Book Review: The Wrongful Death by Kenneth B. Andersen

Publisher: Joffe Books

Date: 2019

Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult

Plot: 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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The Devil’s Apprentice | The Die of Death

Having enjoyed the previous books in this younger reader fantasy series and witnessed the development of the protagonist, I was looking forward to this one.

I have to start with the characters. I said in my review of the first book that you forget Philip is only a child. While he has grown and developed since his first trip to hell, you sense an underlying maturity this time that shows how far he has come. It isn’t about prankster tricks this time and his understanding of the stakes and what is important has certainly progressed.

As well as his individual growth, Philip’s relationship with Satina is changing as well. There is an element of romance and early love introduced. It’s subtle and handled with care; they’re both still young, after all. But you see their friendship develop and as both are presented with difficult choices, it’s rewarding to see their emotions begin to change. It feels you’re watching these characters grow up and it’s such a satisfying feeling.

“They believed in different gods, and so the stairwell led them here. God might have created man, but man also created God.”

The secondary characters are as entertaining as ever. This time, God himself is introduced and I love how he was depicted: wound-up by Lucifer and neither God nor Devil wanting to back down. It was interesting how it was handled – this God expects things to be done, even if they are hard and you don’t want to.

Other mythology and concepts of death are also introduced, including Hel and a visit to Hades, featuring surprise characters such as Hercules and the return of Cerberus.

The other books have tackled some deep topics – heaven and hell, life and death – but this one introduced a new challenge: temptation. The first book touched upon this as Philip is enticed to perform devilish acts, but there is a level of maturity this time. The characters are faced with the original temptation – the ultimate temptation – and it works effectively to test not only the characters’ own motivation but also their relationships: Satina and Philip both face difficult choices and it is only with the support of each other they pull through.

For the most part, I thought this one lacked some of the tension that was found through the previous two books. While there is a race against time, the stakes didn’t feel as high and the humour throughout meant it was an enjoyable ride rather than a nail-biting one.

That being said, the final few chapters in the book turn everything on its head. All the tension that had previously been understated is ramped up and you’re left with eagerly turning the pages to find out the fall-out of events. This climax not only made the book gripping, but left it in a chilling place with no easy solution being presented. It’s the first in the series so far to leave it on a genuine cliff-hanger rather than returning to a sense of normality and I love the way it was handled.

A thoroughly enjoyable and action-packed book that will certainly leave you wanting more. Next!

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A Rambling Reviewer

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29 thoughts on “Book Review: The Wrongful Death by Kenneth B. Andersen

  1. I love when the secondary characters are exciting and entertaining as the main ones. I find those stories are often my favorites. I also love the cover of this book. I’m definitely a person who judges a book by its cover. I know I shouldn’t…but some covers are just so good!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This looks like a series for me to look up. I like the the idea of the story, the book cover looks awesome too.

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  3. This sounds right up my street, I love books that involve the underworld – bad characters are always so much more interesting, haha. I like the sound of the character development too – one for my TBR pile then, thank you for such an intriguing review! Lisa x

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  4. Oh this sounds like such a great read. Definitely something I would enjoy. Thanks for sharing your review!

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  5. This book sounds like it would be so interesting! I would love to read it. Thanks for reviewing!

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