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Devil's Advocate

(The X-Files: Origins #2)

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  1,355 ratings  ·  240 reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published January 3rd 2017 by Imprint
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Joshua Heinrich According to interviews and some articles, Chris Carter did give the nod to make them canon. Here are a few links that mention it:…more
According to interviews and some articles, Chris Carter did give the nod to make them canon. Here are a few links that mention it:

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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
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
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 X-Files 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
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-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**
Trina (Between Chapters)

Audiobook review: Narration was good. Would recommend this format.

tw: stigmata, car accidents, racial profiling of the one POC character, ghosts
Sep 18, 2017 rated it did not like it
Okay, I was not a fan of this. I'm so deep in the middle of an X Files spiral right now, and Mulder and Scully are just amazing. I love these two so dearly. After reading the absolutely wonderful first book of this series, I was so excited to read about my fierce and fantastic leading lady, Dana Scully. Scully is brilliant - not only as a doctor but a developed skeptic and a fighter. She kicks some major butt, but this book did not do her justice.

This Scully did not have the same feeling as the
Jan 04, 2017 rated it liked it
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
Jamie (Books and Ladders)
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. ...more
Michael Hicks
My original The X-Files: Origins #2 - Devil's Advocate audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

In my previous review of The X-Files Origins Book 1, I noted my skepticism toward a young adult series chronicling Mulder’s and Scully’s adventures as teenagers, well before they become the FBI’s Most Unwanted. I went into these books with an open mind, and having done so I don’t expect I will return to the Origins titles if any more are published.

While the books themselves
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.
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 ...more
Tracy (Cornerfolds)
Feb 23, 2016 marked it as to-read
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!

Feb 27, 2018 rated it liked it
I struggled though most of this book which was disappointing because I LOVE Dana Scully. I found this metaphysical aspect of her life difficult to swallow and hard to reconcile with my beloved skeptic. However, Maberry manages to tie it all together during the resolution and epilogue. This does not redeem it enough to earn it a better rating.
Dec 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
I am a huge x-files fan and I was equal part skeptical and excited about reading the x files origins books and on the whole I was reasonably pleased with what I read. They do capture the spirit of the TV series for me getting the essence of both Mulder and Scully right so they feel right as a prequel to the series. I would gladly read more of these following both Mulder and Scully right through until they become the agents we meet in the first x-files series.

Scully's story was awesome. I must ad
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am so mad that the first two star rating I'm giving this year is to this book. I was so looking forward to reading the two origin stories for my favorite fictional FBI agents. I even splurged and bought both in hard back signed editions.

This book is supposed to be about a young Dana Scully. It takes place when she's fifteen and living in Maryland. There are a series of strange deaths that she gets wrapped up in, and eventually it's revealed that they're cult murders. All of that was great. I l
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"You came in here to learn, and this is a lesson. Never apologize for what you don't know. There is no shame in that. Shame comes when you refuse to know or pretend not to know. That is deliberate ignorance, and it is loathsome."

Review also posted here.

If you're new to my blog or reviews, you should know one thing: I am a MASSIVE fan of The X-Files. And it was only natural that I flocked to this little YA duo of tales chronicling the origins of television's most ma
Apr 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was excited when the Scully and Mulder YA novels were announced. The concept of them growing up as the opposite of who they turn out to be is interesting since we've been watching them since the early 90s.

As I was reading the novel, I was keeping my notes on my thoughts on Scully's characterization. I flip-flopped back and forth trying to figure out how to feel about Scully.

At the beginning of the novel, I was expecting this story to be more geared toward Mulder. Then, halfway through the nove
Trigger warnings: murder, blood, hallucinations. Plus, it's set in the 1970s, so some racial slurs and misogyny for good measure.

2.5 stars.

This...didn't feel like Dana Scully at all. I've been complete trash for The X-Files since I was 13 years old, and I continue to be complete trash for The X-Files. And I wanted to believe (ha) that this was going to be good. Unfortunately, it wasn't. The characterisation wasn't right. The idea that teenage Scully had a bunch of psychic visions and then just
May 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Between Scully and Mulder, I was always more of a Mulder growing up...or so I thought. I loved getting Scully's backstory here and seeing the why behind her skepticism. And now I totally get why she's the way she is.

While I loved the MC (obviously), I felt like the pacing was a bit too slow in too many places. Might be because I'm so used to Maberry writing at 100 and going higher and higher and higher in the Ledger series. This definitely doesn't have those books' pacing.

