Monday, December 8, 2014

#Review: A Christmas Horror Story by Sebastian Gregory - 4 Wine Glasses

23592976Title: A Christmas Horror Story
Author: Sebastian Gregory
Format: ebook, 160 pages
Published: December 8th 2014 by Carina
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Source: Netgalley
Reviewer: Linda
Rating: 4/5

On the night before Christmas, lock the doors to the house...
Forget the jolly old man in his red, big-buttoned suit. Because another creature is up on the roof, preparing for his annual visit to little children everywhere.
With a belt of knives round his waist, a writhing bag on his back and a Santa-sized appetite, he's a little...different to the St Nick you might be expecting.
And you can leave out all the carrots and mince pies you like...but it's you he's after.
A horrid Christmas to all, and a terrible night.
Every white Christmas has a dark side. Don't miss A Christmas Horror Story, the gruesomely festive new story from Sebastian Gregory.

Linda's Thoughts:
On the night before Christmas, lock the doors to the house
For a creature is stirring, sly as a mouse,
He skulks on the roof, down the chimney with care,
Keep the fire burning for the Child Eater's here. ...
He has a thin face and little round belly,
Slurping down children as if they were jelly
Then out on the lawn there'll arise such a clatter.
Parents spring from the bed to see what is the matter.
Away to the window they'll fly like a flash.
Tear open the shutters and throw up the sash
The Child Eater springs to his feet, gives them a whistle,
And disappears into the woods and the thistle.
Until next year it drives out of sigh,
A horrid Christmas to all, and a terrible night.

A CHRISTMAS HORROR STORY by Sebastian Gregory is an intensely dark Christmas folkloric tale. WARNING! This is NOT your normal feel good, happy Christmas story! Look elsewhere if you are looking for a Christmas story that delivers a warm fuzzies feeling. This is not the book you're looking for! LOL! I thought the author's dedication was a bit different: "for naughty children everywhere."  Now I know it was an inkling of the wild ride that would commence beginning on the next page.

I would definitely not recommend this book to young children as it might induce some serious nightmares, but older teens may enjoy it - unless they're still scared of the dark.  :-)  Whatever, before you open the book, make sure your doors and windows are securely fastened! It's a short read at only 160 pages and you will most certainly want to read this in one sitting. 

Starting with the retelling of an old German folk tale, the book alternately takes the reader back in time and up to current day  seamlessly filling in the history of the terrible villain who has been terrorizing children for centuries. Instead of children looking forward to Santa Claus, the reader will find children dreading a visit from the shadowy der Kinderfresser, the ultra creepy Child Eater. 

In our present day, Katy, Emily and Jake are home alone on Christmas Eve. They're waiting for their mother to come home from work to enjoy Christmas together. A freak snow storm keeps their mother from making it home. Unfortunately,  there's something or someone outside that has its sights set on the three of them.

The author is obviously a genius as he brings the grim, cheerless villain and his poor, hapless victims to life. I grew to care for the kids quickly and was really pulling for each of them to outwit the Child Eater. The story certainly kept my adrenaline climbing with the ceaseless suspense and danger. Following please find two more short excerpts from the book illustrating the author's mastery of the toe-curling holiday doom and gloom:

From the edge of the forest where the mountains begin, a pack of sleeping wolves, huddled together in the cold, were woken. Travelling on the crystal air was a sound to fear in the night - the sound of parents calling out in anguish and loss.

A sound that would even chill the souls of beasts.


Moments later, from the orphanage roof, a creature made of Christmas nightmares and holding a bulging sack that looked to hold doll-shaped toys made its escape through the silhouette of the city, not to be seen for another year.

I am totally in awe of this author's imagination as I found this horrendous, well-paced tale quite entertaining in a grim way. I've never read anything like this before. After reading this gruesome tale, I actually want to check out other books this author has written including THE GRUESOME ADVENTURES OF ALICE IN UNDEADLAND and THE ASYLUM FOR FAIRY-TALE CREATURES - but I'm going to wait until after Christmas to do so. 

I would highly recommend A CHRISTMAS HORROR STORY to anyone who wants a break from all the happy Christmas or who craves a bewitchingly gruesome Christmas horror story. As for me, I will not think of Santa when I hear sleigh bells this year!

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