This review may contain spoilers for books 1, 2 and 3 in The Great Devil War Series, by Kenneth B Andersen. For previous reviews please click here:
- The Devil’s Apprentice (Book 1)
- The Die Of Death (Book 2)
- The Wrongful Death (Book 3)
- The Fallen Angel (Book 5)
Synopsis: Philip has changed, Satina has been kidnapped and the war is beginning. As Lucifer’s reingn and kingdom is threatened, he tries to protect his demons and forbid Philip from looking for Satina. But Philip disobeys and journeys into the Outer Reach, as he venture through the deep darkness, Philip comes across demons and horrors alike and takes deadly risks in order to save Satina.
The Angel Of Evil, by Kenneth B Andersen is the 4th book in the series and the darkest by far. The Third book ended on a dark note, promising a darker and more deadly adventure in this installment and it delivered. I love dark fantasy so naturally this book has received the highest rating from me out of the entire series so far – it managed to be violent and complex with much higher stakes and risks but still managed to keep the charm the earlier books held.
This series holds a delightful charm no matter how dark it becomes, and this book is no different. It somehow manages to be nostalgic and refreshing all at once. The unique story, deep themes and shocking twists makes it a standout read, one that again pulled me out of a reading slump. Yet, it has a nostalgia to it, it is reminiscent of those childhood fantasy books you read that made you realise that you love fantasy, it takes you back to that childhood delight of reading and reminds you why you love to read.
The Angel Of Evil is wonderfully written, charming and adventurous but with a sharp edge. Andersen shows his harsher skills in this story really delving into the grit and violence of the Devil War. The story still maintains the beautiful descriptions now balanced with darker and harsher descriptions for the war itself, showing there are risks and consequences to each action. We get a lot more raw emotion in this book, and a lot more pain – with characters behaving cruller than before. Again Andersen manages to weave a fantastic story through his excellent writing.
We still stay with Philip’s narrative in this book, and this time he is much more ruthless. After his change at the end of the third book, Philip seems to have embraced his devil side and seems much more skilled as a devil than ever before. This was a very interesting perspective because we get a more complex struggle within Philip, he goes through a lot of painful tests that challenge his character, he is still not a ‘bad’ boy but he isn’t the innocent angel he used to be. We manage to connect with Philip on a much deeper level than ever before as he is physically and emotionally challenged and the empathy surrounding his character is much stronger, we feel for Philip much more than before, and sympathise with him as the story goes on.
Philip’s development as a character is incredibly realistic despite the fantasy scene, it is messy, complex and multi-dimensional – he doesn’t change or develop on a linear scale. He flits back and forth between good and bad, settling mostly on a grey area without being an evil person, he develops in logic and reason but his emotions are constantly changing. It is a raw and human form of development and I loved it.
The story itself is brilliant. This book is a successful result of what has been built up in the previous books. It was fantastic to see how all the pieces came together to create this war against Lucifer. We start following Philip as he plans to rescue Satina, mastering his Devil skills and disobeying Lucifer. Philip’s plan is actually pretty interesting for his age, though some of his decisions are a little naive (realistic mistakes or unnecessary risks reflecting his age) and it is great to watch play out as he tries to infiltrate Aziel’s base and help Lucifer keep his throne.
This book open’s up the underworld, and the rules/mythology behind it all, as Philip and Aziel’s plans plays out. Though this story puts together the pieces of the previous books, there is still a significant amount of mystery in this book too, where and what is Aziel’s plan, why is he doing what he is doing and can Philip save Satina, and Lucifer’s kingdom. This book is still a fantastic web of mystery, tension and plots and perfectly builds a dark and violent story of war and conflict. Not only that this story brings a new perspective to the themes of death, mortality, identity and individuality – this explores the themes in new, and in-depth ways.
I loved this story, the consequences were real, the war was interesting and cleverly done, Aziel’s part was cruel and clever and Philip was strong and determined. The ending of this story was amazing! If you think the book is dark the ending is even darker. A face off, the violence, the resolution was brilliant – it was cold, cruel and devastating but also a perfect resolution for this part of the story, it sets up for an excellent next installment and definitely changes Philip drastically. I cannot wait to see how the story progresses!
While the majority of this story takes place in Hell and the Outer Reach, we also get to see Paradise and the characters connected with there again too – this element is incorporated very well into the story and again helps to resolve and piece together the mysteries of the past books. I love how we get to see all the characters introduced to us together again all working together or against each other. Moreover, I love the relationship’s built up between the characters and how they progress and developed alongside the characters. Lucifer and Philip’s relationship is again shown to be a close one and is portrayed excellently, Satina and Philip’s relationship is still naturally progressing, and everyone else’s connections are equally well explored.
Honestly, I can’t say much more about this book without spoiling the series but this was a fantastic next installment in the series. It was deliciously dark but still charming, it perfectly developed and expanded the world we have come to know and love, developed and added more complexities to the characters making them more raw and real, and the plot was shocking, violent and an excellent result to the previous build up.
Overall, this was an excellent book and I would definitely recommend it to those who already love the series. I would also recommend this series to fantasy lovers, people interested in branching into fantasy or someone who wants to be reminded of why they fell in love with fantasy in the first place.
*I received a kindle copy of this book from @The_WriteReads/the author in exchange for an honest review and for a place on the #blogtour*