Devil's Advocate

Devil's Advocate

How did Fox Mulder become a believer? How did Dana Scully become a skeptic? The X-Files Origins has the answers in this young adult origin story.The X-Files Origins: Devil's Advocate will explore the teen years of Dana Scully, the beloved character depicted in the cult-favorite TV show The X-Files. Her story is set in the spring of 1979, when serial murder, the occult, and...

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Title:Devil's Advocate
Author:Jonathan Maberry
Rating:
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Kindle Edition
Number of Pages:320 pages

Devil's Advocate Reviews

  • ✿
    Feb 22, 2016

    happiness comes in the form of two

    telling mulder and scully's stories as teenagers.

    i couldn't ask for more, really.

  • Ashley
    Feb 19, 2017

    I mean, I hate to be that person, but Hashtag Not My Scully (#NotMyScully).

    I wasn't precisely looking forward to this book, despite being the owner of a beyond huge

    obsession that permeated my adolescence, but it seemed like a fun idea, if executed properly. I wasn't as worried for the Mulder one in this pair of books, because his story as a teenager practically writes itself. Also, Kami Garcia seemed like a good choice. She knows the genre, and is successful in it. But this Maberry guy

    I mean, I hate to be that person, but Hashtag Not My Scully (#NotMyScully).

    I wasn't precisely looking forward to this book, despite being the owner of a beyond huge

    obsession that permeated my adolescence, but it seemed like a fun idea, if executed properly. I wasn't as worried for the Mulder one in this pair of books, because his story as a teenager practically writes itself. Also, Kami Garcia seemed like a good choice. She knows the genre, and is successful in it. But this Maberry guy? Never heard of him. Also, he doesn't write YA. Also, and I'm not saying dudes can't write realistic teenage girls, because they can; I've seen it happen. But what I really wanted from this book (an emotional, deep-dive character study of Scully as a teenager) seemed unlikely given the choice of author. So I was worried about this book, but I had no idea how much I would dislike it. All my worries were very much justified, and then some.

    Main complaint out of the way first: this book was dull as hell, and for an

    story especially, felt incredibly generic. Every character in this book was a 2-D cardboard cutout, including Scully, who Maberry seems to have smushed into place to fit in with the other 2-D cardboard cutout characters. His writing has no voice to it, and that's a crime in my book because he cardboarded my beloved Scully.

    My second most important complaint follows squarely on the heels of the first: this character going by the name of Scully is not Scully. I did not believe for one second that this girl would grow up into the secure, confident, intelligent, focused, scientific and skeptical badass we meet in the pilot. Maberry has this character wanting to believe (literally, that's the first line of the book), and letting Melissa take her to yoga classes, and she frequents psychics and all kinds of New Age stuff. This book has at its very core premise the idea that Scully became a skeptic solely because of the (dumb) events of this book. That is a reduction of the character, and it is lazy writing. Scully is a skeptic because she's a skeptic. It's who she is at her core. She craves order and reason, and her religious faith has always been a nice contradiction to that, because she struggles with it constantly. She doesn't believe in

    easily.

    I always pictured a teenaged Scully as more of a rebel when I thought about it, someone who got all her wild oats out young and then matured into someone who liked to uphold the rules. I pictured her a little like this:

    [

    ]

    There are a million different variations of young Scully I would have bought (in fact, I have bought them by the hundreds in my obsessive fanfic-reading days), but the one found in

    isn't one of them.

    As if all of that wasn't bad enough, Maberry fills the book with dumb shoutouts and Easter Eggs that explode the continuity of the world and cheapen the things he references. Scully or her "friends" say nearly all the famous catchphrases, including the aforementioned "I want to believe," and "trust no one". The presence of psychic phenomena he has Scully experience undercuts the weirdness she will experience for the first time when working with Mulder. The presence of the Syndicate as the villains behind these events was the last straw. The sheer laziness of including them astounds me. Maberry completely wastes a genuine chance to flesh out the Scully family and Scully's relationship to them in a meaningful way, which is something that has needed doing for years now. He also fails to competently explore the following: Scully's religious faith, her devotion to rational thought and science, how she got into medicine, her identity as a military brat, her friendships (or lack thereof), her relationship with her sister, her behavior at school, and well, any sort of meaningful character development at all. To name a few things.

    If you are an

    die-hard like me (and especially if you heart Dana Scully), take a hard pass on this one. Also, if you're not, take a hard-pass, because I don't imagine this book would be interesting to anyone who isn't already an

    fan, although according to an interview with the author, he and Garcia were both instructed to make the books accessible to non-fans.

