This short story had a completely unexpected turn. It was quite dark and filled with death and crime (expected), but with a much, much, much darker ending than I expected. Like, actually kind of horrifying. Although that could just be because it hit some of my sensitive points.
The little girl in this is just so damn adorable. But honestly, all I could think about when I finished this was how scared the child is going to be. It was totally heartbreaking. There was so much emotional connection in this story, and it was very difficult to not feel kind of sad at her story.
I honestly thought that this story was about a murder and would be a bit if a whodunit. But, as mentioned earlier, it was filled with unexpected twists and turns. So, ultimately it was about something entirely different. And I just loved that fact…
The holiday season can bring out the beast in anyone – literally! This collection features 15 werewolf tales by an all-star line up.
This is the second collection I’ve read by Charlaine Harrisand Toni L.P. Kelner. And it’s just as good, if not better than the first. Actually, it was probably better. Because I really wasn’t in the mood for the Holiday Season this year. Normally I read all sorts of nice holiday stories. I didn’t want those. But an anthology about werewolves and Christmas? That was perfect for my mood. Especially when some of the stories involve eating Rudolph and Santa.
Christmas seems to be all about the night and the season. Or something about the imagery of it is. And werewolves are almost always pictured with a full moon. The combination of the two actually makes perfect sense. Which was something I’d never thought of before, but now wonder why not. After all, it works so beautifully.
Not only were the themes in this story perfectly paired, but it was also a fantastic mix of series shorts and standalones. I love finding short stories based in established worlds. But it’s also great to sometimes find a standalone that you can really sink your teeth into. If anything, I think I actually preferred a lot of the standalones in this collection, they were the stories which were a little grittier.
Although there was a bit more darkness to this story than a traditional paranormal fantasy tale, it was still quite a light-hearted mix. Even the stories that involved disembowelling well-known Christmas characters were funny and light. Left me with a nice, big smile on my lips at the end of the collection.
He’s a werewolf stuck halfway between his forms at the North Pole. And, he’s understandably peckish… but maybe it wasn’t such a great idea to eat Rudolph.
Most Christmas stories I tend to read are quite happy. I’ve NEVER read one that starts with a werewolf eating Rudolph. That was a shock. It was hilarious, and I scared my dog by spitting out a bit of my tea as I held in the laughter (yes, I have a twisted sense of humour, so sue me). But it was also incredibly unique. As I said, I’ve never had the pleasure of reading a story which begins with Rudolph being eaten by a werewolf. And not just a werewolf, but a werewolf stuck in a crazy kind of half-form that he can’t seem to get out of. Little wonder that that image made me spit out my tea.
Although this was a story that starts with Rudolph, there were a surprising amount of Christian overtones. In fact, Santa only visits good little Christian boys and girls… which I found a bit annoying – but that’s my own religious hangups. I did like that there were a number of versions of the Saint Nikolas mythos added into the telling of the tale. It wasn’t just about our more modern / common versions of this. And there was also his evil shadow to contend with…
I love that the last spin on this featured Rudolph’s nose. Instead of a light to guide the way, the werewolf was able to use his superior sense of smell. And the way that he uses this to navigate the night… brilliant. Even though I’m pretty sure the werewolf is still kind of evil and needs a swift kick up the bum… all in the name of the Christmas spirit of course!