I received an ARC copy from the author but that has in no way influenced my review, which I freely chose to write.
I have been following The Great Devil War, since the first novel, The Devil’s Apprentice, and loved it. I must confess I easily lose patience with series, so that’s saying something. I’m pleased to report that I enjoyed this instalment too, and I can’t wait for the 6th and last part, although I’m sure I’ll miss the characters once it’s over. One warning to people who hate cliff-hangers, this book ends in one, and it felt a bit shorter than most of the others, as if we were catching up with the characters after a long break and getting ready for the big finale, rather than telling a full story. But it is a good read nonetheless.
It has been a long while since we last heard from Philip, and when we catch up with him, he is not the same boy we met in the first novel. Readers who’ve been following the series don’t need to worry if they’ve read part four a while back, because, at the beginning of the book, Philip keeps pondering about the past and about the decisions that brought him here and that means we can easily get up to speed. Philip is unhappy and thinks he has taken the wrong decision, and of course, we all know that one needs to be careful what one wishes for, and strange things soon start happening. And then, he is back in Hell, but he soon realises that time moves at a different pace there and many things have happened since he was around. I won’t go into a lot of detail about the plot, but I can tell you that we visit Heaven again; Philip gets to spend more time with his father; there is a new character that will take your breath away (and one I’ve come across in other writers’ work as well); and a story development that I think might not come as a total surprise to readers.
There are the usual funny meetings and jokes (yes, you’d be pleased to know that politicians get a very suitable punishment), characters from the Old Testament have plenty of things to say about Jehovah and not all complimentary, and we have an opportunity to catch up our favourite characters.
Although the book starts a bit slow, and we get a look into a Philip more bitter and angry than we are used to, he soon gets thrown into the middle of things and I enjoyed seeing him become more and more determined and independent. There is evidence of a darker side to his character that we had had glimpses of before, but he has grown into a more complex character, and like Satina and even Sam, their experiences and their age have had an impact making them more mature and responsible, although that does not mean they no longer have fun.
I enjoyed catching up with all the characters, meeting the new ones, the interaction between Lucifer and Jehova, and although I’m not a fun of cliff-hangers, I know I won’t have to wait long for the true finale, and there are big and difficult decisions coming Philip’s way.
I recommend it to lovers of fantasy, particularly that to do with angels, demons, mythology, especially those who enjoy series, and of course, to those who have been following the series. This novel is book five in the series, and they should all be read in the right order for readers to enjoy it fully. If you haven’t read the rest, I recommend that you start from the beginning and keep going, and I’m sure I’ll be back soon to tell you about book 6.