    I debated whether to one- or two-star this, but in the end, I enjoyed nothing about it, so easy decision.

  • Tracy (Cornerfolds)
    Feb 23, 2016

    I have been obsessed with The X-Files for a lot of years and I was just as excited as the next person when I found out about season 10! But... YA X-Files with Scully sans Mulder?

    I just don't know what to feel! Here's hoping that Jonathan Maberry does a fantastic job of making Scully hold her own!

  • Nancy The book junkie
    Jan 06, 2017

    Review to come!

  • Mehsi
    Feb 04, 2017

    Finally a book about the time before the X-files (at least I never saw one about Scully and Mulder in their teenage years). A book about teenage Scully (this book) and teenage Mulder (the Agent of Chaos book). Written by two different writers. I only really read this one, so I can't speak (much) for the Agent of Chaos one (which I kind of dropped, as I couldn't believe Mulder's age, and also a lot of stuff was just a bit to conveniently placed, at least with Scully it felt more believable that t

    Finally a book about the time before the X-files (at least I never saw one about Scully and Mulder in their teenage years). A book about teenage Scully (this book) and teenage Mulder (the Agent of Chaos book). Written by two different writers. I only really read this one, so I can't speak (much) for the Agent of Chaos one (which I kind of dropped, as I couldn't believe Mulder's age, and also a lot of stuff was just a bit to conveniently placed, at least with Scully it felt more believable that this may be what happened to her and that this caused her scepticism).

    I did think it was quite interesting that Scully's book was written by a male writer, and Mulder's by a female writer. Not being sexist or whatever, but I just didn't notice until I got the books, before that I thought that Scully was written by the female writer, and Mulder by the male writer. It was quite a nice surprise.

    I am quite a fan of X-files (even though I didn't complete the whole series, but more on that in a bit), though mostly of the random monster of the week episodes. The story parts? At times good, most times boring as hell. It was also the cause for me to stop watching halfway into the series. Great characters, wonderful monster of the week episodes, lots of me shipping Mulder and Scully (kiss already!), well-written stories, spookiness, but the story parts that often took quite a spotlight? No. No. No.

    Now back to the book. :)

    From the start I just knew this was Scully. I am not sure how to explain, but her voice just felt real, it felt truly like Scully, how I would imagine her to sound during those teenage years. She was slightly sceptic during the first pages, but quickly you could see her open up more and more as things got really hairy and scary and proof of something else unnatural got more abundant. I definitely think the author did an amazing job at starting with slight sceptic, then opening up to what might be out of this world, and then, due to stuff losing all hope again (hey, no spoiler, this is Scully, everyone knows she is a sceptic (though from what I could see in the show she is slowly opening up to things again)). Which is logical giving the screwed up stuff happening in the book, and the ending that followed all that stuff. Boy, oh boy. Anyone would turn sceptic when that crap happens to them, when all of that is revealed. When everything is turned upside down. I won't say what happens, you will have to read the book. Muahhaha. :P

    The book quickly goes from creepy, to OMG WTH in quick succession. I mostly read this book during the hour I had before I went to sleep, so you can imagine I didn't have much success sleeping. Really, it was that creepy, and there were twists and turns at every corner, every point. Everyone was a suspect in this story.

    About the actual culprit? Welllllll, at first I didn't see who was the true culprit to all these things, but then there were some more hints, and I just knew it had to be that person. And it turned out to be that one. But the writer definitely did a wonderful job laying out some false stuff to trick us, and not only us, but also the characters, especially Scully.

    We don't only see Scully. Oh no, we also see the agents that follow her. We see the Angel. I definitely like that those were added as it gave a bigger picture to the whole story, plus it did explain a whole lot of details about why Scully is having these visions, why stuff is happening, why she moved (yes, even that).

    The visions/dreams? *shivers* There were really creepy, quite disturbing, and bloody at times too.

    There were just two points I didn't like in the entire book.

    First up the dramarama at the end (come on really was that all needed). It just felt fake, and I just wanted to stop reading. Such a shame. I can imagine things will get out of hand if x and y get revealed, but really this big? Wow.

