Again, a big big thank you to Dave @TheWriteReads and author Kenneth B. Andersen for letting me take part in this awesome (and gigantic!) blog tour! This time it’s about The Die of Death, the second instalment in Kenneth’s The Great Devil War series. In the last The Great Devil War tour I only wrote half a review (which you can read here), and I didn’t get to update my review yet, but Ireally liked it. And unsurprisingly, I loved this one too! Let me tell you why…but first, here’s the blurb (taken from Goodreads):
Philip’s adventures as the Devil’s apprentice have changed him—in a good way. Although he misses his friends in Hell, he has made new friends in life.
But when the future of the underworld is threatened once again, Philip’s help is needed. Death’s Die has been stolen and immortality is spreading across the globe.
Philip throws himself into the search—and discovers a horrible truth about his own life along the way.
The Die of Death is volume 2 in The Great Devil War-series and winner of the ORLA-Award.
The Great Devil War-series is a humorous and gripping tale about good and evil, filled with biblical and historical characters, such as Judas, Goliath, and Pontius Pilate, as well as modern figures such as Elvis Presley, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, and many more.
The Great Devil War-series is a Danish bestseller, topping library and school reading lists among teens and young adults. The books have been published in more than ten countries and have won numerous awards.
There are two things I love most in Andersen’s books: the world-building and the characters. Let’s start with the former. This book, like the first one, is set in hell and the real world, but we start on earth this time. I really liked reading up on Philip’s home, his parents, his friends at school. It made him seem more human. However, I also liked seeing the underworld and Philip’s human live intermingle, when characters from hell started to show up on earth… I don’t want to spoiler here, but you will certainly be entertained at these sequences, too! And then downstairs, so to speak, in hell, Philip spends some time of the book too. He even visits the house of Death himself! The descriptions of hell are dark and gloomy, of course, but they are also vivid (the contradiction!) and imaginative. Even though it’s a scary place, it’s kind of… nice.. if that makes sense, to read about it as such a place full of life. I don’t know if that makes sense. Here, let me try to explain it this way: I’d usually be totally scared reading a book about hell, and death, and the devil. But somehow, I’m not. Part of it might be because it’s aimed to be a children’s story (to which I will get in a bit), but I think most of it has to do with the descriptive writing that I found to be very nice to read.
Now, on to the characters. First things first, there’s obviously Philip, the main character. You liked him in book one? You will like him even more in this one. Going through his adventures, Philip has grown up, and yet, he is still only a boy. Just one who went to hell and back. In this second instalment of Andersen’s series, Mortimer, Death himself, calls for Philip – he needs the boy’s help and sends him on a thrilling and exciting quest. Mortimer, even though thinking about who or WHAT he really is, makes me shiver, is a great character with a lot of depth. I also loved reading about Philip’s growing friendships in the underworld, especially to Satina. Following them on their quests was entertaining throughout.
There’s one slight minus that keeps me from giving it the full five points, though – something I have to touch upon briefly. I have read several other reviews and some have said they found the book a bit childish at some points, whereas other people have noted that they found the cover too mature for a children’s book. I have to say, I totally agree with the latter. I already thought so with the with the last book, but find it more so here. The book cover is way too detailed, dark and scary for children. I mean, there’s a dead body hanging there! Also, sometimes I had conflicting feelings reading about the hellish characters (even though I liked them!). It made me think – ‘is this really for children?’ I guess you could argue about the content, though I think the cover itself is out of question.
All in all I can say that again, this was a great read by Kenneth and an amazing #UltimateBlogTour that Dave got running! I loved meeting the various historical figures throughout the story and learning more about Philip. While the first book dealt more with Philips training situation in hell, this book focuses more on the mystery that Philip experiences, and we get to experience it with him. An engrossing read for teens and adults! 4.5 stars from me!