Publication Date of Book: August 2014
"Death has a symphony. It isn't violins and crashing cymbals and beating drums; it consists of screaming and yelling and, in my case, the screeching of brakes." - Mitchell Johnson
Mitchell Johnson's untimely demise has led him to a permanent residence in Hell. However, his newfound friends (Alfarin, a viking prince, Elinor, a victim of the fire of 1666, and Medusa) have made the traumatizing experience fairly bearable. He spends most of his days working as the Devil's intern and aiding Septimus, the Devil's right-hand man. The days and years crawl by but Mitchell still cannot get this single thought out of his head:
"Living. I have that one word written on a piece of scrap paper. It sits in my wallet, scrunched up and faded from being unfolded and read all the time. And living is the one thing I will never do again.
I just exist."
The fact that Mitchell only exists torments him. He also still does not understand why he was locked out of the pearly gates. He wants a second chance at life. He wants a second chance to live up to his fullest potential and take back a future that he was denied. It turns out being the Devil's intern isn't so bad, especially once Mitchell discovers the existence of the Viciseometer, an ancient time-travel device. This mechanism may be his only hope of reclaiming his old life. Mitchell and his friends are in for one hell of a ride when they all decide to visit their death dates and alter their paths forever.
This book absolutely blew me away! Donna Hosie created an amazing universe and characters that were completely compelling and new. It was something that I had never read before, and her version of the fiery abyss was fresh and unexpected. She drew my attention to an aspect of Hell that has not yet been explored. I also have to commend her for bringing witty humor to a tale that inevitably contains darkness.
I believe Donna definitely brought a wonderful story to the table. I love the fact that she entwined a lot of history into this novel. The vikings and the fire of 1666 were interesting eras to both explore and learn about. They also brought great background stories to Elinor and Alfarin. Mitchell's struggle with his death was another big part of the book that I enjoyed. Donna definitely got into this character's head, showing the reader the devastation of dying at a young age. All of the main characters lived through tragic experiences. I truly felt the emotion and heartbreak of each characters' trying death and the horrific times that they lived through.
Mitchell has to face each of his friends' demises and this just leads to an epic build-up that will play a key roll when he faces his own death. Mitchell has to come to terms with how preventing his death will alter his family and friends' lives. He has to outweigh the costs and benefits of his desires that may turn out to be more selfish then he had originally thought. Besides, everything occurs for a reason, and even tragedy can result in a happy ending.
I only took half a star off of my rating due to the fact that I was a little frustrated with the ending and with what happened to Medusa. However, I can't wait to see how Donna uses the ending events of The Devil's Intern in her next book!
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