sadly… A mistake gets in the way, and instead of getting the worst bully the world has ever seen, Lucifer ends up with a boy who does all his chores because he wants to be good, would rather volunteer to be a punching bad so that others wouldn’t get punched and has also never told a lie, even a white one – even at the cost of losing a friend.
I loved the writing of this book – it reads really easily and is instantly engrossing. The Hell in which Phillip, the boy, ends up, is pretty imaginative as well! It had a lot of interesting things in it. It actually reminded me of another book that was about the afterlife, called The List of 13, which I also greatly recommend.
But this isn’t just a book about a good boy landing in Hell, as great as that premise sounds! It’s so much more. While Hell itself is plenty simplified, the balance between good and evil is not. When Phillip comes to Hell, he has this one-sided understanding of life. Good things are only good, bad things are only bad. It’s so very natural for us to think that – I think all of us feel this way when we are children, and some of us never do grow out of it, because it’s hard. It’s hard to imagine that “bad people” have families and friends they love and respect. It’s hard seeing “bad people” as “just people”. We always want to exalt the good and demonize the bad. It makes life easier.
But that’s what Phillip learns – the good, as well as the evil, can all be found inside of your own self.
It’s incredibly easy to be tempted into evil – it doesn’t matter how “good” you essentially were. Good and evil is a choice, and we all make it every day. Every second of each day! Sometimes we may be forced into a choice, and sometimes it may be that we’ve been tempted. But it is important to OWN that choice. To realize that it was you who made it.
Another thing I really loved about this book was how it portrayed growing up – the change from a child to a teen. Learning to stand up for yourself and learning how to defend yourself isn’t “evil”. Being strong and decisive doesn’t have to be “evil”, and being meek and soft doesn’t always have to be “good”. Embracing your anger and understanding it is a natural part of growing up – in fact, I think that’s what we are learning through our teenage years. Shutting up all that anger inside of you won’t make you a better person – understanding the anger is what does.
Apart from these bigger themes, The Devil’s Apprentice is one big adventure a nice boy experiences in the evilest place of the world – Hell. Surprisingly, he makes friends and even manages to convince some devils that there is virtue to kindness. Because that’s what life is – it isn’t black or white. Life is a lot of grey. And when you realize that, the adventure becomes fun.
I can truly recommend this book! It was fun to read and made me ponder bigger themes. I can’t wait to read the sequel!The Devil's Apprentice by @K_B_Andersen is one big adventure a nice boy experiences in the evilest place of the world – Hell. It also packs some moral dillemas too! ★★★★✬ 4.5 stars: Click To Tweet
I thank the author, publisher and The Write Reads blog tours for giving me a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. This has not affected my opinion.
More About The Devil’s Apprentice
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.
More 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.
There is some (demon)cat torturing, although not graphic, mostly just mention. Of course, this is hell, so the sinners taking their punishment are always in the background. What I particularly didn’t enjoy was the punishment of people who killed themselves and I morally didn’t agree with it
Do you enjoy middle grade, or books that are something like a paranormal fairytale?
Have you read many books that talk about the meaning of good and evil and their balance?
I’m Evelina and I try to blog about books that matter, with a bit of fun there too! Disability and equality will be topics you see a lot, but there’s also a lot of scifi, fantasy and… GIFs. I’m also the proud founder of #ARCsAnonymous.