How to Defeat a Demon King in Ten Easy Steps by Andrew Rowe

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I am having a ton of trouble concentrating on books at the moment. Physical reading is nearly impossible, so what I wanted was a fun light audiobook that was warm, easy, and quick. This is all of those things.

So, in this world, life follows a predictable cyclical storyline where a Demon King would rise up, and a Hero would be born to smote him back to whence he came. Typically this cycle lasts 100 years, but this time around the Demon King is advancing and has already taken over more than half the world with 70 years to go before the predicted Hero would be born.

The main character, Yui, has decided to be the Hero the world needs even if she’s not the person “meant” to save everyone. Since she was a small child she has been transfixed with the idea of being a Hero, and her journey is one of circumnavigating the expectations of society to gain the skills she needs to defeat the Demon King.

In this society, people essentially live and work in an extensive video game type world where you practice your skills to gain literal levels. Your stats will flash across your vision and you get notifications when you gain skills. You can grind like you can in a video game and go kill slimes for days on end to increase certain skills to open up certain Career paths. Not all paths are open to everyone… to qualify for a Hero Class you have to be born a farmer or an orphan…. one of the ways Yui tried to circumnavigate this particular expectation was to get her parents to disown her. Just for a little while, of course, just for long enough to qualify as an orphan. Her parents are loving, healthy, and not at all inclined to do this.

This is a very straight forward story, and honestly, I was just in the mood for that kind of thing. Gain levels to defeat the demon king and there are obstacles for Yui along the way. There are fairies and goblins and all manner of typical monsters/races you’d find in a MMORPG fantasy video game.

Yui was adorable, I really loved her spunk and attitude, and the side characters that become her “Companions” along the way were interesting and fun in their own ways.

The audiobook was well performed and I was able to crank it to 2x and so I read this start to finish in one day. I wouldn’t necessarily say this is any exceptional YOU HAVE TO READ THIS kind of review – however – I really appreciate it for what it is, and if this review sounds like fun to you, I’m pretty sure you’ll like it if you try it. It’s simple, straightforward fun that broke my reading slump and got me in the mood to read more. I think the thing I liked about it most was the not so subtle message that we shouldn’t wait for someone to save us, go be the Hero you’re looking for.


  • Plot: 10/15
  • Characters: 11/15
  • World Building: 12/15
  • Writing: 12/15
  • Pacing: 13/15
  • Originality: 11/15
  • Personal Enjoyment: 7/10

Final Score: 76/100 or 3.75/5 stars on GR