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Review: ‘The Demon’s Apprentice’ by Ben Reeder

August 11, 2011

(As posted at Amazon):

This book is a wild leap into a dark, dark world. I was prepared for the demon in the story – the one to whom Chance is ‘apprenticed’ – to be a ruthless son of a blank, since that pretty much goes with the territory. However, the depravity to which some of his human characters humans descend in the name of power caught me by surprise and continues to haunt me. Think of driving past a bad car crash. You look because you can’t help yourself, but the afterimages remain like a camera flash and only fade slowly. It’s like that. But you look anyway, because you want to know: what happened? Was somebody hurt? Are they going to be okay?

Ride along inside the head of Chance Fortunato, an ordinary young man forced into extraordinarily horrible circumstances. Be prepared for a certain amount of cliché from the adults he encounters, from the “Cower, puny mortals!” sort from demons, to the “Silence Young Man/Warlock!” type from more than one authoritative adult who ought to know better, but that only makes it more satisfying when he either wins them over or kicks their butts. Be prepared too for highly detailed fight scenes, given blow-by-blow. These were the only points at which I found myself flipping pages to get to the end of the fight, less interested in the details than in whether Chance wins (because I want him to win!!) However, if you’re a fan of well-written, easily visualized fights, you’ll like these too.

You’ll also get to know a couple of remarkable young people who become Chance’s friends, stick with him through thick, thin, and assorted freaky terrifying attacks by monsters, and whose friendship grants him his first glimpse of normal life. That’s real friendship, and he doesn’t take it for granted. Oh yeah, and there’s a pretty girl. A very pretty girl. A very pretty girl with secrets of her own. You’ll see.

There’s no happy ever after (in case anybody expected one) but life rarely gives a sitcom ending. What you do get is…a beginning. The author has more books planned in the series, and you can bet I’ll be waiting to find out what happens next.

The Demon’s Apprentice is available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, in paperback and e-book format.

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