Rating: 5/5 stars
Length: 317 pages
Series: The Great Devil War, Book 3
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, European Literature, Danish Literature
Publication Date: April 19, 2019
How exciting! We’re now on book #3 of The Great Devil War multi-book tour — The Wrongful Death by Kenneth B. Andersen. Let’s see what epic adventure Philip embarks on in this exciting installment!
An unfortunate chain of events makes Philip responsible for the untimely death of the school bully Sam—the Devil’s original choice for an heir. Philip must return to Hell to find Sam and bring him back to life, so that fate can be restored. But trouble is stirring in Lucifer’s kingdom and not even Philip can imagine the strange and dark journey that awaits him. A journey that will take him through ancient underworlds and all the way to Paradise.
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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 Caïssa, 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!
The Garden of Eden
The darkness of night turned into the light of morning, and although Philip did what Lucifer recommended and pulled his hood over his eyes, he was momentarily dazzled by the light. Slowly his eyes grew accustomed to the change, and out of the blinding whiteness, the Garden of Eden emerged in all its splendor.
Philip felt something pulling at his soul, even though all he saw was an ordinary forest. That’s because it wasn’t just an ordinary forest.
Not at all.
First of all there were the colors. The green moss that lay like a thick carpet on the floor. The blooming flowers. The luscious tree canopy overhead and fruits hanging in bunches. The sky that was more blue than Philip had ever seen. The sunlight that fell between the leaves in warm streams of gold.
Secondly there were the smells. So many, and so clear, that Philip became dizzy and had to hold onto Satina so he didn’t stumble.
Then there were the sounds. A storm of bird songs, monkey cries, and distant, thundering waterfalls, and yet… quiet, so quiet.
Then, to top it off, the atmosphere—the feeling of the place… It carried him off his feet. The forest, the air, it inspired a feeling of pure joy that Philip had never known before. It made the hair on his arms rise with delight and made his heart, yes, his very soul, feel like laughing. It felt like… Well, like he was in Heaven.
“Horrible place, right?” Lucifer said, closing the door to the rock wall. “Too cold and much too bright in my opinion. Come on, it’s this way.”
Philip and Satina followed the Devil, who with long, decisive steps led them through the summer forest.
“We’re in Heaven,” Philip whispered as he heard the mild breeze softly stirring the leaves in the canopies overhead. “I can’t believe it. We’re in Heaven!”
“Not quite,” Lucifer corrected. “It’s merely the earthly Paradise that lies between Earth and Heaven. This is where the saved souls go after they die. They help tend the garden.”
“Between Earth and Heaven?” Philip said, confused. “I thought you went to Heaven when you died. If you’re good, that is.”
“No. You get this far and no farther. I realize a lot of people think that, Philip. There are even more who think Paradise is about lying in a hammock all day and letting God’s angels attend to your every need. But it’s never been like that. It would quickly lead to many of the seven deadly sins—laziness, gluttony, and greed, just to name a few—and that doesn’t exactly harmonize well with this place. No, living in Paradise means hard work. Of course, it’s nothing compared to working conditions down where we are.”
“What is Heaven, then?”
“Heaven is home to Jehovah and the angels. The angels come to Paradise, but they don’t live there. They live in Empyrean, the city of light. It’s even worse than this place. It makes my eyes itch and my nose starts running like a faucet. I’m definitely more comfortable here.” Lucifer plucked a flame-red rose, and it immediately lost its color and shriveled up. He smelled it and tossed it aside, the now metallic-gray flower disintegrating to ash as it hit the ground. “I have some good memories from this place.”
There was a subtle snap on their right as something in the forest stepped on a branch.
Philip turned his head and froze in his tracks.
It was a tiger. It ran toward them, its giant paws soundlessly bounding through the forest, and its amber eyes locked on Satina, who hadn’t noticed the wild animal.
“Watch out!” Philip shouted and pulled her toward him as the animal came bursting out of the brush, a cascade of yellow and black and teeth and claws.
“Philip, take it easy!” Beyond the rush of blood roaring in his ears, he heard Lucifer laughing. “It wouldn’t harm a fly.”
Fear turned into confusion and then amazement when he saw the tiger had stopped and just stood there, curiously watching them. Curious and…friendly?
“It won’t?” he muttered and let go of Satina. “Sorry, but I thought… Are you okay?”
“That’s what I’m saying, Philip. Paradise is a gruesome place. So sad and boring. Just look at this guy.” Lucifer walked over to the tiger and patted him on the back. “Tame as a lamb. Wild animals aren’t even wild here. In the afterlife they peacefully coexist.” The Devil sadly shook his head. “I get nauseous just thinking about it.”