Still, I loved it! An
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Long before her years as an X-Files Federal Agent, Dana Scully used her sharp intellect as a divining rod for the truth. In Jonathan Maberry’s Devil’s Advocate, set in Craiger, Maryland, the curious fifteen-year-old wants to know if the strange being from her dreams is an angel or a devil. Beginning to realize the significance of this figure, and of other images from her visions, she traces her way through a terrifying dreamscape, trying to piece together how or if it corresponds to reality.

Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
I WANTED TO BELIEVE LIKE THIS but it was just a struggle. I love Dana Scully obv, and I liked seeing her as a teen with her hippie sister Melissa.

In addition to me not really buying the plot, it also seemed kind of lazily edited? Like characters would just contradict themselves within the same conversation...and at first I thought maybe it would be a clue or something that they were lying but Scully never seemed to notice or comment upon it.

(view spoiler)
You know, I just didn't enjoy this one as much as the other book in the series (written by a different author). The other book centered on Mulder, and it definitely felt like I was reading about the teenage version of the character I loved from the show. This version of Scully, however, was not what I was expecting. I had a hard time seeing how she would end up as the Scully I know and love. If I separate this from the show, it's a good story. There's a serial killer targeting teenagers, and the ...more
This book was just sort of... meh. This didn't feel like the origin story of the character I love. I can't see her in this situation at all, really. I was also put off by some strange wording and scene building that seemed awkward. It took me a long time to read this because I just couldn't get past those two things. Once I determined to stop thinking of her as Scully from X-Files, though, I was better able to enjoy the story of a teenage girl named Dana. Not a great recommendation for an origin ...more
Stacey Kondla
Jan 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
I liked this one, but not as much as the Mulder story by Kami Garcia. I just found Scully to be more frustrating as a teen. Jonathan Maberry did capture her skepticism well, but she kind of came across as more dramatic and it bothered me that she bought it easily to the new age stuff at first. Still a decent read and fun peek at what part of Scully's formative years may have looked like. ...more
Betty Loven
Jan 30, 2018 rated it liked it
It only gets 3 stars because the overall story was good, but it shouldn't have been a back story about our beloved Scully. The first time I read this book I think I was blinded by my love and excitement for new X-Files content, especially a back story. I have always felt like Scully got shafted in that way, where we know very little about Scully and this book did absolutely nothing to change that. I feel like Mr. Maberry had a checklist of shit sitting beside his laptop that was mentioned in the ...more
The Library Ladies
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, thriller
(originally reviewed at )

Who is one of my very favorite TV queens? Who is one of the TV characters that I love for her inspirational strength, her smarts, her snark, and her perseverance? Who is up there in my personal hall of fame of badass ladies on the small screen?

Dana. Freakin’. Scully.

So the very moment that I discovered that both Mulder and Scully of “The X-Files” fame got their own origin stories, I knew that I’d save Scully for second. I wanted to savor her. I wa
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I tried to approach this from two sides. If I knew nothing about the X-Files, how would this read? Generally, I'd say well--there was an interesting mystery with engaging characters. The glimpses of some shadowy conspiracy playing out behind the crime story weren't distracting or confusing. The newbie reader may wonder why the author would bother with the added layer, but it seemed to work. I couldn't decide if all the short chapters and rapid cuts between Dana, the killer, and the Syndicate goo ...more
Jul 05, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: x-files
Enjoyed this one even more than Origins.
I have always related more to Dana, as I am pretty skeptical as well. However, I'm glad we get to see why she is the way she is: cynical, fact-based, medically-minded. It all makes so much sense. I hadn't known she had a sister, but that also played such a large role. She also seems a lot like her father and I love that 'Moby Dick' is their book. It just isn't one that gets a lot of mentions.

This was one of those stories, where the end seems to predictab
Apr 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Could have been better if it is more fast-paced. I cannot believe I nearly fell for the origin that scully (she will always be scully and not dana) (view spoiler) i supposed from this experience, she was fuelled to be a sceptic. ...more
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, liked
I enjoyed it. A nice change from dystopia and or apocalypse genre of book. I would definitely recommend it for those who like the x files. It is better having a story on why Dana is skeptic than saying just because.
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The Worst Bestsel...: Episode 156 - Devil's Advocate 1 6 Sep 28, 2020 10:15AM  

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JONATHAN MABERRY is a New York Times best-selling and five-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author, anthology editor, comic book writer, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer. He was named one of the Today’s Top Ten Horror Writers. His books have been sold to more than two-dozen countries.

He writes in several genres. His young adult fiction includes ROT &

Other books in the series

The X-Files: Origins (2 books)
  • Agent of Chaos (The X-Files: Origins, #1)

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