Publisher: Joffe Books
Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult
Plot: 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.
I received The Die of Death as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I thoroughly enjoyed Devil’s Apprentice and when given the chance to continue the series, I jumped at the chance. Although aimed at a younger audience, these books are fun, entertaining and refreshing reads when you need something to make you laugh.
The Die of Death continues a few months after Philip has returned to the landing of the living. But he’s been changed by his experiences and is prepared to break a few more of the rules, finally finding friends.
But Death, Hell and the Devil himself aren’t done with Philip yet. Returned to the underworld to help solve the mystery of the missing die, Philip realises it’s good to be back, even if not all the devils are pleased at his return. With a new mystery to solve, he teams up with Satina again and sets to work dealing with the problems Hell can’t solve itself.
The truth is, people don’t realize just how much they should appreciate me. Death isn’t an unfortunate consequence of life; on the contrary, Death is what makes life worth living. Men and women value only that which they might lose. Don’t you see? Without death, life is uninteresting and utterly meaningless.
I enjoyed the second book more because Philip’s character is likeable from the beginning, allowing you to go straight into the story rather than the scene setting required in the first book. We aren’t taken on tours of Hell this time, but seeing through Philip’s eyes means seeing how his previous adventures has changed the occupants of Hell – for the better, even if that’s the worst thing they will admit to.
We get to revisit favourite characters: Lucifer, Lucifax, Satina to name a few. We also get to know others better with Death/Mortimer taking the lead role for needing Philip. The mystery is entertaining and exploring different layers of Hell as Philip and Satina try and track down leads. There are a few famous faces making an appearance, including both Judas and Hitler, and the punishments are inventive and fitting.
It’s not just old friends we meet again, but old enemies as well. The deceptions are deep, with emotional consequences, and Philip must, once again, figure out what he wants from life/death and the price he is prepared to pay to get it.
Like the first book, there is a steady, underlying tension throughout that peaks at key moments before building for the finale. The main plot concludes earlier than the sub-plot, which made me feel parts were a little slower paced than previously, but still kept me engaged throughout. Perhaps most importantly, the mystery remained just that – the book revealed the outcome, I didn’t guess it.
While the first book contains strong messages about good and evil, the second book takes a different stance: life and death. Even for an older reader, it has some interesting premises and touches upon some deep themes that leave you thinking, neatly avoiding clichés and explaining sensitive topics.
Despite the deep topics, The Die of Death is a light-hearted and entertaining read. It didn’t take me long to get through but left me feeling satisfied: the type of book where you can say you thoroughly enjoyed it even if the reading itself wasn’t particularly challenging.
An enjoyable read and a refreshing return to a fun series.