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Unholy Night

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,227 Ratings  ·  1,075 Reviews
From the author of the New York Times bestselling Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, comes UNHOLY NIGHT, the next evolution in dark historical revisionism.

They're an iconic part of history's most celebrated birth. But what do we really know about the Three Kings of the Nativity, besides the fact that they followed a star to Bethlehem bearing strange gifts? The Bible has lit
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Paperback, 270 pages
Published January 2012
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Unholy Night by Seth Grahame-SmithThe Night Circus by Erin MorgensternInsurgent by Veronica RothLeviathan by Scott WesterfeldThe Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
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1st out of 53 books — 15 voters
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6th out of 24 books — 14 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ th
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Melki
Apr 16, 2012 Melki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're gonna go a-messin' with one of the holiest stories ever told, you'd better be respectful, or the wrath of the religious right will rain down upon thee like a plague of locusts.

I'd say the author of this book can relax. Only the most pious could find fault here and that will probably be for giving the virgin Mary a bit of spunk and some opinions of her own.

This tale mostly concerns the life and adventures of Balthazar, a wise guy and thief so skilled that his nickname, The Antioch Ghost
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Edward Lorn
Dec 17, 2015 Edward Lorn rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the hell out of this buddy read with Kells. Gotta admit, though, I did not expect that I would like this book as much as I did. I'm not one for mashups, so I've successfully skirted much of Seth Grahame-Smith's catalogue. You'll likely see me tackle that Abraham Lincoln vamp book, but only because I found it for a quarter. Found this one for a quarter, too, but had I paid ten bucks for the ebook version of Unholy Night, I don't think I'd be a bit disappointed. Well worth the price of a ...more
Greg
Feb 25, 2012 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I went in to reading this with very little expectations. I kind of thought I would hate it, I hadn't read anything by the man who ushered in the literary / zombie mash-up genre, but I figured he was pretty much a one-trick pony, a hack who happened on a great idea, someone who would be about as funny as I imagine Christopher Moore to be (I haven't read him, but when does that stop me from having strong and unfounded opinions).

Maybe it was because I had so little hope for this book, maybe becaus
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Rebecca ♥ Matrim, Kishan, Magnus ♥
Sep 07, 2014 Rebecca ♥ Matrim, Kishan, Magnus ♥ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of violent historical adventures or high fantasy
This review can also be found on my blog: A Match Made in Heaven

I found this book strangely moving. It was my first Seth Grahame-Smith book and I didnt know what to expect. Although there was some humour, I thought it would be more out there, and ridiculing the whole story. But really he just expanded on the story that already exists in the Bible, filling in the blanks with his own ideas. There was very little that was altered from the original story, mostly just the timeline and a few other det
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Jokoloyo
Mar 03, 2016 Jokoloyo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The premise and the beginning of this book is highly promising. If I judge the book by its first third, it is a fun, hilarious, action-packed fantasy novel. The Three Kings are anti-hero thieves. And I can't tell you enough how I excited when I was reading the swordfight of Melchyor. He is not a swordsman, he is a sword saint!

I understand that due to plots, the story should getting more and more serious toward the end of novel. But I noticed the humor diminished completely at the end.

Charact
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Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
Interesting. I liked it, but it just didn't make me want to scream from the mountain tops about it. It's probably me.
Julie Davis
Good Story #73. Julie and Scott escape from prison and meet a very nice couple and their newborn baby. But there's just something about that baby...

=======================

“Joseph? Mary? My name is Balthazar. This is Gaspar . . . this is Melchyor. We don’t want to hurt you . . . we’re just looking for a place to rest. But, Joseph? if you don’t put that pitchfork down, I’m going to take it from you and stab you to death in front of your wife and child. Do you understand?”
Wanted thieves Balthazar,
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Lorca Damon
Apr 15, 2012 Lorca Damon rated it it was amazing
I never did read the author's previous bestseller, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. It came out around the time of the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies craze and I judged it as just another one of those fun-yet-silly reads (I did read Zombies, it was good, but...).

