Translated by K. E. Semmel
The Devil’s Apprentice, by Kenneth B Andersen is a fun and entertaining story of morality and childhood, perfect for younger ya readers, and even entertaining for an older audience.
Synopsis: Philip is a star child, well behaved, hard-working, polite and he never lies. However, an unfortunate series of events results in Philip being sent to Hell so he can become Lucifer’s apprentice, only to find out it was a mistake.
Philip is not who Lucifer was looking for. In fact, Philip is the polar opposite to the boy Lucifer wanted. He is dreadful at being evil, he fails at every turn, but Luficer has no other options and has to train Philip to be bad.
During this chaotic and amusing time in the underworld, Philip makes both friends and enemies. But, there is a sinister plot going on and Philip has been drawn in. Without knowing who he can truly trust – will Philip be able to uncover who is plotting against the throne?
— Interesting And Effective —
The Narrative And Writing Style. Andersen uses a very direct and simple writing style which, for this book, was very effective. However, despite the direct style, Andersen also uses some very vivid imagery and his descriptions are rich, interesting and effective. His metaphors are beautifully crafted and are, at times, amusing and comical. They draw you into the story and the writing itself is incredibly well paced. There are no drawn out scenes that are boring or simple average, instead it is full of fun and interesting events and action. Overall the writing style is relatively light and tailored towards amusing and comical, setting the perfect tone for this book. The sinister aspect of the underworld cuts through the comedy pretty effectively, and makes the horrible events more impactful while maintaining the fun element of the story.
While it does appear tailored to the lower end of the YA spectrum, the story, characters and writing style are incredibly appealing and entertaining to an older audience.
The narrative perspective we get is that of Philip, thus we learn about the underworld alongside him, very organically. His perspective allows for comedy and mystery to build up as we watch him struggle to become bad. It was a great choice of perspective and aided the story wonderfully.
— Fun And Entertaining —
The Plot. This story, the plot and the world is magnificent. It is fun and entertaining and incredibly well paced. The story follows Philip as he tries to become ‘bad’ and succeed at being Lucifer’s apprentice. The concept itself is very interesting and unique in terms of ow it plays out. The plot deals with the themes of good and bad, death, relationships and friendships, and overall morality. Following the story through the eyes of a child gives it a unique perspective as he grasps the balance of morality.
The plot is perfect for the intended audience. It has comedy, action and mystery entwined together to create an epic start to the series. The mythical/supernatural element adds an interesting dimension to the story with the demons being tricksters and shapeshifters who inconvenience each other. It was a fun and interesting way to highlight the mischievousness of the demons.
Moreover, the exploration of friendship and trust was entertaining and important for the audience. It was a great plot device that added nother element to the story and allowed for Philips character to change and develop.
Furthermore, the way in which Philip is trained under Lucifer is amusing and intriguing. It focuses more on the prank/trickster aspect, things children would see as bad, fitting with the intent of the story, while also having subtle hints at more serious elements of evil. The balance worked very well and made the story unique, original and entertaining throughout.
Finally, the world is well developed, while more could be added there is enough and it is complex, however, there is never an overload of information and everything is explained organically and gradually. While some elements of the story are a little obvious or cliche, it doesn’t take away from it, partly because of the intended audience, but also because it is so expertly written.
— Dynamic And Enjoyable —
The Characters. Every characters Andersen created was dynamic and enjoyable to read about. Moreover, the development of the characters, particularly Philip, is very interesting to watch and highly entertaining.
Philip. The main character is a boy-scout. He is extremely well-behaved, does all of his homework (and more), and NEVER lies. This means that his flaws revolve around having little to no friends since he will not hesitate to tell the truth if they have been bad. When he finds himself in the underworld he struggle to become bad himself but slowly develops to realise not all lies are ‘bad’ and trusting friends can be a good thing. He builds up relationships with Lucifer, Lucifax, Satina and more. His developments are wonderful to watch and the ending itself is quite suprising.
Lucifer. The devil himself is an interesting character, sharp and witty with comical additions. The character is complex and evil, happy to manipulate but is also interesting and deeper than what is expected.
Satina. Headstrong, kinder than expected and a master at mischief, she is Philip’s first friend in Hell and is kind to him and helps hime learn about the underworld. She is also key to his character development and their relationship is interesting to watch develop as it is complex and realistic.
All of the characters are so well crafted but I have not gone through them all in order to avoid spoilers! Overall they are fun, intricate and perfect for the story.
— Amusing And Exciting —
Overall. The Devil’s Apprentice is a fun and entertaining story full of action and and important themes from friendship to morality. Perfect for younger YA audiences and adults alike, it is devilishly amusing and witty.
This book is perfect for people wanting to enter into the world of fantasy! And for previous lovers who want a light fun read they can breeze through but enjoy immensely.
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.
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*I received a free digital edition of #DevilsApprentice by Kenneth B Andersen from @The_WriteReads #TheWriteReads in exchange for an honest review for a #UltimateBlogTour #BlogTour*