Family is always messy. It is always difficult. And it is always filled with crazy amounts of love (sometimes with extra helpings of the crazy). So an anthology of Christmas stories just wouldn’t be complete without a tale featuring a not-quite-functioning family. A set up. And a potential zombie apocalypse gone mad.
I keep having Breeds stories pop up in my suggested reads, but I’ve never actually had the chance to sink my teeth into one. Until I read Christmas Heat. And wow. I’m not really sure why it’s taken me so long to pick up this series. I loved the writing, I loved the brutal honesty of sensuality throughout the story, and I love the ideas of breeds being created, not born…
I love the setting of Christmas against a zombie apocalypse (or at least, that’s what the setting seemed to be to me)…
Well. This novella did not take the direction I was expecting at all. It starts at a neighbourhood Christmas party, with a quiet baker and an enigmatic professor. I figured that they would slowly fall in love, have some kind of paranormal influence that helps it along (since it’s in a paranormal romance collection) and then sweep off into the sunset to live happily ever after. And some of that does actually happen, just not in the way that was expected.
Although there was a slight paranormal spin to this Christmas tale, what I loved the most about it was the loneliness. Which seems a little weird in a Christmas tale. A story that seeps loneliness from its pores as it sweeps you through the beautiful and picturesque streets of Paris. The deserted streets, the Christmas lights, and most importantly, the mysterious train stations.
I bought this book because I wanted something that was Christmassy to get me in the Christmas mood. I saw that I recognised one of the four authors, and figured I really couldn’t go wrong the a name like “The Magical Christmas Cat”. And boy was I not disappointed.
It took me a little while to get into this story – actually, I basically skim read the entire tale. Not because it was bad, but it just wasn’t my style. And it didn’t feel as Christmasy as I was expecting. Yes, it is based around Christmas, and has some of the hallmarks of a Christmas-time story, but it wasn’t filled with the intensity of the spirit like many of the other stories in this collection.
I first heard of Krampus a few years ago when an Austrian friend came to stay with me. She showed me YouTube footage of the celebration, and damn is it terrifying! Although, I can understand why some parents would want to tell their children the legend of Krampus – a lump of coal isn’t enough of a deterrent to stop them from being absolute terrors…
I can’t believe that it has taken me until I was almost twenty-six to read this collection! Actually, I can’t believe that it has taken me almost twenty-six years to read anything written by Charles Dickens. Normally I find anything written in the 1800s pleasurable, but a little difficult to get through. Not so with Dickens’ writing. It is so much more accessible and, although it still has the same mouthy, lyrical feel as much of the writing from that time, it is just somehow less formal, and more… real.
I can’t believe it has taken me THIS DAMN LONG to realise that The Nutcracker is actually a novel. Or at least, that it wasn’t originally a ballet. Once I realised this though, it took me absolutely no time to rush to my nearest book store and buy an adorably illustrated version of this classic.