So when I picked up Unholy Night (having never heard of it thanks to living in rural AL without a bookstore!), it was a very intriguing concept. I had heard of A. Lincoln, so I wondered what kind of twist the author would put to the sto
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Rick Fisher
As a true bibliophile, I try not to limit myself in what I read. I am, however, as a Christian, leary of reading something that could be overtly sacriligious. So, my thanks to Mr Grahame-Smith for delivery a wonderfully retold rendition of the greatest event in our history.
SGS deftly weaved a wonderful plot involving the three wise men into the already amazing story of the birth of CHRIST. He created a great backstory about Balthazar and the his eventual introduction to Gaspar and Melychor. I
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BookGuys
Mar 21, 2012 BookGuys rated it really liked it
When I reviewed Seth Grahame-Smith's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn't just another throwaway mash-up. I remember writing that this would be a great book to help introduce the historical figure of Abraham Lincoln, one of America's most beloved Presidents to a youthful audience. If you stripped away the vampire hunting, you still had a pretty decent tale of the life of Abraham Lincoln, and with some guidance from a teacher (to let the students know ...more
Scott Rhee
Seth Grahame-Smith has done something pretty amazing in his novel "Unholy Night". It should be noted that this is the same author of the now-cult classic "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" and the surprise best-seller "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter".

Nothing is sacred to Smith. Really. Nothing.

So, it should come as no surprise that "Unholy Night" is an uber-violent action/adventure epic about the Nativity Story. Seriously.

Smith has taken the most beloved story of the Christian faith and turned
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Jason
Dec 04, 2014 Jason rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
I had higher expectations for this book, in comparison to Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, because Abraham Lincoln was so much better than I expected. It's safe to say that Seth Grahame-Smith exceeded my expectations.

Mr. Grahame-Smith is a fantastic writer. I am torn because on one hand I want to see what Mr. Grahame-Smith can do if he gets away from the gimmick of retelling well-known stories. On the other hand, he is so good at retelling well-known stories that I want him to continue. I can't w
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Alexandra
Mar 15, 2016 Alexandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-read
Ini pertama kali aku membaca buku dari Seth Grahame-Smith walaupun aku sudah jatuh cinta pada 2 film yang diangkat dari bukunya ( Abraham Lincoln : Vampire Hunter, Pride and Prejudice and Zombie). Dan kuakui dia memang penulis jenius yang jago mentwist sesuatu yang klasik dan "biasa" menjadi hal yang menarik perhatian.

Siapapun sudah tahu tentang kisah kelahiran Kristus yang penuh cobaan. Ancaman pembunuhan bayi-bayi, tempat melahirkan yang susah di dapatkan. 3 Orang majus misterius yang tiba-tib
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Mogsy (MMOGC)
The story of the birth of Jesus Christ may be one familiar to many, but on the other hand very little is known about the three wise men that brought him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. This is why this book is so entertaining. Unholy Night pretty much asks, what if these Three Kings were actually a bunch of thieves and killers?

I was all prepared to give this book a high rating just for the unique and hilarious premise alone. And I would have, if only I wasn't so disappointed with the writ
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William
Jun 19, 2012 William rated it it was amazing
Deviously clever, and not at all the sacrilege you might expect, given that this is the same author who so brilliantly twisted literature and history. The book plays around with the Nativity story, particularly the place of the Wise Men. In this tale, the Wise Men aren't kings or philosophers but petty thieves on the run from Herod who come across Mary, Joseph, and the infant Jesus. The primary character Balthazar, known as the Antioch Ghost, is a formidable protagonist who believes in little bu ...more
Ana
Jul 21, 2012 Ana rated it it was amazing
As a Catholic, I was really wanting to see how Seth Grahame-Smith would incorporate a Biblical event and give it his own twist. The Three Wise Men were really greedy, sword-wielding bandits that just happened to fall into King Herod's bad graces and stumble upon our Lord, Jesus Christ as a baby?!? What the hell? The book was harder to get into simply because it seemed to jump around from character to character, yet as I allowed myself to get pulled into the storyline, I found this to be the best ...more
Sabra Embury
Apr 25, 2012 Sabra Embury rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes a straight story hits the spot; one that reaches in and grabs your guts to let them remember the meat and gore you're made of. By straight I mean: Balthazar aka "the Antioch Ghost" is stoic and strong; his duty is to protect an innocent/naive family (in this case Mary, Joseph and their newborn Messiah) from being butchered by ruthless Roman soldiers. Along the way there are tests of love and death, talks of faith and epic camel chases.

There's also a healthy spin on biblical tales most
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Lauren
Mar 05, 2012 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grahame-Smith, the evil genius between "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter", has re-imagined the Nativity story: what if the Three Wise Men were in fact three thieves on the run who stumble upon Jesus, Mary, and Joseph by accident? The story that follows is crazy and surprisingly reverent fun. I had to read "Unholy Night" in one sitting, I couldn't concentrate on anything else!
Scott D.
Discussed with Julie on the A Good Story is Hard to Find Podcast:
Episode 73: Unholy Night.