    And second the whole Booohoooo a male is assuming I am a weak girl part and now I hate/dislike his guts and he is such a jerk. That just made my eyes roll out of my skull. It is something I see more and more in books, and instead of feeling sympathetic (because I am a girl myself, so apparently I should agree or something) I just feel like I want to hit something (and I am generally a peace-loving girl). I just feel the girls are being dramaqueens. Especially in this book. The boy, he loves you, he likes you, he is just worried about you, and you know he has a hard time with words when he is around you. He probably knows you can handle yourself or at least mostly (because he knows you do fighting sports and you are oh so tough), but he only wanted to help you, he only wanted to support you. Because, hey, serial killer! But hey girl, if you can handle that on your own, sure. Don't come crying when you get killed, or left for dead, OK? Because yes, I see this happen as well. :| *rolls eyes some more**eyes fall out**gathers them and puts them in and rolls some more*

    Poor boys. Poor guys.

    Oh, I have one more thing, a good thing, don't worry. The covers! I just love how you can also spot the Scully and Mulder in those. Scully's features her cross necklace, Mulder's has dog tags.

    But I am definitely glad I bought and read this book. The author did a great job on writing Scully, the story was creepy, scary, and at times horrible (but not because of the writing, but because of the events happening). I would recommend this one. Though I will warn that it might not be the best idea to read it before going to sleep. Unless you want your dreams to feature a scary angel.

    Review first posted at

  • Jamie (Books and Ladders)
    Jan 27, 2017

    Most of my complaints about this one revolve around it being Very Obvious this was a man writing a woman. But there was also pacing issues and the 180 at the end didn't quite work for me.

  • Stacee
    Dec 31, 2016

    I've always been a fan of Scully, but Mulder has always been my favorite. With this story, it was awesome to see into her head and get an idea of where she got to where she was in the series.

    The plot was deliciously creepy and full of tension and kept me guessing the entire time. And the epilogue was seriously satisfying.

    **Huge thanks to the publisher for sending me an early copy**

  • Leah
    Jan 04, 2017

    I had a really hard time getting into this story. It's unfortunate since I absolutely adored Mulder's Origins. It was hard for me believe that this was the backstory of the Dana Scully we grew to know and love from The X-Files, whereas with young Mulder it was easy to picture him as the long haired 17 year old that Kami Garcia wrote about.

    I also found the story to be a bit predictable. If you read a good bit, you can probably guess what's going on and the identity of a certain person/thing befo

    I had a really hard time getting into this story. It's unfortunate since I absolutely adored Mulder's Origins. It was hard for me believe that this was the backstory of the Dana Scully we grew to know and love from The X-Files, whereas with young Mulder it was easy to picture him as the long haired 17 year old that Kami Garcia wrote about.

    I also found the story to be a bit predictable. If you read a good bit, you can probably guess what's going on and the identity of a certain person/thing before the big reveal. The writing is very eerie, and I found myself getting creeped out quite a bit. Maybe if the two Origins were written by the same author I would have liked it more? I don't know. I'm just sad to say I wasn't a fan.

  • Joanne
    Jan 07, 2017

    Great read for all X-Files fans. Great to see that it stays true to cannon. X-Files fans will eat this up. Even if you have never seen an episode this book will have you hooked from page one. Jonathan Maberry rocks the story-telling as always. You just make sure to read Agent of Chaos as well.

    Any hope for more? Until then looking forward to the graphic novels coming up in February.

  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
    Feb 13, 2017

    Young Scully. She's a loner, mostly hanging out with her sister, Melissa, taking martial arts, doing yoga, oh and going to school. She does have a little love interest for a bit =) ❤

    There is some crazy stuff going on where Dana and her family moved. Kids are getting killed in a numerous amount car accidents. Dana is seeing ghosts, the devil or angels or something.

    and THEN . . .

    some things are found out and this is what Scully becomes in her adult life ↓

    Granted, I can understand why after all o

    Young Scully. She's a loner, mostly hanging out with her sister, Melissa, taking martial arts, doing yoga, oh and going to school. She does have a little love interest for a bit =) ❤

    There is some crazy stuff going on where Dana and her family moved. Kids are getting killed in a numerous amount car accidents. Dana is seeing ghosts, the devil or angels or something.

    and THEN . . .

    some things are found out and this is what Scully becomes in her adult life ↓

    Granted, I can understand why after all of this stuff goes down, Scully would be a skeptic. BUT <-- there's always a but . . . just because this one super cray incident happened when she was younger doesn't mean that it's always some kind of a hoax or not real, what have you. It was pretty messed up, but I digress.

    I still love Scully and I loved the way Jonathan Maberry depicted young Scully in the book =)

    Now, when are the authors going to write more stories of young Mulder and young Scully because some of us want more! ❤

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