*Spoiler free review*
I can certainly understand why Philip didn’t want to go out of his way to remember the events that took place in The Die of Death. I, too, wouldn’t want to continue to relive some of the scariest moments in my life – and they’re nothing compared to what Philip had to go through! While he proves time and time again that he’s an incredibly brave boy, he’s also human and shouldn’t have to be brave every second of every day. Everyone is allowed a little weakness.
That being said, in this novel Philip once again proves why he’s considered to be the bane of the Great Conspiracy. It takes someone as good and caring as Philip to do even half of what he’s able to accomplish – and Philip goes even further.
I also adore the way that Andersen describes the Afterlife. While I’m glad I’ve never been to Hell, reading about Philip’s trials there is almost soothing at times. I’m sure if I had friends like Satina and Lucifax I’d (mostly) enjoy my time in Hell, as well. Of course they get up to all kinds of mischief in the Afterlife, but it certainly makes for a unique and jaw dropping read.
If you’re looking for a fun and entertaining read, you should certainly give this series a try – starting with The Devil’s Apprentice. This whole series takes a unique look at the Afterlife and I’ve loved every second I’ve spent in the world. Worlds? I certainly can’t wait to read The Angel of Evil and see what Philip gets up to next.
Giveaway: Digital copy of The Wrongful Death! Enter below!
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One of the things I love most about this series is how prophetic it can be at times. Andersen does an amazing job at sneaking in prophecies, making it seem like they’re minor plot points until later in the story. Straight away, we get to see this in action with Philip’s prophetic dream about Sam’s death. While it didn’t make a whole lot of sense to him at the time – and still didn’t while Philip was actually watching it come true – Philip knew in the back of his mind that something was going on with that dream of his. After all, he couldn’t stop thinking about it once he woke up.
And, of course, there’s the fact that Philip and Aziel are mirror images of each other. Like Philip mentioned, it’s no longer on the inside since Aziel aged so drastically at the end of The Die of Death. Instead, it’s what’s inside the boys that’s the mirror. Philip was the best of the best whereas Aziel has always been the worst of the worst. There are things within them that they see reflected back in the other – and I doubt either of them like seeing it there.
I also love the way that Philip does whatever he needs to in order to do the best job that he can. He knew something was off when he saw Blackhorn in the Globe of Evil, even if it took him a minute to come to terms with what was wrong with the image. Though, to be fair, Philip is starting to catch on to things much quicker than he did in the past.
Of course, there are still moments where Philip seems to move ahead in his quest through blind luck. Take the burning bush for example. Philip wasn’t sure what the answer to the riddle was, but by just being himself he was able to get it right almost right away. His naive innocence is one of the (many) things that endears him to me. I don’t fault Philip for doubting whether he’d actually get to see his father, either, when he made his way to Paradise with Lucifer. After all, he’d been fooled twice with the promise of meeting his father.
All in all, Philip’s travels through the afterlife were once again fascinating to read about. I loved seeing him use the Summoning Pill and getting stuck in the Forest of Fears while Sam ended up getting sent to “Hel”. While I enjoy any time Philip spends in Hell, I must admit that I really do enjoy seeing the other places in the Afterlife. Paradise sounds fantastic – though I might have to agree with Lucifer that it’s a little too tame. I’m glad that the tiger didn’t actually try to eat Satina, but there’s something sad about seeing such a wild and ferocious beast acting so tame.
While there’s so much that I can say about the real meat of the story – such as Philip going to Hades to get Sam back – the last thing I really want to touch on is the comparison between Sam and Philip when they first arrive in Hell itself. Their meetings with Lucifer couldn’t have been much different.
Okay, I do first have to briefly mention how adorable Cerberus is. The fact that he remembered Philip and wanted to play with him was too cute!
Ahem, back to it…
Looking back at Philip’s arrival, he was good to a fault. He couldn’t even lie to Lucifer to save his feelings – even knowing that Lucifer was a dying man. Yet practically the first thing Sam does is lie to Lucifer. Not in a malicious way, but through trying to tell the Devil what he wanted to hear. Even scared out of his mind it was clear that Sam remained his usual conniving self. He also tried to make excuses about his behaviour on Earth. He didn’t mean to kill Philip even if he did end up coming back to life. He didn’t see the car coming until it was too late! Yet Philip might have been apologetic and terrified, but he didn’t once lie to Lucifer about who he was. It was very interesting getting to see the comparison between the two boys – especially since Philip was so worried about being Aziel’s mirror image. The comparison between Sam and Philip just goes to show that while Philip might have the potential for evil – and he might sometimes miss the devil inside him – he just can’t help but be a very good boy.
This might very well be my favourite book yet in the series. The world keeps expanding in ways that draw my attention more and more. I love getting to see how characters grow and change as their time flies by and how interesting it is to see the differences in these time. I love watching the different Afterlifes take form in my mind, becoming almost tangible places. I can’t wait to see what Andersen brings next because I know it’s going to be amazing.
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