A fun, fun book.
Alysia
Feb 11, 2015 Alysia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love reading Biblical fiction and this was the main thing that attracted me to this story. Second, was the author. Since I really like Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer I thought I couldn’t go wrong with Seth a second time.
The prophets have been telling King Harrod for years “the Messiah, the King of the Jews was to come and he will rule over all the Kingdom.” But the story does not center around the coming of Jesus but around one of the Wise Men who came to see the baby Jesus after he was born.
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Joanna Wilson
The movie Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is based on the book by the same name by author Seth Grahame-Smith. He also wrote the popular book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. When I heard he wrote another book, Unholy Night, which incorporates the characters from the Nativity story, I knew I had to read it.

Seth Grahame-Smith's latest book Unholy Night was released earlier this spring. The lead character is Balthazar, a thief of reputation throughout Judea during the reign of King Herod. Also know
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Sheldon
We generally know the story of the three wise men, who came to Jesus in the manger bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Some say they were sages. Some say they were ancient astronomers. But what if the real story was entirely different and not told until now?

Okay, okay, it's not the “real” story, per se, but it's still a story. Unholy Night is written by Seth Grahame-Smith, who wrote the other re-imaginings Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and the recently-turned-into-a-movie Abraham L
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Brandon Lopez

This book is a good old fashioned Hollywood style romp through the desert. Although not labeled as such, it has the look and feel of a young adult novel. It's easy to read, written from a very modern perspective, is the standard young adult length of 300 pages, and of course(surprise, surprise) has a hollywood ending. It doesn't pull any real punches, it just follows the adventure movie archetype to a T, and gives historical and biblical accuracy the same kind of reverence as your average Nick
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Cathy
Oct 01, 2012 Cathy rated it really liked it
You'll never be able to look at a Nativity scene the same way again. Mr. Grahame-Smith has done a brilliant job turning the biblical account of the birth of Jesus into an engaging adventure. Let's face it. The Bible story has a lot of holes in it. Who were the Three Wise Men? How did Mary and Joseph, two poor peasants who'd probably never been further than a day's travel from their homes, get all the way to Egypt with Herod's forces hot on their heels? And did Joseph really buy the "This is God' ...more
Fuzzy Gerdes
Jan 03, 2014 Fuzzy Gerdes rated it it was ok
*Unholy Night* is something of a puzzler. It's by Seth Grahame-Smith, the author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. The premise is as simple as the ones encompassed in those other two titles: It's the story of Jesus' birth, but instead of the three Magi being wise men or kings, they are three killers and thieves. I feel like there's usually two ways these sorts of rewrites of an existing story go. In one kind of rewrite, especially around the Christmas story, ...more
Horace Derwent
blasphemous
and i love it be blasphemous!
S. K. Pentecost
Sep 28, 2015 S. K. Pentecost rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to S. K. by: NoveList
I have perused two of Seth's earlier novels and wouldn't call myself a fan. Not a hater either, because when NoveList recommended this as a Christopher Moore read alike, I didn't immediately recognize Seth's name.

I just listened to a TED talk about how creativity may involve turning off the part of your brain that keeps you from making mistakes, and I'd say that Grahame-Smith meets that criteria consistently. In both P&P&Z and ALVH, the genius was in the concept. Neither of those books w
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Lisa
Dec 07, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it
This honestly had a little too much gore in it for me (and some of it was a little more detailed than I cared to read). However, I must say that Grahame-Smith's explicit detail in this regard helped make Herod an even bigger villain that I've considered through the years. In the book the man has not one single redeeming feature--(I will leave it at that, shudder). The story itself was a fun re-imagining of the Three Wise Men, and I loved, loved, loved how the author "wrapped up" the ending.
Tasula
Feb 05, 2015 Tasula rated it it was amazing
Unholy Night reminded me of Christopher Moore's writing but if he had been the author, it would be subtitled "Baby Jesus' Big Adventure". It's an alternate history version of the three wise men and Baby Jesus. In this version, the three wise men are thieves impersonating wise men while fleeing from Herod. They meet Joseph and Mary and wind up fleeing together from Herod's men and Roman soldiers, heading for Egypt. It was very enjoyable.
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Seth Grahame-Smith (born Seth Jared Greenberg) is an American author, screenwriter and film producer. He is best known for his novels Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter which both hit the New York Times' best seller list. Seth Grahame-Smith lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife, Erin, and his son, Joshua.
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“Hug your children...Kiss your mothers and fathers, your brothers and sisters. Tell them how much you love them, every day. Because every day is the last day. Every light casts a shadow. And only the gods know when the darkness will find us.” 13 likes
“Prolonging death was akin to prolonging an orgasm. The closer you could bring the victim to the finish line without crossing it, the better it” 6 likes
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